Can Nigerian Owned Record Labels Create Globally Recognized Female Music Stars? Presenting First Ladies EME’s Niyola, Mavin’s Tiwa Savage, Trybes-IMAN’s Eva

Hello there AML People! Top of the day to you all! Welcome to a new week. May God bless your hustles, according to his will. Now, y’all gotta go get it. As in put it on drive and shut things down in your varied ventures this week! But, before you all do that, what an interesting year this year is proving to be in Nigeria’s entertainment industry. More specifically, our men are remembering to open the doors for the ladies. Obviously, this is from a strictly business perspective.

We saw Don Jazzy hit the ground running with his introduction of Tiwa Savage and the Mavin Records’ First Lady. Since then, eLDee has signed Eva who is technically Trybes-IMAN’s new hip-hop first lady and recently, EME announced the signing of its first lady, R &B artist Niyola. Niyola has been linked with Fr3style in the past. What is up with that Fr3style guy sef? I love his work but can I get some consistency? Fr3style, hello? Where are you? Can we get some new music and consistency?

Can Nigerian Record Labels Create Globally Recognized Female Music Stars? Alright. Great with the signings. Presumably, these labels have done their homework and have made their strategic moves on talents that can propel their brands to new heights and increase their profit margins. The next question is, can these labels create globally recognized female music stars? As in what y’all really got?

Who are some of the top female artists in basketball right now? I am sleeping on the women’s WNBA (it would have been great for comparison). (Back to Nigeria’s music industry and my question), only time will tell. One thing is for sure, these labels have to understand the importance of presentation and brand packaging. They also must keep it professional at all times. For almost all, they have signed female artists with track records of success as unsigned artists. So, whatever the case, these artists should do very well regardless if they become global stars, now that they have the backing and support of these larger labels.

For AML Artists who want to know how to get signed to labels (this is by far the biggest question I get), you gotta be about the business of your music business. Labels here in the USA and in Nigeria want you to come “ready made.” This means you should have your fan base on and offline to point to, good traction in terms of sales of your work whether offline or online; and be prepared to show the kind of value you would bring to the label.

The idea that a label will invest in you, from scratch, in a very competitive music market, means you are not really serious about your career. Step on it, to it, in it, at it and put some numbers on the board so labels will court you, not the other way around.

Check out my summary of some of the first ladies we have seen from the larger labels in Nigeria:

JJC/Big Boyz- Tipsy (Hip-hop) 1st Lady. JJC has worked with so many female artists and continues to.

Don Jazzy/Mavin – Tiwa Savage (Mavin Records 1st Lady)

Chocolate City Group – Pryse (needs to step up her game. CCG y’all need to also invest in rehauling her image: hair, styling and presentation. It needs to be a lot more polished/refined than it currently is.)

EME – Niyola (First Lady – strong presentation on the visuals)

Tybes-IMAN- Eva (Hip-hop, Aramide is signed to the label as an R &B singer)

Knighthouse – They did good with Mo’Cheddah who has since left to form her own label. Any new female signees?

Storm 360 – Sasha P (Hip-hop First Lady), any new female signees? This might be what Obi Asika needs to do to revive the brand on the music end i.e. keep Storm 360 Music Label buzzing in our ears again.

Kennis Music – KSB I guess would technically qualify as First Lady. If not, they do have Goldie as a signed artist.

Did I miss anyone? Y’all let me know. For Nigerian indie (smaller/independent) labels, hit me up. Who are your first ladies? Why did you pick them as first ladies. Send your email including one picture and the best track by your first lady to ([email protected]).

An old video of Niyola . . . Things are about to really heat up!


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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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