10 Best Record Labels in Nigeria and Their Artistes
Nigeria’s music business is often regarded as one of the best in the world. Our music stars are now breaking records, selling out world-renowned arenas, and overall succeeding.
Record labels have played a significant role in this achievement. Of course, most of our A-list celebrities are now signed to major record labels in the United Kingdom and the United States, such as RCA, Sony, Warner, and others. However, the vast majority of them began their careers with record labels in Nigeria.
What is a Record Label?
A record label is a firm that is in charge of music production, distribution, marketing, and promotion.
A record label also performs talent scouting and development. They also have agreements with music artists, composers, producers, and managers.
The industry is no longer what it once was.
You don’t need a record label to be successful, but being a part of one can assist accelerate your career and get you there faster, especially if you join the proper one.
In this post, we will look at the top ten record labels in Nigeria.
Top 10 Record Labels in Nigeria Are:
- Mavin Records
- Chocolate City
- Jonzing world
- Empawa Africa
- Davido Music worldwide
- Starboy Entertainment
- Eezee Concepts
- Loveworld Records
- Marlian Records
1) MAVIN RECORDS
Mavin is without a doubt one of the most important record labels in Nigeria and West Africa at large. Mavin Records is home to some of Nigeria’s most promising emerging artists.
Don Jazzy, a music producer and businessman, owns Mavin Records.
Don Jazzy founded Mavin Records on May 8, 2012, following his departure from now-defunct Mo’ Hits Records. He immediately signed Tiwa Savage before adding producers Altims and Baby Fresh.
Mavin Records has dominated the African music landscape since its inception in 2012. There is no other explanation for this beyond their meticulous attention to detail when recruiting workers behind the cameras.
Mavin works with some of the most creative and diligent songwriters, producers, and artists. It’s essentially a music factory. Mavin also offers a music academy where new talent is scouted, recruited, and trained to become international superstars.
Rema, Ayra Starr, Crayon, Ladipoe, Johnny Drille, and, most recently, Magixx, Boy Spyce, and Bayanni are among the noteworthy artists signed to Mavin Records.
Also, producer Andre Vibez responsible for global successes such as Feeling, Calm Down, Rush, and Overdose, among others is also signed to the record label. This makes it one of Nigeria’s greatest record labels.
Yahoo Boy No Laptop is the full meaning of YBNL. Olamide Adedeji, also known as Olamide, the famed indigenous rapper, launched it in 2012. His sophomore record inspired the name of his label.
YBNL was once associated with and renowned for signing primarily street musicians and producers such as Lil Kesh and Young John, but the label has since grown and is now more diversified in the types of artists it signs, as evidenced by the signings of Adekunle Gold and Fireboy DML.
Olamide’s nose is what elevates YBNL to the top ten record labels in Nigeria. He could smell talent from a mile away.
His ear is also among the greatest in the industry; he recently leaked Fireboy DML’s single Peru because he believed it had the potential to be a worldwide smash, even though Fireboy did not.
It is hardly surprising, then, that YBNL ranks second among Nigeria’s top ten record labels.
YBNL has also recently secured a promotional agreement with Empire. This increases the value of signing with YBNL because it provides a speedier road to international success. Artists now signed to YBNL include Asake, Fireboy, and Olamide himself.
3) CHOCOLATE CITY
Chocolate City is one of the list’s oldest record labels. Audu Maikori, Paul Okeugo, and Yahaya Maikori founded the company in 2005. Audu stepped down as CEO in 2015, and M.I. took over.
A large number of artists have been associated with Chocolate City in some capacity. Many record labels have come and gone over the years, but Chocolate City has remained in business for nearly two decades because of its immaculate structure.
This is why Chocolate City is one of Nigeria’s top record labels.
Chocolate City has formerly housed Ckay, Victoria Kimani, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, and others. This label released the biggest African hit ever, Love Nwantiti. Young John, Blaqbonez, Tar1q, and Candy Bleakz are now residing there.
4) JONZING WORLD
Charles Enebeli aka D’prince founded the company on March 22nd, 2019. Unbeknownst to many, it was D’prince, not Mavin Records, that discovered Rema.
Jonzing World was only getting started at the time, and D’prince felt Mavin was better qualified to speed up Rema’s career, so he introduced Rema to his elder brother Don Jazzy.
