African Music by michelle savage May 24, 2022
Check Out The Top Biggest Record Labels In Africa (SEE DETAILS)
With African Artistes gaining momentum and making names for themselves in the global music industry, it’s important to recognise the record labels behind their success. These record labels are responsible for the management of the production, distribution and promotion of an artiste’s music. They also serve as lauch pads for new artistes, and help to push and professionalize the careers of artistes signed under them. The following are the biggest African record labels, working hard for the globalization of Afrobeats.
Unarguably, the Mavin dynasty is the biggest and most influential record label in Nigeria and Africa at large. It was founded in 2012 by recording artiste and producer, Don Jazzy, following the closure of Mo’ Hits Records owned by Don Jazzy and D’banj. Twenty years after it’s establishment, Mavin Records is now worth $45 million with hundreds of employees. The company’s success so far, is largely credited to Don Jazzy’s amazing ability to find the most talented and promising Artistes, refurbish them and project them into the music industry as superstars.
Mavin Record is now a large business entity with financial backings from international investors, an imprint label with “Jonzing world” and a holding company called “Mavins Holding”. Famous Artistes like Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal and Reekado Banks owe their success to this label.
Mavin Records is currently home to talented artistes like Rema, Ayra Starr, Korede Bello, Ladipoe, Johnny Drille and more.
Of all the record labels on this list, Gallo records is the oldest. The record label, which was originally founded in 1926 by Eric Gallo, is the largest and oldest independent record label in South Africa. Gallo records is a giant that was a result of the merging of two independent south African record labels – Gallo Africa and G.R.C (Gramophone Record Company). After the merge, the company was known as Gallo-GRC for five years, before changing its name to Gallo Record Company.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the record label accommodates different genres of music, especially indigenous ones. It is the brain behind the success of talented legends like Miriam Makeba, Lucky Dube, Hugh Masekela and Black Mambazo, Stimela, Dorothy Masuka and many more.
In 2020, talented super star, DJ Black Coffee acquired a significant stake in Gallo Music Investments, a move which was expected to usher South African music into a new era, on a global scale.
With over 17 years of experience in the African Music Industry, Chocolate City is a record label to be reckoned with. The record label was founded in 2005 in Nigeria, by Audu Maikori, Yahaya Maikori and Paul Okeugo. Chocolate City is a subsidiary of Chocolate Music Group, one of the biggest entertainment corporations in Africa.
Initially founded as a nightclub, Chocolate City later became the biggest promotions outfit in Northern Nigeria. Former artistes signed to the label are M.I, Ice Prince, Victoria Kimani, Jesse Jagz, Brymo and more.
In 2019, the world’s largest independent music company, Warner Music Group, announced a partnership with Chocolate City in Nigeria. This partnership has further elevated the record label, establishing it as a powerhouse in the African entertainment industry.
Artistes presently signed to Chocolate City are Femi Kuti, CKay Dice Ailes, Ruby Gyang, Blaqbonez and more.
Davido Music Worldwide is one of the record labels currently projecting Afrobeats to the world. Founded in 2016 by talented superstar, Davido, DMW has quickly established itself as a powerhouse in the Nigerian music industry. He started the record label by signing two artistes – Singer, Mayorkun and Rapper, Dremo.
Since then, the label has gone bigger and better, winning several awards such as “Record Label Of The Year”, at City People Music Awards and Beatz Awards.
The reason why this label is so popular and influential is the family-like support that its artistes give to each other. The artistes also show love to one another by regularly featuring in each other’s songs.
Artistes currently signed to the label are Davido, Dremo, Peruzzi, Liya, May D, Idowest, B-Red D and more.
WASAFI CLASSIC BABY (WCB)
Wasafi Classic Baby, popularly known as WCB, is the most successful record label in East Africa. It was founded in 2016 by talented Tanzanian artiste, Diamond Platnumz. It launched itself into the African music industry by signing four Artistes at once – Harmonize, Raycanny, Queen Darlene and Rich Mavoko. The record label is currently based in Dar es salaam, Tanzania.
Following its success in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, the CEO of the label, Diamond Platnumz, attributed the label’s growth to hardwork and dedication to producing amazing songs and music videos.
Since its establishment, WCB has grown into a large business conglomerate with subsidiaries like Wasafi TV, Wasafi Fm, Wasafi Bet and Zoom Extra. Artistes presently signed to this record label are Diamond Platnumz, Queen Darleen, Lava Lava, Rich Mavoko and Mbosso.
YBNL is Nigerian rapper Olamide’s second studio album. It was released as the follow-up to his debut studio album Rapsodi on November 12, 2012. Kay Switch, Tiwa Savage, Dammy Krane, Davido, Kidakudz, Reminisce, Base 1, Buckwyla, and Minus make appearances on the album.
Olamide promoted the album with a premiere party at Octopus Club in Yaba, Lagos, including Dammy Krane, Morell, Djzeez, Phyno, Phenom, Samklef, Skales, and Lace.
On March 21, 2013, Olamide performed at Mazabs Event Centre in Ilorin before to the album’s premiere celebration in Yaba.
List Of Current Artist In YBNL Olamide. DJ Enimoney. Fireboy DML. B.Banks. Whizhablbaby. PRECIOUS (PREDIQUI) Asake. Jayboi.
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