Category Archives: Lifestyle and Living

Members Of ECOWAS State


Republic
of BENIN
BURKINA FASO
The Republic
of CABO VERDE
The Republic
of COTE D’IVOIRE
The Republic
of GAMBIA
The Republic
of GHANA
The Republic
of GUINEE
The Republic
of GUINEE BISSAU
The Republic of
LIBERIA
The Republic of
MALI
The Republic of
NIGER
The Federal
Republic of NIGERIA
The Republic of
SENEGAL
The Republic of
SIERRA LEONE
TOGOLESE
Republic

Jamila Sings For Unity And Peace


For any young performer, the audience can be a huge problem. If the performer has to sing and then dance, it is another ball game all together. At 14, Jamila Jemstone had her own jittery moments with the audience. Many years after, she still remembers the first time she came face-to-face with one. It was in the United Kingdom and she was doing the song ‘I Like to be in America’.

“I was in Westside story but not a leading part; it was terrifying, as I was quite shy. When you’re young, coordination is still a learning curve,” she recalls. But she was not eaten up by her shyness on that day. “I took a deep breath and just got on with it. The show was well received so that boosted my confidence,” she speaks up, quite relieved with a smile in-between.

Nigerian-born Jamila was raised in the UK. She has spent the better part of ten years working within the UK music industry at Virgin Records UK and Universal Music UK. That is no surprise really because she believes music is in her genes: “My mother’s family is music inclined, her mother was an established pianist and cellist and my great grand father was a great orator.” No wonder.

Her experience extends to marketing, television, radio and press where she has worked closely with many artists and musicians on various media campaigns. She has also worked in artist Management. Jamila has followed up her first single ‘No Regrets” with the Nigerian unity song ‘We Are One’, which was shortlisted as the anthem for Team Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Both songs have enjoyed steady airplay and have been well received by critics.

She offers an insight to the messages that she passes across in her songs. “A lot of my songs are either my experiences or people I have met. My songs are about love, honesty and forgiveness. I wrote ‘We Are One’ specifically for Nigeria. It is a peace and unity song,” she reveals.

Jamila thinks that her fans can relate to her songs because “we have all at some stage had similar experiences in life regarding love and hopelessness. For her, relationships are what make us human and every cloud has a silver lining. She draws plenty of inspiration from Motown’s Stevie Wonder and Hal David who penned a lot of Motown songs.

If you asked her to describe a typical fan of her music, she has that person in her sights and  mind. “A true lover of music and lyrics; understand the tango between the two,” she says. And adds:  “My fans understand the tango between them and have a deep appreciation of the creative process.”

Jamila is currently working with various Nigerian producers to develop more songs for her debut album ‘Story Book’ which is due for official release in early 2013. Her videos for ‘No Regrets’ and her follow up single ‘We Are One’ can be watched on YouTube and AIT.

Jamila’s style is a cross–breed. She has unique song structures with popular melodies. She has been song writing for many years and is now showcasing her work, as well as encouraging others to harness their musical talent through Abuja –based Jemstone Productions.

Most of her own material has been written and produced in Nigeria.  She hopes to promote producers, musicians and vocalists from the African continent and beyond.

Wizkid Makes Appearance on Ndani Tv At An Interview


Wizkid Makes Appearance, he was recently on Ndani TV. He discusses his visit to the USA, the industry friends he made (Chris Brown, Young Jeezy, The Game) and most importantly, for AML artists, the business of music i.e. how he was looking to expand into merchandising and capitalizing on his brand name.

What is merchandising?

Revisit my archived (older) discussions below on how the music industry makes money and then watch the clip below.

How Does the Music Industry Make Money?

To discuss revenue streams from record label agreements, artists you must have a fundamental understanding of how the music industry makes its monies. Music industries make money primarily through: 1) sound recordings (track record you hear on Itunes or actual physical album) and 2) music compositions (written songs artist performs). The two methods above have many layers that generate numerous streams of revenue for both the artists and label. Wizkid Makes Appearance

