Music Business

Davido Reveals the True Story Behind his $1Million Sony Music Deal

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In January of this year, Davido signed a  $1million deal with Sony music. He now sheds light on the specific details of the deal in a new interview with The News Nigeria.

Excerpts:

“Congrats on your Sony Music landmark deal. Tell us how you managed to pull through this $1 million deal?

Thanks. I am so happy this has eventually happened. I signed the deal at Sony Music Entertainment headquarters in New York City in January this year. It is a two-album recording and distribution deal which will allow for the publishing and global distribution of my intellectual materials.

How much did it cost you to seal this deal?

Look at me, did I look like someone who must have lost huge money? Nope. The deal cost me nothing. In fact, I wasn’t excited about the thought of the deal initially but I was convinced by my family members to sign the deal. Everyone said I could do this, but my own thinking with regard to Sony was that why would I sign to a label when I had already worked so well in Africa to build a brand?

So at what point did you give in to the deal?

That was about eight months ago. I was so skeptical about the deal but my dad (Dr. Deji Adeleke), my sisters and other members of the family pressured me into looking at the deal. I didn’t even talk to Kamal (Ajiboye), my manager, for two weeks because I wanted to be sure it was the right thing to do. I told them I just wanted to drop my (second) album because it was ready. Afterwards, I decided to meet the Sony reps and they told me they were not interested in Africa. They said I can have that (Africa) and do whatever I want with it. And I then said since I still had my Africa I had no problem signing the deal.

Asides the $1million cash, what other benefits would accrue to you signing this deal?

The most important thing is that I retain the right to my music and performances. Before signing the deal in January, I consulted widely especially with the renowned entertainment lawyer, Joel Katz who had represented many global stars such as late Michael Jackson, Ludacris, Justin Timberlake and more. Katz explained to me that I should look at the bigger picture. And I am happy that I owe my licenses and masters 100 per cent.

The name, Efe Ogbeni, an executive with Sony/ATV, keep reoccurring whenever anything on this deal is mentioned. What are his roles in all these?

Efe is like my brother. We grew up together in America. When my brother told him I was doing music, he became connected with me and he kept following our movement. He so much believes in Afrobeats. He was one of the people that made the deal between myself and Akon for ‘Dami Duro’s remix’ possible. Way back even before D’Banj got involved with Kanye West, Efe had already told me that we could pull this off. In 2013, I was in London five times over this record deal but never really took it seriously. But last year, at BET Awards, the pressure was simply too much. Efe is an amazing guy who believes in me and has been like a brother to me. He is also going to be the Executive producer for my next album.

The name, Efe Ogbeni, an executive with Sony/ATV, keep reoccurring whenever anything on this deal is mentioned. What are his roles in all these?

Efe is like my brother. We grew up together in America. When my brother told him I was doing music, he became connected with me and he kept following our movement. He so much believes in Afrobeats. He was one of the people that made the deal between myself and Akon for ‘Dami Duro’s remix’ possible. Way back even before D’Banj got involved with Kanye West, Efe had already told me that we could pull this off. In 2013, I was in London five times over this record deal but never really took it seriously. But last year, at BET Awards, the pressure was simply too much. Efe is an amazing guy who believes in me and has been like a brother to me. He is also going to be the Executive producer for my next album…”

TheNewsNigeria has the full story.

Photo credit and description: Sony Music Entertainment Sign Nigerian Musician Davido – Pictured (L to R): Adewale Adeleke, Chairman, HKN Records; Adam Granite, President, Northern & Eastern Europe and Africa, Sony Music International; Dusko Justic, Vice President, International Marketing, Sony Music International; Kamal Ajiboye, Manager for Davido; Joel Katz, Chairman Media & Entertainment, Greenberg Traurig; Efe Ogbeni, Executive Producer / Head A&R, Regime Music Societe; Sean Watson, Managing Director, Sony Music Africa – (Seated): David Adeleke aka Davido (Photo credit – Sony Music Entertainment) (PRNewsFoto/Sony Music Entertainment)

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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.
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