Music Business

Sony Music Entertainment Releases Official Statement on Global Deal with Davido, Announces Launch in Nigeria

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Last week, Sony Music Entertainment signed Davido to a global music deal. I discussed the signing. This week, they put out an official statement about the signing.

A few things to note:

  1. This is the first time I have seen a western label doing business with African acts accord the necessary respect by releasing an official statement that associates the western brand with the African act; and explains what exactly they are trying to do.
  2. Sony Music Entertainment is smart. They enlisted the help of AML reader and industry insider Vanessa Amadi for their public relations. Vanessa has represented the likes of D’Banj, Genevieve Nnaji, Estelle and other local acts in the UK and Nigeria.
  3. I should say that even within Nigeria’s entertainment industry, when label executives sign deals with acts, they remain very secretive. There is never a clear understanding of putting an official release out. I certainly hope Nigerian label executives pay attention and implement these best practices in their future dealings, especially with media and bloggers. Similarly, I hope Nigerian and other African acts who do business with western brands also incorporate a similar business philosophy i.e. write your own narrative don’t have others speculating on what you have done or not done.
  4. The release was sent via PR newswire meaning many mainstream western media houses have picked up the story including Yahoo news.
  5. Africa is hot. I’ve certainly said this for the last nine years when I began Ladybrille and continued when I launched AML. With this understanding, we have what is a reawakening on the continent with western brands saying to local African executives and brands like IROKO, Storm 360, Chocolate City etc. Thanks for showing us there is money to be made. We are coming in for the kill. Indeed, we have seen many technology/lifestyle/entertainment brands launch in Nigeria within the past decade: MTV Base, Tidal, Deezer, Kleek, iTunes, Google, Porsche, Hugo Boss and many more.
  6. The trick is to see whether these relationships will truly be reciprocal, especially where American brands are concerned. Will we default to the one way trading relationship America has always had with Africa, or will we see America adopt trade policies that mirror its foreign competitors in Africa? Only time will tell. Whatever the case may be, what will make Nigeria and other African countries succeed has to be a collaborative effort working with their own. Anything short of that, history will only repeat itself. Very interesting times ahead.

-Ms. Uduak

“Sony Music Entertainment have signed accomplished musician Davido to a groundbreaking global agreement. The deal was inked at the Sony Music offices in New York and will see the American-born Nigerian recording artist release his highly anticipated sophomore album later this year.

In Africa, Davido is a bonafide superstar. After relocating to Nigeria from the United States aged 19, Davido set up HKN records alongside his brother and independently released the first song he ever recorded entitled, ‘Back When’. The track was an instant success and propelled Davido to national stardom as he followed this with the release of his second single and pan-African smash hit, ‘Dami Duro’. This track became one of the biggest airplay records not just on radio in Nigeria but across the continent, catapulting him to superstar status and making him one of the most sought-after artists to collaborate with widening his huge fan base and media support.

His debut album, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ was released in 2012 to critical acclaim earning him countless award nominations and accolades including two MTV Africa Music Awards and the 2014 BET Award for ‘Best African Act’. A world tour followed which saw Davido perform to sell-out venues across Africa, Paris, New York and London. Today, Davido enjoys a massive social media following with a combined number of over 6 million followers across all his platforms.

This deal represents a step forward for Sony Music Entertainment as it grows its roots in Africa. Announcing its official presence in Lagos, Nigeria verifies Sony Music Entertainment’s decision to pursue new business via the introduction of on-the-ground operating entities in an expanded number of markets in the region. The timing of the decision is based on the convergence of a number of positive indicators in Africa’s economy and positive signs in the music industry. Davido is a shining example of this.

Sean Watson, Managing Director, Sony Music Entertainment Africa stated, “Working with incredible talent like Davido heralds a new era for Sony Music Entertainment Africa on the continent. We couldn’t be prouder of our partnership with Davido and we are extremely keen to support his vision to succeed at the highest level in our industry.”

Adam Granite, President, Northern & Eastern Europe and Africa commented. “We are thrilled to welcome Davido into the Sony Music family. We are very much looking forward to bringing one of Africa’s biggest stars to the world. We are also excited to partner with Kamal Ajiboye, Davido’s manager as well as Efe Ogbeni, who will be executive producing the album on our behalf.”

“Music is the universal language that unites and betters the world. It’s always been my dream to take my music and culture to all corners of the world so I’m blessed to be partnering with Sony Music Entertainment on this next chapter. My number one aim is to make my fans and Africa proud” Davido commented.

Photo: 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.
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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2 Comments

  1. Uduak I love how you break everything down. I keep saying it your site should be bookmarked by anyone with aspirations in the entertainment industry.

    ‘Teefah

    1. Awwww… thanks Teefah.

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