On different occasions while trying to do due diligence before getting an Artiste signed or in the process of negotiating a Label/Management deal for an Artiste in Nigeria, we have come to find out certain pitfalls and doom Artiste constantly and willingly accept to be bound by.

First let me put it out there; this is no way a legal advice and must not be substituted for a legal advice. Please do not attempt to use it and end up shooting yourself on the leg. Always seek the professional expertise of Entertainment Lawyers with “proven experience”.

I always wonder why any Artiste in this generation will not investigate the Label he will be getting in bed with. I always wonder why any Artiste will wave his/her right to legal representation. I also wonder why as an Artiste you won’t write down your major responsibilities to the label n points and paste it on your wall everyday till they are fulfilled.

I understand you have waited all your life to get signed, get funded or unleashed to the world but doesn’t it matter that such unleashing be done the right way?

Everyone is getting signed is all that matters to you but you never asked what has been the outcome of these “Everyone” so far after signings?

Here are the top questions you never ask yourself or your label but will end you on the shelf of “deal terms”.

1.What is the structure of the label and how does it function?

2.How is the label going to finance your proposed deal?

3.What is the proposed budget to be spent on your career during the “Deal term”?

4.What are projections plans based on your “deal terms”?

5.Who is responsible for ensuring your “Organogram” is duly executed and reviewed?

6.How are the expenses spent on you and revenue received on your behalf accounted for?

7.What are the “non-performance” and “buy clause” obligations of the Label and You?

8.What are the respective durations in terms of intellectual property control and who is in control for those periods?

These and many more questions are valuable questions that when duly fulfilled and answered by your label as agreed between parties, Your career is on effective engine running. The next thing to be bothered about will be pegging the projected landmark goals.

Why should you ask these questions?

1.Because the law will never excuse you based on ignorance after you have signed the deal without undue influence nor duress.

2.Social media rant will not save you while you hate on your life in bed with the label.

We usually advise Artistes to ensure that these questions are answered by the Label and incorporated into the Label-artistes agreement. Yes! Your label might grand stand and refuse to accept answering these questions but remember you can’t be forced to sign. If you do, happy nursing your self-inflicted injury.


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