Rema then secured a distribution and publishing arrangement with Mavin, despite being linked with Jonzing World. A few years later, Jonzing World signed Ruger, a dancehall performer who had no connection to Mavin Records.
Ruger has since gone on to become one of Nigeria’s most successful young artists, and he was recently nominated for the Next Rated Headies award, which he narrowly lost to Bnxn fka Buju.
Jonzing World easily ranks as one of Nigeria’s top record labels. It’s easy to assume that Jonzing World has quickly established itself as a top 10 record label in Nigeria.
5) EMPAWA AFRICA
Tosin Ajibade, an Afrobeats star and businessman known as Mr Eazi, created Empawa Africa in November 2018. Empawa Africa is not a record label in the traditional sense, but they do function as such.
Mr Eazi characterizes it as a bank that produces services for African artists.
When it was created, it chose 100 African artists from 11 African countries and provided everyone with a fully funded music video. Only the top two or three musicians are eventually completely invested.
Empawa Africa is without a doubt one of Nigeria’s top record labels.
Joeboy, an Afropop sensation, and Fave, a buzzing female vocalist famed for the viral track Baby Riddim, are two of the top artists at Empawa Africa.
6) DAVIDO MUSIC WORLDWIDE
David Adedeji Adeleke, Afrobeats singer Davido, founded the label in 2016 after leaving his old record label, HKN Music. He founded the label with two artists: Mayorkun, the Holy Father crooner, and Dremo, the rapper.
DMW was responsible for many hit songs in the Nigerian music scene between 2016 and 2021. Mayorkun received three Headies awards over that period, including the next ranked honour in 2018.
Davido Music Worldwide is unquestionably one of the best record labels in Nigeria. Things appear to have calmed down now that Davido has taken a step back, but it’s just a matter of time before this label returns to the top ten record labels in Nigeria. DMW currently has four artists signed: Davido the label boss, Liya, Morrave and Logos Olori.
7) STARBOY ENTERTAINMENT
Wizkid, another Afrobeats titan, founded the label in 2013 after leaving Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment. Maleek Berry, Legendary Beatz, L.a.x and himself were his initial signings.
Before his sabbatical from the industry, Maleek Berry was a force to be reckoned with, and Legendary Beatz is the music partner responsible for Wizkid songs like Caro and Ginger.
In 2018, he signed Starboy Terri, with whom he co-produced the international smash hit Soco.
In the early days of the label, he was said to have signed Mr Eazi, as well as Ghanaian singers Efya and R2bees.
These artists have recently come out to refute this claim, claiming that they were never signed and were just linked with the label. Whether signed or not, Starboy did wonders for them.
Starboy Entertainment is one of the best record labels in Nigeria, ranking among the top ten best record labels in the country. Jada Pollock, Wizkid’s manager, oversees Starboy Entertainment.
8) EEZEE IDEAS
The Eezee idea is without a doubt one of the top ten record labels in Nigeria, and the reason for this is not difficult to understand. They have the most beautiful Nigerian gospel vocalists. Mercy Chinwo, Minister GUC, Judikay, and, most recently, Chidinma Ekile
9) LOVEWORLD RECORDS
In 2009, Chris Oyakhilome founded Loveworld Records, specializing in gospel music. This is Nigeria’s first record label, which is entirely focused on publishing, producing, promoting, marketing, and distributing gospel music and gospel artists.
Afrobeats artists abound in the industry. One could imagine that there is no room for gospel musicians, yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Loveworld Records is unquestionably one of Nigeria’s top ten record labels.
From Sinach’s Waymaker to Mercy Chinwo’s Chinedum, some of Nigeria’s best Gospel musicians pose numbers that many afro beats artists can only dream of; these are just a few of the record-breaking Gospel blockbuster singles from Nigeria.
Loveworld Records has released music by Sinach, Ada Ehi, Frank WA 1Edwards, Joe Praize, and others.
10) MARLIAN RECORDS
Azeez Adeshina Fashola and Naira Marley founded the company in 2019. He announced the label’s inauguration at the Marlian Festival in December 2019, where he introduced Zinoleesky, Mohbad, Cblvck, and Fabian Blu as new signings.
Marlian Records is a record label that symbolizes the streets and aims to illustrate that no matter where you come from, you can make it.
Marlian Records is unquestionably one of Nigeria’s top ten record labels.
Marlian Records has been involved in various scandals in recent years, yet this does not diminish its potential as a record company, as some of its artists have gone to the top in a short period.