What’s the big deal with WizKid and Tiwa Savage’s Record deal?

Wizkid recently signed a multi-album worldwide deal with RCA Records/Sony Music International.

Last year, Nigerian songstress Tiwa Savage signed to international label Roc Nation.

How do these two events help the music industry?

On the surface, an international record deal benefits individual artists but it is so much more. These artists also double up as cultural ambassadors promoting Nigerian culture to a global audience.

Adam Granite, President, Northern & Eastern Europe and Africa, Sony Music International said “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome WizKid to the Sony Music family. This is an incredibly important signing as we look to make Africa a major source of repertoire for the world. Wiz is a key ambassador for this movement and we look forward to helping him conquer the globe,”

If such ventures prove profitable for Roc Nation and RCA records this could open up the door for other Nigerian artists. This means that that musicians behind the scenes such as Nigerian producers could end up working with well-established artists in America.

International record deals provide a wider market and customer base for Nigerian musicians. The advantages of such ventures are countless, as long as the record labels invest sufficiently and most importantly if western consumers buy their music en masse.

With the amount of international tours by popular Nigerian and Ghanaian artists, it is clear that there is strong potential for success.

Record deals have never been easy to navigate for artists, less so now because of dwindling record sales. People prefer to stream on platforms like spotify and YouTube. Record labels are the decision makers and are never shy to end contracts with artists at the first sign of troubled sales.

D’banj’s deal with Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D music ended up catastrophically, yes Kanye made a cameo in D’Banj’s music video and it helped promote D’banj to a wider audience but I wonder what the monetary value was? Was he better off investing in his former label before looking abroad for a better deal?

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D’banj never released an album with G.O.O.D music which was a missed opportunity. D’banj is still popular but he is no longer Nigeria’s ‘biggest’ artist for a number of reasons but his deal with G.O>OD music was a turning point in the wrong direction in his career. Nonetheless that happened in 2010. Years later Tiwa Savage and Wizkid have every chance at being Nigeria’s musical cultural pioneers.

WizKid has collaborated with the likes of Drake, Trey Songz and Chris Brown. Tiwa Savage is rumoured to be working with Remy Ma. These are all welcome collaborations. The next step is for WizKid and Tiwa Savage to become their own brand that can stand individually and of course sell records en masse.

This is perhaps the most clichéd statement but Tiwa Savage and WizKid’s potential global success could inspire a generation. If these record deals are financially and creatively successful then young Nigerians have more to aspire to. Their success can begin to reconstruct the negative preconceptions of Nigeria in the West. Individual international record deals will not revolutionise Nigeria’s music industry but it may be the spark that inspires a revolution.