On Collaborations: The risky G-Worldwide Way

Posted on July 07 2017 , at 11:49 am
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  • A lot of critics are of the opinion that Kiss Daniel's development has been stalled by the label’s policy.

Festus Ehimare

G- Worldwide Entertainment, a label founded in 2007 by Festus Ehimare, also known as Emperor Geezy, came into prominence in 2014 following the signing of Kiss Daniel and Sugarboy in 2015 unto its stable.

The height of the label’s achievement recorded thus far will be the success of Kiss Daniel’s debut album New Era which paraded hits like ‘Laye’, ‘Woju’, ‘Duro’ amongst others, but since the release of his album, very little has been heard from the rising act until recently when he released a new single titled ‘SOFA’.

A lot of critics are of the opinion that his development has been stalled by the label’s policy prohibiting its acts from collaborating with external artistes, especially as the remix to ‘Woju’ which featured Tiwa Savage and Davido, probably the only time the label bent its rules, delivered a nationwide hit.

But in a recent statement, the label boss defended the policy re-instating that it was strictly a business decision and was meant for the good of the outfit and the artists.

‘We understand that this is a risky move but remain convinced that if this can be achieved , we will be able to take credit for having set the pace in the Nigerian Music Industry,’ he said.

He also had advice for critics of his decision, ‘For those who assume that our structure is not good enough, I would humbly suggest that you invest in the career of one of the countless young talents out there and anchor your business on principles you believe in as we have done and let time and fate decide whose approach will stand the test of time.’

Strong words from an Emperor who seems focused on his protecting his kingdom.

Kiss Daniel and Sugarboy

It is really hard to argue with how he chooses to run his label, especially as Kiss Daniel recorded one of the most successful albums of last year without a feature, winning several awards and has maintained a fresh sound as noticed in his new single – even if he seems to have lost ground on the likes of Tekno and Mr Eazi.

The label also put other measures in place like aggressive promotion of his music through well-synced single releases and quality videos, the no-collaboration policy also carves a niche for the label, creates a unique identity and ‘scarcity’ of their artistes, which leads to a demand every time they release new music.

But as we witnessed on Sugarboy’s debut album, Believe, that it worked for Jack doesn’t mean it will work for Jill.

The 22-track project featuring only Kiss Daniel on two songs turned out to be an enduring journey as it was one long, repetitive, lacking in dynamism and boring ride.

But like the man stated, this is the path he has chosen, this is the contract the artistes have agreed to, so even though Kiss Daniel has stated in the past his willingness to work with other acts like Reekado Banks, that may never happen anytime soon.

Reekado Banks performing

But has the label really made a wrong decision or will time prove him right and leave critics with the proverbial, eggs on their faces?

It is the 21st century and everywhere you go, one key word being drummed into your ears is Networking. In music, it translates to Collaborations.

In the real world, banks and corporations are merging or creating an alliance to emerge bigger; in the Nigerian music industry that is mostly unforgiving especially for upcoming artistes, duets and collaborations with others has proven a path to easier breakthrough or lasting legacies.

You remember the first time you heard Solid Star with 2face on ‘One in a Million’, 9ice and 2face on ‘Street Credibility’ or how Jeremiah Gyang and Asa’s voices on ‘Comforter’s Song’ hit you like two angels worshipping in love songs.

Nigerian rappers today still rave over Mode 9’s and Terry tha Rapman’s ‘Spazmodic’ or Naeto C and Asa’s ‘Share My Blessings’.

Collaborations, when properly done and with the right artiste, takes the music to levels unimaginable. It livens up the sound and actually inspires the best from the artistes.

Tales have been told of artistes re-writing their entire part of a song after hearing what the other act brought to the table.

Collaborations allow for flexibility, dynamism and better-writing whilst opening up artistes to different fan bases, like Pasuma gaining leverage with some hip-hop listeners after his work with The Remedies.

The effect of collaborations can never be over-stated but the bold stand of the label is one to be examined. It challenges the artiste to focus on improving his art as no one can hide under the guise of a big name artiste in scoring a hit.

The label too could yet decide to sign up more artistes enhancing the pool of talents that could work in-house with their acts and limit the number of tracks on albums released.

Either way, it’s all about the music and it would be exciting to see how they manage the criticism and deliver hits starting with Kiss Daniel’s upcoming sophomore project.

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