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AML Mover & Shaker | Meet One of America’s Top A & R Efe Obgeni, a Nigerian Shaking Things Up in America’s Showbiz

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I first tuned into Efe Ogbeni when Notjustok.com founder Demola Ogundele brought his name to my attention in connection with rising Nigerian artist Parker Ighile. Upon closer look, however, I found that Efe and I had a major thing in common in the form of Zander Bleck. I guess Zander loves the Nigerian-Americans. 🙂

It was over ten years ago when I met Zander Bleck, who was in his teens, at New York Fashion Week. I still recall how we met. Here was this absolutely tall, young gorgeous blonde hair, blue eye guy standing with his friends trying to get into the shows that was not open to the public. I struck a conversation with him and his friends who equally as good looking and tall. In fashion, there are so many good looking people, especially in model world, so there was nothing to it for me than just appreciating beauty when I see one.

Zander asked if he could go with me to check out the shows. I answered in the affirmative, told him to hold my hands and took him along along with me. LOL! Funny story on this one. In any event, we went to check out the prominent fashion show which was Kimora Lee Simmons Baby Phat show. At the time, everyone wanted to get into Kimora’s show. The lines were so long and spilled from the Bryant Park tents where the shows used to be held onto the streets. Kimora was killing it on the fashion end.

Zander sat third row while I sat front row and we were flanked by all the famous people at the heights of their careers, both across and in the first two rows.

It was fun to see how excited Zander was. It got me excited too. After the show, Zander told me he wanted to model. I told him he had star quality and “star” written all over him and would be very successful as a model because he had the look. I subsequently turned him over to my photographer at the time who agreed with me Zander would be very successful. My photographer did a photoshoot with Zander and also turned him over to other industry people/agency and the rest became history. Zander went on to become a successful male model modeling across the globe.

Zander, back then, had mentioned to me his love for music and throughout the years as we would keep in touch, albeit periodically, he shared his passion for music with some of the projects he was working on and his band. The guy that never gives up finally got to do music full time, although it was not an easy road to get to where he is. Zander is now signed to Capitol Records, he was formerly with Interscope.I am super proud of Zander, needless to say.

Well back up a bit. For the music bit, that’s where Efe Ogbeni comes into play. He too served the role of essentially discovering Zander on the music end and helped get him the key industry connects and grooming to get to where he is today. The story goes that Zander’s roommate shared Zander’s demo ‘Temptation’ with Efe Ogbeni. Efe connected with what Zander was putting out there, signed him on to his company Regime Music Society, and introduced him to a whole bunch of key industry people, and of course the rest is now history as well. Zander will be very successful on the music end because he just is a star and never takes ‘no’ for an answer. He works very hard and has an unmatched passion in realizing his dreams. I am again very proud of him.

Last month, HITSDailyDouble.com shared a short snippet on Efe Ogbeni, this Nigerian-American making a lot of things pop in the industry and opening doors for talented acts like Zander Bleck and Parker Ighile. Below is what they had to say.

“GET TO KNOW HIM: Efe Ogbeni has a way of getting in the middle of hit records. The head ofCM/Republic-distribbed EDM imprint CMH Records and World Passport Management has worked with the likes of Lady GagaRedOne,Nicki MinajLil Wayne and Pitbull, among many others. He recently signed Aussie artist Grace Sewell (and since Australasia also gave us the sensation that is Lorde, you may want to keep an eye on her). But mainly we just thought you should know Efe. (9/19p)”

I’ll add a quick profile of Efe below culled from his Linkedin page as well:

1. Went to Federal Government College Illorin
2. Studied International Marketing at Georgia State
3. Joint Venture Partner with IGA & IDJ ( a multi-million dollar partnership on Zander Bleck and Prince Charlez)
4. Partner at Rondor Music Publishing
5. A &R for Enrique Iglesias, Quincy Jones and Producer for Red One

Keep him on your radar.

Cheers,
Uduak

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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