Sound Recordings Streams of Income

  1. Advance: Assume AML is a record label. Assume Davido  is signed to AML Records. Davido wants to produce his Freshman album ‘I’m So Fly, Err’Body Want Me’ under the AML record label contract. AML would give Davido an advance (from thousands to millions of Naira/Dollars/Pounds etc.) that covers the costs of Davido’s’s recordings so he can produce his album. That money is not free. Davido will have to repay AML from the sales of his album.  So, Advances are a source of income for Davido and AML.
  2. Record Royalty: In addition to the advance, Davido “can” make money through a percentage of his album sales. This is referred to as royalties. I say “can” because Nigeria is still slow on royalties. The percentage depends on Davido’s’s bargaining power. For example, Davido has never released an album, yet his name is known nationwide in Nigeria. He has a solid following and that translates to a higher bargaining power. So he could bargain on the higher end of the typical 12-18%. If he is ultimately sitting on top of Nigeria’s music world, it can be up to 20%. These percentages are consistent with music industry standard here in the States. Wizkid Makes Appearance
  3. Advance Recouped: AML, as a label, must recoup its advance and other expenses given to Davido to produce his album, it’s business. We saw how this all went wrong when Stingomania. In that case, Stingomania artists collected advances yet they wanted to walk out of their contract without completing its terms.  They claimed they were yet to really see their names in the spotlight the way they wanted it. Too bad, so sad. Think before you get in bed with that pretty woman (record label) because you can’t just up and leave when she has invested all that money on you. Artists are getting sued for breach of contract in these cases. You are an adult, you signed a contract, you fulfill your obligations and where you want out, you get an entertainment lawyer to see if you can get out and what the damages will be if you get out. SeeStingomania v. Trybeson Dudukokosee also Colosal Entertainment v. Soul E.
  4.  For artists in general, this is where it’s tough and money management goes a long way. Once your 12-18% royalty comes in, you have to pay AML back. By the time AML subtracts all advance fees such as money for personal care (rent, transportation, food etc.), marketing and promotions, video production, tour support, recording costs etc. it adds up and for majority of artists, even on big labels, it is more of a wash or at times, they still owe the label money. Borrow wisely. If you already have a car and house or your parents home to live in, especially if you are in your late teens to early 20s, you can forego having a house and car from your label and buy it only when you have earned the money and can afford to do so.
  5. Copyright: A quick note here on copyright specific to sound recordings. AML will want the copyright to Davido’s sound recordings. For example, Davido signs with AML. AML guarantees it will put out Davido’s first record with an option to renew the contract up to 5-8 options. This means, if AML chooses, it can have Davido put out 5-8 album under this agreement. AML owns the copyright to all albums because Davido contracts its away. Again, reference the Stingomania drama to see when all of this goes wrong. Wizkid Makes Appearance

Music Compositions
Now let’s look at music compositions (the written song an artist performs). Typically, in most western music markets, someone else writes the song(s). In Nigeria, if Davido writes all  songs on his album,  he would earn money for the written songs in addition to the monetary scheme above. As you can see, if an artist writes and performs his/her work, he/she earns more than an artist who just performs.

Historically, record labels were not aggressive with wanting a share of the publishing rights (the written songs) and touring. Now, labels want it all because record sales are down. In Nigeria, piracy is a big issue that makes it hard for record labels to recoup on their investments. A higher return on their investments is through artists tour, concerts etc. Here is the breakdown:

Music Composition Streams of Income?

  • Mechanical license: When AML coverts Davido’s music onto an actual CD or audio and sells it, it must pay him. In the USA it is called a “compulsory license” clause. The law requires a payment of 9.1 cents per track. So, Davido would make 9.1 cents for each of his tracks on his album. Davido, whether in the USA or Nigeria, owns the songs while AML would own the sound recordings. Davido  is giving AML permission (license) to sell his songs. If AML also negotiated with online distributors like Itunes and Amazon etc., to distribute his music, AML will also have to pay 9.1cents per digital download i.e per track. In Nigeria, this is intriguing because artists are figuring and setting their relationships directly with Itunes etc. In the USA, labels now negotiate this part under a clause called a “Controlled Composition Clause.” It means they would pay Davido (writer and performer) and artist on their label, 25% less the full 9.1cents; than what they would pay if he was unsigned.

