Many will advise that as an artist, you can succeed being independent rather than choose to join a record label; but there are still many advantages that young artists would enjoy when they join a good and professional record label.
Every young artist will always dream to be signed by the top record labels in the country or major labels like Universal Music and Sony Music at a certain stage of their careers. Most of these record labels usually have sufficient resources at their disposal to invest in the careers of artists.
Recently, we’ve seen many Cameroonian artists quitting their record labels most of which occur due to misunderstandings, beefs, talks of exploitation by the artists etc. Very few breakups between record labels and artists in Cameroon have resulted from mutual agreement or upon termination of a contract as we see in the more established industries.
Below is a list of some eminent artists that have left their record labels recently.
Cameroonian rapper, Tilla announced leaving her former label, The Dedes Records last January 21st 2019 during a live video. She was signed to The Dedes records in 2018 and during her days with the label, the rapper released songs and videos such as “Used To”, “Ola Ole”, and “Criminal“. She called out the UK based label for mismanagement and for making promises they couldn’t fulfill. Tilla is now independent and works with her record label, God Mother Sound which she created back in 2015 after leaving New Bell Music.
Talented Cameroonian rapper, Renzur Epie aka Crispy recently quit his former label, USA based Ten 12 Music Group as he dragged them on Facebook last May 2nd for being dishonest. In a series of Facebook posts and comments, both parties dragged horns trying to prove a point and explaining the breakup. Crispy was previously signed by another USA based record label where he quit to join Ten 12 Music. Currently without a label, he is still part of the music group, Thee 808 Nation where they still record and release songs together and perform in shows.
Magasco parted ways with Empire Company last mid-January after being signed to the label for more than 5 years. The 31-year-old singer announced his departure from the label through a press release from his new record label called BBOY RECORDS. The news of his departure was happily welcomed by his fans as well as other music lovers following the several rumours of recent claiming that he wasn’t well treated at label.
Another group of artists that may have quit their label recently is prominent music duo, Rythmz also signed to Empire Company seem not to be in good terms with the label. It is alleged that they have dropped out of the label after throwing shots at record label owners and artists exploitation via their different social media pages. They called on other artists facing similar situations to join them in the campaign against artists exploit but we saw very few artists supporting them. It is still unclear if they quit the label or they are facing normal misunderstandings that could occur in record labels.
Many of these breakups are rarely due to contracts running out but mostly because of unprofessional reasons. Most Cameroonian record labels owners have very little knowledge of the business involved but approach the artists like record label when they are actually sponsors and investors. Serious work needs to be done in this domain to ensure that artists get the best support needed and at the same time everyone gets paid off the work they put in. We have to reduce the beefs and fights especially on Facebook.