Kiss Daniel and Sugarboy have not collaborated with any other Nigerian artist due to their label’s policy. Is this hurting them?
One of the greatest surprise in the Nigeria music industry in 2016 was the lack of any star feature on Kiss Daniel’s debut album “New Era.”
The full-length project which contained 20 tracks at its release, had only three songs on the project which featured vocals from a guest artist. That guest artist was Sugarboy, who is Kiss Daniel’s label mate, and the second artist on the books of G-Worldwide entertainment.
This was a surprise because of its abnormal nature. The creative department of music industry is partly run on collaborations between numerous artists looking to improve their standing, join fan bases, and provide leverage for songs to become commercially successful.
In this creative part, a collaboration provides dynamism to the music, and provides people with a combination of styles. Artists complement each other on guest spots, and create a fine blend of music which would sound novel and amazing. Thereby transmitting into sales and performance revenue.
The Nigerian discography is littered with numerous examples of collaborations which have become legendary. DJ Jimmy Jatt’s 2007 hit song, ‘Stylee’, which featured 2face Idibia, Modenine and Ellajoe is still one of Nigeria’s greatest collaborations ever.
Kiss Daniel and Sugarboy are banned from external collaborations under G-Worldwide Entertainment. It’s not because they don’t want to. Left alone, with their destiny in their hands, they would collaborate up and down the country. But they have just one stumbling block in their path to collaborating with other pop stars.
The company, for reasons undisclosed, has a peculiar policy which prohibits her artists from collaborating outside the label. In 2015, there are insider reports that Kiss Daniel recorded a song with Wizkid, which hasn’t been released.
Sugarboy on his part, has had moderate success with collaborating before he signed up to his current label. One of his best works to date is Modenine’s ‘Bad man’ single, which featured Sugarboy and A1. But so far, the success of that cannot be replicated because of this policy.
“I’m signed to a record label and the management for now only allows me to collaborate with in-house artists DJ Shabsy and Sugarboy. Maybe later I’ll do songs with other artists but for now it’s out of it”, Kiss Daniel said in an Interview back then in 2016.
The viability of this approach however has become a moot point judging from the critical acclaim that attended Daniel’s debut album. “New Era” showed that the label’s influence was not a fluke, as the album debuted at Number 8 on the Billboard World Albums chart; earning both the artist and G-Worldwide Entertainment numerous awards.
The no feature policy has not affected Kiss Daniel negatively. The singer has risen to one of the leading musicians on the continent, and has so far had a 100% success rate with his singles. Every song of his has gone on to become a commercially accepted, and a year after he dropped his album, he is still pulling out singles from it.
“The management knows what they want, and for me I am just a producer. The key thing is for them to keep making good music. I know people who do tons of collaboration, and the music isn’t great.” Says DJ Coublon, a music producer who was responsible for the production on some of Kiss Daniel’s biggest hit songs including ‘Woju’, ‘Laye’, and ‘Good time’.
The label wants Sugarboy to follow that route and replicate Kiss Daniel’s success. His debut album – “Believe” – is expected to be released on April 12, 2016, and it features only Kiss Daniel. At the press conference announcing the project, Louiza Williams, the top talent manager at the record label explained some more.
“The no-feature policy is our company policy, and if Kiss Daniel could do it, Sugarboy can too.” She tells reporters. “Every business has the way it is run, and for us, this is how we choose to run our company.”
But how does the industry react to it? How is this decision affecting the relationship between the artists and the music industry?
“It’s not good or bad. It’s just a thing that has worked for them. Can they maintain it? Yes. All they need to do is to continue to give us great music that no one thinks it needs an extra artist o give it any extra oomph.” Says Dami Elebe, top OAP, scriptwriter and music industry expert who works for Beat (99.9) FM, Lagos.
In 2016, G-Worldwide Entertainment, Kiss Daniel, and Louiza Williams were publicly called out by veteran comedian-singer, Koffi. The comic act, in a pun-filled release on Instagram, accused Kiss Daniel and his handlers of being arrogant.
“This express ride might be short lived however if our favourite fine boy does not cut the double face act.”Koffi wrote on Instagram. “The fans see a sweet young man on the tube but behind the works the G worldwide king’s manager is killing the brand.”
Industry insiders told Pulse that Koffi’s anger was due to being turned by the record label when he approached them for a collaboration and a performance at his comedy show. Koffi’s response to the stories did not confirm this. He denied the rumors, and declared that his intentions were good.
“I agree Koffi is nobody that his career is gone, that is why I don’t want these artists to be like me. So somebody has to say something, it’s because I love them.” He told HF Magazine.
But the cracks are there. A top musician who agreed to speak to Pulse on condition of anonymity told Pulse that although the artist is soaring at the moment. He is creating bad blood for himself in the future.
“Nobody stays at the top forever. Kiss Daniel’s decision to not share his talent with other stars is bad for the industry and the fans. It deprives fans of potentially good music, while also fostering bad blood.” He says.
Kiss Daniel himself has admitted that he wants to collaborate. The singer achieved huge success with the remix of ‘Woju’; a single which featured pop artists Tiwa Savage and Davido. He has since had to continuously defend his position to colleagues.
“It’s not really affected my relationship with other artists, because some do actually understand while others don’t.” He says.
“People have definitely approached me for collabos and I explain to them, the few that get it, they go out and say good things about me, for the others that don’t, I’m still hoping that they get it some day. Trust me I really want to do collaborations, I want to jump on a song with Reekado Banks, Falz because I think they are awesome, I want to do alot of stuffs.”
Several of G-Worldwide’s business associates refused to speak to Battalion Media for this story, citing the bad blood they anticipate will come from their comments, or a loss of revenue for them. They think this is a hurtful report.
In 2017, the G-Worldwide Entertainment have elaborate plans to release Sugarboy’s album and aggressively promote it. There are plans for video shoots, a big release concert, and a continental tour for the project.
Kiss Daniel has also not moved on from “New Era” album. There are still two videos to be released from it, and after that, they would begin to consider releasing fresh records from the second half of the year.
“There’s still a lot more to come from that album. We are shooting two videos soon. All of you should just wait and relax.” An employee of the label says.
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