    Wizkid Makes Appearance

  • Performance royalties: In the USA, if Davido’s music is played on a radio station like Beat FM or Nigezie (tv), he would not be paid for the sound recordings but he would be paid for the compositions. Many countries in Europe pay for both. A recent US law now allows record labels to make money off digital play of sound recordings i.e. satellite radio etc. In Nigeria, October 2010, the following announcement was made:  “Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s sole government approved collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, has begun negotiations for music copyright licences with all commercial users of music across the nation. This follows the expiration of the grace period announced by COSON for all commercial users of music in Nigeria to regularize their copyright licences. COSON has in the last 12 weeks carried out massive public education on the issue including the release of public notices. Category of music users affected include broadcast media organizations, hotels, restaurants, event venues, advertising companies, banks, telecoms establishments, airlines, road transporters, oil companies and such other enterprises in Nigeria which use music in any way to aid their operations.” .  . My sense is that artists  might have to sue these third parties, when they use their music and do not pay, to force  the court to make a ruling and set precedent;  before we can truly start seeing organizations fear and actually pay artists.
  • Ringtones: This is still a relatively new concept both in the USA and Nigerian music markets. Gongo Aso by 9ice, for example, was a big hit back in the day. In the USA, for the Gongo Aso master tones i.e. a snippet of the full track, 9ice would have to be paid 24 cents for his track. In Nigeria, artists with hit songs negotiate with companies like MTN on such rates. In the USA, labels demand 40% of profits from ringtones. They split that with the artist giving them either 25% on the low or 50% on the high. Watch out for labels that even want your voice tones. For example, if you are Eva and your fans want to purchase your voice saying “I done Did It,” many labels in the US now want a percentage of this.
  • Synchronization Royalties: Assume Emem Isong, top Nollywood producer comes to Davido and says, “Hey Davido, I’d like to have your track ‘Back When’ as (background music) in my film, ‘Bursting Out.’”  This is a form of licensing. If Davido agrees, he is entitled to a payment from that synchronization. So, Davido makes money from the song (the written part) on the film, the sound recording, record sales etc.
  • Merchandising: This is a big area for Nigerian artists to make money just like they do shows. It still remains largely untapped. Generally speaking, artists in the USA license their name to a merchandise company who then produces their merchandise items (t-shirt, posters etc.). The artist makes money whenever that merchandize sells. AML would want about 25-30% of that cut. Artists typically will want to prevent AML from getting a cut from merchandise sales.
  • Touring/Live Performances: Nigerian artists have just begun touring. The first real tour we have seen is that of Lynxxx with Pepsi. For the most part, however, while Nigerian artists perform at concerts in different states, they do not go on tour. It is still a very new concept.  it is way too expensive to do a tour  and most labels, even the big ones in Nigeria, will have a hard time footing such a bill. They need huge sponsors like Pepsi etc. If they could foot the bill, it is not unusual to expect 12% of the cut, which is what is typical out here in the West. The bulk of the money then is made out of shows. The percentage the label gets for shows is open to negotiations. In extreme cases it could be as high as 50%.

Wizkid Makes Appearance on Ndani Tv At An Interview

In Abuja Nigeria’s Got Talent – Fire eaters! Magicians! Acrobats!


     

 

The Rock View Hotel in Abuja was agog with thousands of uniquely talented people who came to vie for spots in the semi-finals of the Nigeria’s Got talent contest.

The N10 million grand prize attracted talents from flexible acrobats, razor-blade-eating magicians to fire-eaters all seeking for a world stage to showcase their unique talents.

Debbie Schulman, the producer of the show, is excited about the show berthing in Nigeria and hopes to give fans a show to always look forward to.

The Nigeria’s Got Talent train moves to Enugu’s Universal Hotel, Independence Layout, before moving to Monty Suites, Calabar, Cross River State on August 7.

Beverly Hills Hotel, Port Harcourt, will play host to the train on August 9; BB Hotels, Warri on August 11; Excalibur Hotel, Benin City on August 13; Premiere Hotel, Ibadan, on August 16; and the audition’s grand finale slated for the Box Studios, Bamako Road, Ojodu, Lagos on the 18th and 19th.

The competition train hopes to discover talented acts who are ready to wow the judges and viewers at home with their talents.

Nigeria’s Got Talent is the biggest reality television show on the shores of Nigeria and all that participants need to do is to register for the show at http://www.gottalentnigeria.com, show up at the venue, showcase their talent.

The show is powered by telecommunication giants Airtel, and supported by Cool FM, Wazobia FM, and Nigeria Info as official radio partners. It’s billed to run from July to December this year.

The ‘Got Talent’ franchise has, over the years, produced many notable performers including Diversity, Bianca Ryan and Britain’s Got Talent’s 2009 1st runner up Susan Boyle, whose debut album became the fastest selling UK debut album of all time, selling over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.

In Abuja Nigeria’s Got Talent – Fire eaters! Magicians! Acrobats!

Psquare Lost Their mom Mrs Josephine Okoye


DEVELOPING STORY: The Okoyes, one of Africa’s most prominent pop music families, have lost their mainframe with the passing yesterday, of their mother Mrs Josephine Okoye.

Mrs Okoye

No word yet from Peter, Paul, Tony, Jude and the rest of the Okoye siblings. But those close to them have confirmed to NET, that the deceased passed after being ill for sometime.

Fond of attending her son’s events as often as she can, her last public appearance was at the Psquare Invasion concert in August 2011.

An unrepentant supporter of her kids, the late Mrs Okoye, although a Christian minister, encouraged pop duo Peter and Paul with their music careers, giving her full backing long before it became profitable; even at the risk of upsetting her husband who would have none of it.

We could not immediately confirm the cause of death, and we’re working to get details from the family.

Psquare Lost Their mom Mrs Josephine Okoye