I’ve received some feedback from many of you about my recent interview with Audu Maikori, a Nigerian Entertainment Lawyer and C.E.O. of Chocolate City Group, a music and entertainment company with one of the leading records label in Nigeria. While the responses have all been great, this one by far is one of my favorites, and with the permission of the AML reader and listener, I am republishing it here.
If you missed the interview, check it out below.
“BRILLIANT BRILLIANT interview with Audu!
I have been extremely busy for the past few weeks but once I checked your podcast list and saw Audu Maikori, I had to drop everything I was doing. I have had discussions with him in the past about your platform and I knew he wasn’t going to hold back.
You, as usual, covered everything people needed to hear through out the interview. Here are a couple of things that stood out to me:
- You brought up a great point in saying that Nigerians offer this lump sum of money to American artists for a collaboration thinking that it’s what their fans want to hear, and also thinking that it will boost their career. Chocolate City executes this correctly by building relationships with these labels first. That’s what you are supposed to do! Part of the problem is that, like you said, all these people literally wake up and decide they want to form a label with zero knowledge of the business. They do zero research and come up with absurd ideas for collabs without having any long term goals. I remember last year, Spring, when ( a Nigerian industry label executive) was trying to raise 90 million Naira of investor money for a (famous Nigerian song) remix with Nicki Minaj. Can you imagine that rubbish? A huge part of the problem, is the approach and these kinds of people are messing it up for the very few who are going about this the correct way. But like Audu very rightly said, concentrating on Africa for now is key. There’s so much money to be made here that America should be a secondary or even tertiary mission. In fact, the way the American industry is going, they should come over to Africa. Lol.
- Audu touched briefly on Roc Nation Africa. I wish he would have expanded more on that because I think it would have answered your question about what is the dialogue happening between the Nigeria side of entertainment to help put the content on American airwaves. Around this time last year, I spoke to a man named Briant (Beehigh) Biggs. He is Jay-z’s cousin that represents Roc Nation. He has been trying to survey the entertainment industry to determine the best approach on how to bring the artists of Roc Nation into Nigeria for a few years now. He ran a trial run with Wale in bringing him to Nigeria for the first time. Ideally, what he wanted to do was create a pseudo label in Nigeria with top Nigerian artists and the top artists at Roc Nation. He wanted these artist to create all types of content from videos of their daily lives, studio life, party life, etc., put it on a platform, and market it to the telecos for distribution on a digital type platform. I know as recently as last week, Beehigh was able to work out something through Audu and a few others. I’m assuming it’s the collabs and ringback tunes deal he was talking about in the interview. Ringback tunes are one of the most important revenue streams for artists in Nigeria, but with technology advancing as quickly as it is, how long will RBTs last?
- You were very correct in saying that the Loopy and Chocolate City relationship is murky. Lol. There’s tension there o! I saw that one first hand. Lol. It’s a cordial relationship between both labels, but an artist like Ruby, who is signed under Loopy, can never say she is a Chocolate City artist. Also Pryse would never ever claim Loopy, but her label mate, M.I. obviously would claim both. There’s an artist named Enzo who is claiming both Loopy and Chocolate City as well but neither side is claiming her. It’s super complicated. Lol.
- I agreed 10000% with Audu when he said lawlessness is widespread. There’s a supreme lack of ethics and professionalism in that industry. I’m not even going to go into how the women are treated. But the industry must show that you can not get away with your lawlessness. Once that is shown, that’s when the gradual conformity will begin.
Once again Uduak, pure brilliance as always. Last point that I half agree with Audu is, please don’t stop what you are doing. I’ve said it before that you are a great woman and it’s years from now that you will feel the impact of the hours you have dedicated to this platform. I say I half agree because if Audu ain’t giving you dough for your platform then abeg, abeg, abeg. Lol. No money for him please. Take it and enjoy it, you over deserve it. Your efforts will never be in vain in Jesus Name, Amen.