Over the years, one canker slowly eating its way into the work and musicians has been an artist- record label misunderstanding shrouded with misguidance, subterfuge, unaccountability, ignorance, and popular stories of ungratefulness.
Most of such stories begin with an overly enthused artist and ‘smart’ label owners. Because of how difficult it is for most talents to get the support or investors willing to push their careers to the next level, young creatives who are offered such opportunities make critical mistakes which stems majorly from ignorance and desperation; because how does a teenager sign a ten year deal with a label which also acts as her witness in signing the contract?
“90% of people doing music in Ghana operate out of sheer passion without learning anything about the whole thing”. – Rex Omar Quophimens music’s signee, Naana Blu finds herself in a pickle with her former record label, Darling records, for leaving to Quophimens without a buy out from her 10 years deal. The CEO of Darling Records Mimi Andani Michaels is charging Quophimens music GHS 500,000 as compensation.
In an interview with NaaNa Blu, who was clearly naïve or ignorant about the ramification of flouting some of the conditions of her contract with the record label. According to her, she was pretty young when she signed the deal with no proper witnesses to help her understand what each clause entailed. According to Naana Blu, the label also signed as a witness for her which makes the situation very difficult.
Now, like any other profession in the world, one must learn the craft and the business for sustenance, SHOWBIZ isn’t any different. But it seems most talents forget the “BIZ” part which includes knowing their rights, copyright issues, the money-making deals, and conversations that elevates their craft. They rather seem entangled in the “SHOW” part which includes: recording, performance, and shooting. Although there are people that look at the “BIZ” aspect of talents, researching, reading, and asking important questions about their “SHOW” keeps them from such mistakes and people taking advantage of them.
Consequently, artists at the latter part or the middle of the contract begin to dread a lot of things which inform some kind of behavior from the artist, inciting pain in themselves and the label; with the artist being tagged ungrateful.
Artists are advised to take a keen interest in the business and expansion of knowledge on what they do. Most importantly, they have to be vigilant when signing a deal because they might be signing away their life!
Story By Matilda Mensah Marfo