Artistes, labels’ insincerity responsible for breach of contract — Usman, BLE COO
For Usman Kazeem Kayode better known as UKK, the issue of trust and breach of contractual agreement, which is prevalent in the Nigerian music industry, particularly between artistes and their recording labels/management companies, will continue to abound, as long as both parties are not sincere.
According to him, the artistes and their record labels need to put their cards on the table so they can have a mutual understanding. He admitted that true that most record labels have ripped off their artistes.
“This is why it’s important for artistes to read through the contract thoroughly with their lawyers before putting their signature on the paper. In BLE, we are very transparent; we see no need for dealing unfairly with our artistes because they are part of the reason we are in business. So, there is no hanky-panky,” he said.
The University of Ilorin Human Anatomy graduate, and certified music technologist as well as sound manager from The Naija’s Dreams’ Studio, Lagos, stated that Nigerian entertainment industry, the music subsector, in particular, has been phenomenal, especially in terms of growth and development.
“Thanks to the industry broad market, which is necessitated by the expansion of demand and supply of contents through digital and non-digital media. This is further reinforced by the industry’s inclusion in the computation of the nation’s rebased GDP in 2014.”
He stated that PwC in its recent Entertainment and Media Outlook had reported that the industry is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to $10.5 billion market share by the end of 2023.
Against this backdrop, the COREN certified engineer said he sought to make a difference in the Nigerian entertainment space by promoting cultural networks through his Big Leaguers Entertainment (BLE) outfit.
“Our vision is to create a network of people connected by diverse artistic expressions, allowing all the creative works to reach their key audience. We aim to establish an artistic movement from local to global space that interacts physically and through technological means, adapting to the needs and tastes of entertainment users.
“Our concern to contribute to the industry arises through factors such as time, persistence and patience, but two of the main factors are great intrinsic talent and consistency in creating quality content.”
Speaking further, Usman explained that the idea behind establishing BLE is thinking a cultural initiative where young artistes (talent waiting to be recharged), could unleash their artistic talents.
“BLE was borne out of a passion to give shape to the industry, as a comprehensive entertainment production company that offers artistic, technical and logistic services for artistes, companies and the public. We are in the business of discovering and promoting young talents, who will unleash their artistic skills in the ever-expanding entertainment sector. We want to create an inclusive platform for artistic talent,” he stated.
On how the outfit intends to achieve the lofty idea, he said: “We hope to do this through our values, which are rooted in our experiences that we create and share with our clients and users. This includes Trust, which is based on our professional conduct and experience; Creativity, which is developed from the inspiration for the conception of ideas through a participatory methodology (design thinking), thus taking full advantage of the management of resources to obtain an optimal result.
“Memorable; at BLE we make the difference between the typical type. As a team of great aptitude and human attitude trained with extensive artistic-technical knowledge, we come together through strategic thinking and actions to make everyday life extraordinary. Our aim is to create and implement a high production model with the best standards.”
Commenting on what can be done to harness the undiscovered and untapped talents in the country, label executive said: “Nigeria is indeed blessed with massive talents, and like you said some has harnessed, while many are yet to be discovered. This is why BLE is on a mission to find the ‘Next Big Artiste’ in Nigeria.
“Like I said, we are in the business of discovering and promoting young talents who will unleash their artistic skills in the ever-expanding entertainment sector. The audition for the talent hunt is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 at Maye Street Yaba, Lagos.
“Our aim is to sign at least three artistes into BLE. Interested participants are advised to bring their A-game to the audition. We want talents who know their onions and passionate about music. There are a lot of undiscovered talents in Nigeria. We hope to make their dreams come true.”
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