In the late 80s and 90s a revolution was launched in the Nigerian music industry which saw to the emergence of the contemporary music that is being enjoyed now.
In those earlier years, party goers rocked foreign music while Nigerian music was relegated to the illiterates’ listening pleasure. But gone are the days as different genres of Nigerian music are not only exportable now but have attracted foreign investors and collaborations. Music veterans like late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, King Sunny Ade and some other veterans’ music attracted international music deal.
Below is a list of contemporary Nigerian singers who have bagged international music deal.
The Omo Baba Olowo (OBO) crooner signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment at its headquarters in New York City. The deal makes the Skelewu singer the first African to enter into such deal with the international label.
The deal expected Davido to release two albums to be distributed globally by Sony.
Bukola Elemide popularly known as Asa‘s debut album Fire On The Mountain released under Question Mark label in 2007 attracted international attention.
The award-winning female singer is currently signed to French independent record label, Naïve Records. Asa also has a music publishing deal with international music conglomerate, BMG.
Patoranking is the first Nigerian reggae artist to sign a music distribution deal with the world’s largest reggae music company VPal, a sub-division of VP records music group.
The alternative music singer who was once signed on to Chocolate City is now signed to Oklahoma based Record Label & Music Publishing Company, Tate Music Group (TMG). He has since released a 8 track album titled Trance under the label which TMG is expected to distribute.
The Ojuelegba crooner signed an international management deal with Tinnie Tempah’s music management company, Disturbing London, in 2012.
He inked the deal while he was still with Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment (EME).
D’banj was launched into the music scene under Mo’hits record co-owned by him and erstwhile friend Don Jazzy. His first international music deal with G.O.O.D music was one of the reasons the duo of D’banj and Don Jazzy parted ways and ended Mo’hits record.
Though the G.O.O.D deal did not last long, he has an international deal with Mercury Records UK a sub division of Universal music group UK. He was in 2012 signed on to Sony Music.
The singing duo, Psquare signed a music distribution deal with Universal Music South Africa in May 2012. They were also said to have a deal with International superstar, Akon’s Konvict Muzik in December 2011.
Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo fondly called Cobhams abandoned his law study in University of Lagos to pursue a line many had thought he might not make it in but he emerged as one of the greatest blessings to Nigerian music industry despite his disability.
Cobhams is producer and a fantastic singer with a great voice and was launched into the mainstream Nigerian music scene by Question Mark record label.
He is also signed to Sony ATV (Sony Publishing) London as a songwriter.
9. Seyi Shay
Seyi Shay signed a deal with a major American record label, Island Universal Records. The label operates as a division of Universal Music Group and is home to diverse and unparalleled family of global and award winning artists.
10. Burna Boy
Reggae dancehall music act signed a new deal with the with the largest music corporation in the world – Universal Music in 2015. He is signed as Exclusive Songwriter Agreement (ESWA).
was signed on to international music publishing company, Universal Music group South Africa in 2015.
11. Ice Prince
Chocolate City rapper, Ice Prince entered an exclusive deal with the record powerhouse in Marh 2014.