I love his passion, drive and push. Check out excerpts of his feature below as he breaks things down for the entertainment industry.
“An entertainment lawyer, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa, in this interview with JOAN OMIONAWELE, talks about the Nigerian music industry, copyright law and infringement and the reason musicians need the services of lawyers. Excerpts:
Of all aspects of law, why did you choose entertainment law?
As the practice of law tilts towards specialisation globally, I decided to stick to the area I perfectly understand, where my contribution is most needed.
My romance with the arts and other forms of entertainment started when I was a boy. I grew up in a conservative home where television was forbidden. As a teenager in high school, like every other kid, I caught the bug of hip-hop and rhythm and blues. My idols were Tupac, R Kelly. I started copying the way they dressed and performed music. Soon, I began to find myself in the company of music lovers who shared similar interest in music.
My love for music and film never affected my performance as a science student. My mum noticed that I still maintained a stellar performance in school, so, she helped hone my passion for music by paying for my music lessons and I soldiered on till I graduated from high school. I later co-founded a boy-band named 100 Degrees while I awaited admission to study law at the University of Lagos. As a law student in the university, I did exceptionally in my first year and this gave me a measure of confidence to exploit my passion. My dad had his fears. He was disgusted by the idea that I might get distracted and end up a dropout. I recorded tons of music with my band and as a solo artiste during my years in UNILAG and I seized every opportunity to be seen and heard. I met Folarin Aluko, also a music buff, and he helped me get on numerous stages in and out of campus, such as the Future Awards.
In my fourth year as a student, I was intrigued by the stories of two lawyers, Efe Ozako and Audu Maikori. I read a publication extolling Efere as a seasoned entertainment lawyer with a viable law practice and an article profiling Maikori in a magazine. I discovered he was an entertainment lawyer and founder of Chocolate City. I was fascinated by their stories and I pledged at that point that I would fashion my career after theirs in the event that I record no major breakthrough before I become a lawyer. I graduated from the University of Lagos and the Nigerian Law School without realising my dream of becoming a pop star.
Do Nigerian artistes patronise entertainment lawyers?
A small fraction of Nigerian entertainers deem it fit to safeguard their interest in their dealings. Even some of the sophisticated ones only patronise lawyers when they are neck-deep in a terrible state. There have been cases of artiste/label skirmishes and non-performance, and stakeholders are now warming up to the idea of having legal advice before conducting transactions.” – Nigerian Tribune has the full story.
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