12 NIGERIAN MUSIC INSIDERS TO FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Not all music lovers are as knowledgeable on the know-how of the music business as they would like you to believe. Often times people speak with authority on the inner workings of the music industry despite having very little knowledge on how the industry actually works, and that may just be down to the fact that there’s very little information out there on how the musical ecosystem works. The music industry here in Nigeria is still in its nascent stages in comparison to other global music spaces and there is still little structure in place to navigate the emerging industry.
There are certain industry insiders, however, that you can always rely on for the latest information on the technicalities of the ever-growing industry and those who are constantly sharing gems on how independent artists can better manage their careers. Whether they are talent managers, OAPs, writers or even record label owners, these are the people in the know about the music industry. Every Afropop lover should be keeping tabs on industry insiders for current and reliable information, and the NATIVE are here to guide you into the right arms. This is by no means a definitive list but a starting guide to learning more about the way the industry works.
If there’s anyone you should follow out here, it’s Don Jazzy – the man is one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, and rightly so. His resume includes artist, songwriter, record label owner of the legendary Mo’Hits Records, and now new-label Mavins Records. He has been responsible for breaking out some of the best African acts today including Korede Bello, Tiwa Savage, Ladipoe, Rema, and now a new act Ayra Starr.
Godwin Tom is a trusted source in the music industry. He’s spent years building a reputation as someone who knows the workings of the industry having successfully managed the careers of Afropop acts such as M.I, Wande Coal, and Wizkid. Tom runs and manages his own talent management and events company, iManage Africa, and runs an online music boot camp that teaches participants how to gain opportunities in the music business through management, A&R, record label services and more. He recently launched a podcast called Journey of A Learner which hosts different guests to discuss navigating the African entertainment industry.
Anyone who is anyone in music knows Asa Asika or at least knows about him. His uncle is the great music business legend, Obi Asika who once ran Storm 360 Records, and his cousin, rapper Naeto C is a fan favourite in the rap scene. Over the years, Asa Asika has gained accolades of his own, from his long-time management of Afropop star Davido as the pair formed a formidable partnership. He’s also a co-founder of The Plug, an independent music publishing, music licensing, and entertainment company run with partner Bizzle Osikoya. Also frequently dropping motivational life gems from time to time, Asa Asika one to follow.
Osagie is what you call an OG in the industry. She started her career as a presenter on Rhythm 93.7 with Sola Thompson at the age of 17; before moving on to become a personal assistant to the late OAP, Tosyn Bucknor. She went on to become a talent manager to very successful acts of the time such as Skales, Timaya, and Wizkid. She now runs the Basement Gig and owns a full-service management company named The Zone Agency with a clientele that includes prominent figures like Timaya, Reminisce, and Ehiz.
As the newly-appointed General Manager of the Nigerian arm of Universal Music Group, Chin Okeke is known as a reliable tastemaker in the music business. His company Eclipse Live have over the past couple of years focused on bringing live, affordable, and accessible entertainment to the youth of Africa. They have organised events such as Lagos Music Week, ECHO Music Conference (EMC), Arise Fashion Week, and Gidi Fest, a popular festival known to be a hub for both established African acts and the new vanguard of Afropop hitmakers. Follow him for great music finds and good discussion.
Muyiwa Awoniyi is popularly known for his role as manager to the NATIVE 004 cover star and Rebel Gang leader, Tems but long before their paths crossed, he was manager to Nonso Amadi, one of the first young acts from these parts to push the boundaries on the emerging Afropop sound. Awoniyi also runs a podcast known as the The Donawon Pod where he discusses important topics ranging from intellectual property of African art to the importance of healthy relationships.
On this turf, Bizzle Osikoya is known as “The Plug”, not only because he co-founded the full-service management, distribution, and talent management firm but because he’s built a reputation as being a helper to all stars. So far, he’s worked with a number of artists such as Naeto C, Ikechukwu, Dr. Sid, Wande Coal, and most recently, Oxlade. Osikoya the guy you want to know and follow for the latest acts in the game.
Kimani Moore is a force to be reckoned with. She’s one of the most trusted voices in the game because of the invaluable contribution she’s made to the lives of her artists which include Odunsi the Engine, Larry Gaaga, Mowalola, Tay Iwar, and Deto Black. Currently, she runs Kimani Moore Entertainment (KME), an African owned and operated talent management firm and music company and sits on the voting academy for the MOBO Awards. Follow her for motivational life quotes and key insights on the running of a talent management firm.
Just waiting for all my 2022 bags …. good day 🥳 pic.twitter.com/moTw8U05XB
— KimaniMoore (@Kimani_Moore) December 11, 2020
Tega Oghenejobo’s career with record label Mavin has been ongoing for several years, working with the company since 2012. Currently the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Oghenejobo facilitated a multimillion-dollar equity investment partnership with Kupanda Holdings. Mavin has now become an industry leader in finding the best Afropop acts in the country and Tega is well versed in the technical know-how of the game.
Although journalist and media executive Osagie Alonge is now the Director of Marketing at OPay, he is still regarded as a trusted voice in the Nigerian music industry given that he has worked for several years on the back-end as the Editor-in-Chief of Pulse Nigeria and Pulse Africa. His detailed analysis and witty commentary on the culture and entertainment scene can best be observed on his podcast A Music in Time.
Dolapo Amusat is the guy you need for connecting the dots, solving problems and coming up with solutions. He’s a data scientist who has worked in both tech and creative industries with involvement in companies such as Bolt, Google, KPMG, Total and more, but he’s popularly known for his involvement with WeTalkSound, a rising community of musicians, creatives artists, and music enthusiasts united in a common goal of supporting and uplifting each other. Dolapo can best be found hosting frequently scheduled Clubhouse rooms for educating and informing creatives and artists on the music business.
OYINKANSOLA FAWEHINMI (FOZA)
Around here, having a great lawyer on retainer is essential because of the lack of proper structure in the music business. In need of any legal know-how for your artists and their music licenses then Foza is the woman for you. She always offers insight on social media about legal technicalities that artists may be unaware of as well as participating in panel discussions on a range of topics from business and music contracts to the future of the music business.