Interviews, Music Business, Podcast

AML 110: (Exclusive) Emma Ugolee on Payola in the Nigerian Music Industry


Long before there was a music video (MV) industry, video awards, countless MV countdown shows, and before MVs became a revenue source for labels and artists, Nigerian artists did not know how to use their MVs to promote their songs, neither did they have a platform to air them. One man, however, Emmanuel (Emma) Ugolee, a broadcast industry veteran, had a vision. He imagined and believed that these artists could have a strong platform to market and promote their songs through their music videos. With determination and blessings from his television station network owner, he created and launched Nigeria’s first top 10 music video countdown. That singular act revolutionized the industry and created a thriving music video industry. Emma joins Ms. Uduak, host of The Africa Music Law Show, on the 110th episode to share his journey and also give the straight up facts about the challenges in Nigeria’s entertainment (broadcast) industry, with a particular focus on Payola. This is part 1 of 2 of a two-part interview.


  • Emma’s personal background.
  • How he broke into the radio and tv broadcasting industry.
  • Trailblazing with Nigeria’s ‘Top 10 Music Video’ countdown.
  • The problem of payola in the Nigerian music industry and the artists, labels, radio station owners etc. who worsened the situation (he drops names).
  • Endemic labor and employment law violations by station owners including unpaid wages to radio hosts/OAPs.
  • Endemic problem of OAPs selling their souls with the practice of payola and the after effects.
  • Solutions for OAPs and station owners.
  • Folklore/traditional music and defining the Nigerian music sound.
  • How the telecommunications industry have replaced record labels and how to fix that issue.
  • COSON (Nigeria’s collecting society), its leadership crisis, and the impact on artists.

Where to Find Emma Ugolee

About The Africa Music Law Show

Hosted by California-based Fashion & Entertainment Lawyer Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak), The Africa Music Law show is a show empowering the African artist through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews. The show has been downloaded over 200,000 times and made iTunes top 4 ‘New & Noteworthy.’ Subscribers include Africa & Hollywood’s power executives, investors, lawyers, artists and other industry stakeholders. The blog itself has been cited in a U.S. top-ranked law school’s ‘International Law Review’ journal. Country demographic: Nigeria (26%), USA (23%), UK (15%), UAE (7%), and Other (29%).

About Ms. Uduak

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak), the founder of Africa Music Law, is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. For almost seventeen years, in her role as an attorney, she has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa and Asia including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She can be reached via email ( or on twitter: @uduaklaw.

Where to Find Ms.Uduak

Twitter: @uduaklaw

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website, livestream and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through its brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

For general inquiries, advertising, licensing, or to appear on the show as a guest, please email ( Thank you for visiting.


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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1 Comment

  1. DX says:

    Great episode! Thanks for this.

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