Nigerian entertainers have continued to record great strides over the years. The attention of both foreign and local investors has been drawn and sustained. The video of Yemi Alade’s 2014 hit single Johnny which brought her into the limelight has almost 100 million views. She has gone on tours to different places in the world and has had sold out concerts in several countries across the world. In 2016, she won the MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Female African artist having won it the previous year.
In a 2016 interview with The Fader, Ms. Alade mentioned that it is more difficult for her to break through as an artist, being constrained by finances and societal stereotypes. Also, due to the fact that the music business – in fact, entertainment business generally – is fast becoming digital, she pointed out that every artist who truly wants to be acknowledged must be ready to be an entrepreneur and invest in social media publicity. Despite government grants and funds from private investors, the successful Nigerian entertainer still has to bring more than just talent to the table.
Also worthy of note is the diversification of the business. DJ Spinall, for instance, is also a hype man, radio personality and owns a record producing company. He has toured the United States, won major awards and recently signed a major international record deal. His collaborations with reputable artists keep him relevant.
Lil Kesh, Wande Coal, Olamide, Wizkid are all artists who have become entertainment entrepreneurs floating their own record labels. Wizkid, who started as a talented artiste under Banky W’s label, is an ambassador for huge brands across Africa and the world. Being an entrepreneur himself, he has artistes signed to his label.
Since everything is now going digital, PR is an essential aspect of the entertainment business. Those who want to remain relevant have used this to their advantage. Scandals, rumored relationships are now commonplace in the industry. Whether deliberate or not, these controversies yield profits for the entertainers.
In December 2018, Wizkid had a sold out concert in Lagos as well as headlining other yearly musical festivals and shows. Most of the tickets were sold online and brands readily jump on these projects because of the artist(es) involved.
Music producer and entrepreneur, Don Jazzy, still has African music heavyweight, Tiwa Savage, signed to his Mavin label. With a successful 2017 and 2018 for the talented musician, the label also benefits.
Also, reports reveal that the entertainment sector is the second highest employer of labor in Nigeria after agriculture. Targeting foreign audiences, social media promotions, developing music apps and creating content on entertainment websites all, in no small measure, yield great profits for the entertainer. For instance, iTunes has become a leading online music platform for artistes to sell at a price to the listeners. This has, to an extent, helped check piracy.
Contributing significantly to the nation’s economy, this sector can be well utilized for its financial advantages regardless of the big risks involved.