Since music’s inception as both a popular pastime and a lucrative industry, popular record labels in Nigeria have played a crucial role in developing new talent and propelling established artists. If the complete demographic of the artists associated with these labels are considered, their value might approach several billion Nigerian Naira.
Musicians have their own imprints on these record labels. A record label owner, like the owner of a company, has a collection of artists signed to his label, just like a business owner has a collection of companies. Many Nigerian record labels have consistently delivered annual hits from their collaborations. See some innovative record labels in Nigeria.
If the music industry were a set, a record label would be one subset, and artists would be another. A record label consists of performers who sell their songs. They include artists, DJs, producers, and other musicians who want to benefit from music.
Record labels frequently invest in adding new talents to further artists’ success. Aside from the larger ones, many smaller ones release music. Smaller independent companies can’t compete with the big boys who can afford to contract and pay for famous musicians.
Despite the industry’s many challenges, we’ve gotten record labels that have found exceptional success. Today’s agenda is an examination of the top 10 record labels in Nigeria.
Top 10 Popular Record Labels in Nigeria
1. Mavin Records
Michael Collins Ajereh, popular as Don Jazzy, established the record label in 2011 after his split from ex-partner D’Banj. Before 2012, D’Banj‘s record company, “Mo’Hit Records,” was the undisputed king of Nigeria’s music industry. Among the featured performers were Wande Coal and D’Banj, both of whom released highly regarded albums.
In 2012, The Mavins Dynasty surpassed all competition to become the biggest and most influential record label in Nigeria and West Africa. D’Prince, Reekado Banks, Koredo Bello, Dr Sid, and Di’Ja are just a few of the artists that have performed so far. From “Dorobucci” to “Adaobi,” their music has topped the charts and been played on radio worldwide.
2. StarBoy Entertainment
Wizkid is a Nigerian A-list music star. He started StarBoy Entertainment in 2013 after leaving EME Records to pursue his solo career. Wizkid says he started StarBoy Entertainment to help up-and-coming musicians.
It’s a beautiful way to give back to your community! His record label is a unique part of the Nigerian music industry. His label has signed many artists, including Maleek Berry and Efya.
3. YBNL Nation
“Yahoo Boy, No Laptop” abbreviates as “YBNL.” Olamide‘s second studio album inspired the name. It is undeniably one of the most prominent record companies, having released albums by several legendary artists, both past and present.
YBNL has been at the top of the charts on various media for a long time. In addition to Vector and DJ Enimoney, the family includes Lil Kesh.
Olamide, the label’s boss, and his team—including Jayboi, Fire Boy, Whizhablbaby, Precious, Pheelz, Young John, and the immortal DJ Enimoney—have gotten things running smoothly.
4. Davido Music Worldwide (DMW)
There was a time when Davido belonged to the HKN crew. Since OBO and his brother Wale controlled the label, it had a more familial vibe. It also recruited Shina Rambo‘s cousin B-Red.
That company’s name says it all: Davido Music Worldwide was established by Davido. He added Mayorkun and Dremo, the “MAMA” vocalist, to his label. When it comes to music in Nigeria, many listeners turn to DMW.
Over the years, the label has grown and signed many young talents. DMW is repping in Africa, across Europe and America.
5. Chocolate City Music
The music empire was established in 2005 by Yahaya Maikori and Paul Okeugo as a subsidiary of the Chocolate City Group.
Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, The Guy (formerly MI Abaga), and many more talented rappers are just a few of the many talents on the label. The group includes Femi Kuti, DJ Caise, Pryse, and Kenya’s Victoria Kimani.
Top Record Labels in Nigeria that Need Artists
6. EME Records
Banky W, an R&B singer, achieved widespread fame in Nigeria. Empire Mates Entertainment began operations in 2002, making it the oldest continuously operating business in the capital region of New York State. Reborn in Lagos, Nigeria, EME had its beginnings when Banky W returned to show his own nation what he was made of.
Star Boy, or “Wizkid,” is an integral part of EME’s backstory. Banky has put in extra time and effort to improve his performance, and as a result, he has four more years of employment lined up.
When he outgrew EME, he left to become a worldwide promoter for StarBoy Entertainment. Banky W is at the helm of EME, and Niyola is the group’s sole gorgeous Diva. Shaydee is on the up and up, and DJ Xclusive is an exciting addition to the roster.
7. Capital Hill Records
Clarence Peters owns the label. He’s the son of the famous Nollywood star Clarion Chukwura and Sir Shina Peters, a Nigerian artist. Capital Hill Records, which has been around for a while, has built a solid reputation amongst other record companies because of the fantastic producing talents of its CEO.
Former crew members include rappers Chidinma and Tha Suspect. The connection between artists, record labels, and feuds is deep, but you already knew that. For the time being, the rapper Ill Bliss holds sway.
8. Kennis Music
Kehinde Ogungbe, better known by his stage name Keke, started the company. He brought on board Dayo Adeniyi (aka D1), who eventually became CEO of the company. They started the record label in the business of making movies and TV shows in 1998. For the duration of its existence, it has achieved nothing but success.
Label alumni include 2Baba, OJB Jezreel, and Sound Sultan. Currently, Eedris Abdulkareem and Jo-El have a presence there.
9. Marlian Music
Azeez Fashiola (a.k.a. Naira Marley launched the Marlians record label in the early 2000s. Naira Marley signed four new artists to his label during his concert at the Marlian feast. Some of these artists are Zinoleesky, DJ Lambo, and Fabian.
10. G-WorldWide Entertainment
The company was founded by Festus Ehimare (also known as Emperor Geezy) in 2007. In 2007, when the label was still in its infancy, it signed Kiss Daniel, a top performer. If you’ve heard the hits “Woju” or “Laye,” you’ll see why it’s at the top of the list.
In 2022, Kizz Daniel released his hit song “Buga” with Tekno. Since its release, “Buga” has set many records. People enjoyed the song’s three-minute length better through dance challenges on Tiktok or Instagram, which helped it gain more popularity. The song “Buga” is one of the most listened songs on streaming apps in 2022.
As a music artist, signing to a record label in Nigeria has tremendous benefits. You get to do collaborations with other stars easily. You get your shows and events appropriately managed.
The sales of merch is another vital benefit, yet salient. Above all, you get comprehensive promotion of your songs, fans’ support, and social media publicity through the label. A record Label helps an artist grow their music brand.