Law & Policy, Music Business

Record-Label Producer Agreements: Wizkid Signs First Act, UK Producer Maleek Berry, to Star Boy Entertainment

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Wizkid Signs Maleek Berry to Star Boy EntertainmentWizkid moves from being just an artist to launching an artist owned record label, just like his boss Banky W. On April 17th, 2013, the young artist took to twitter to announce the signing of his first music act, producer Maleek Berry, to his newly formed Star Boy Entertainment.

Maleek Berry, a UK based producer, who already enjoyed a professional relationship with Wizkid prior to signing, is responsible for hit songs such  Wizkid‘s “The Matter” & “Lagos To Soweto.” He has also produced for other famous Nigerian artists including producing  one of Sinzu‘s most famous and one of my all time favorite Nigerian song, “Carolina”.
Starboy Entertainment
AML TIP FOR LABELS & MUSIC PRODUCERS 

Okay, now that we have the congratulatory messages out of the way, what should both sides know when entering this new and exciting relationship?

1. Cover your ikebes, make sure you have a record-label producer agreement in place.

2. Producers, you want an agreement so you know how you will be paid and what to do if the label does not pay you. You also want to protect yourself from inexperienced or inconsiderate labels that will have you working on a project and halfway through, switch producers etc. Life is too short to be bogged down with unnecessary stress and also have your pocket book affected. So, deal with all you want from a label in the honeymoon phase.

3. Labels, you want an agreement because you want to protect yourself from a producer who does not deliver when they say he/she is supposed to. You also want a professional producer who understands deadlines and will be working with the label’s artists to meet their deadlines.

4. Labels, remember you want to OWN the copyrights in the sound recording the producer is creating. So, just as you would the artist, make sure your contract is clear on the advance i.e. the “recording costs” you will advance to the record producer to produce with the label’s artist. Also make sure the contract is clear the  producer will assign all intellectual property rights (copyrights) in the sound recording to the label so the label can do whatever it wants with it. Hone in on delivery terms of the masters and be sure the producer submits the masters in a “technically and commercially satisfactory” standard before  you cut him/her a check. This means his/her work has to be up to par.

5. For AML artists in general, take a look at my discussion on Artist Music Producer Agreements to see some of the key points to know when negotiating directly with a producer.

Needless to say, we will be keeping an eye on Maleek Berry, won’t we? Congrats Maleek, congrats Wizkid, #grownuptinz.

-Uduak

“Dem say dem bad
But I swear dem do nothing oo
Dem say dem go throw me punch
But I Swear dem nor reach ooooo
20 man shall fall that day if you cross my lane oo
All your man shall fall that day if you cross my lane . . .”

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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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