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SOME SUCCESSFUL CAMEROONIAN RECORD LABEL OWNERS AND THEIR LABELS
As you already know, venturing into the music business is not just about excitingly choosing a sweet name, doing legal proceedings, like registration, and then spreading your wings. Unlike a provision store which is easier for someone to just wake up one morning with a little financial capital and begin, record labels go beyond just that. It involves financial capital, human capital, the mindset to bear risks, a formidable team, and talent scouts. While some labels are luckily enough to meet readymade talents, some need to scout for talent from January to December.
In the contemporary Cameroonian music industry, some men are easily shot in the leg but are hardly shown gratitude for their input on the industry via their record labels. It’s worth noting that almost anyone can start at the kickoff line, but not everyone will hit the finish line. Below are a few names of some gentlemen who have at least been successful in the industry with their labels. They feature in any order.
1) Valery Ndikum: One of the unsung heroes, because his brand has made and continues to make more vibes than his surname. Valery Ndikum is the CEO of Steven’s Music Entertainment LLC, one of the most instrumental Cameroonian labels that has stood the test of time and is still standing tall. The label has been able to accommodate artists like Gasha, Daphne Njie, Boy Tag, Cool Kid, M’Pro, Ewube, Shura, etc and deserves a lot of respect for its consistency. It’s worth mentioning, that under the influence and financial capabilities of Mr. Ndikum, this label has the most awarded female artists in Central Africa and though the label or its most successful artist’s net worth isn’t publicly known, their ability to have had the that kind of success says a lot!
2) Pit Baccardi: One of the most renowned names in the French African music market as a label owner and musician himself. Pit’s influence can’t be degraded by naysayers or faults he committed along the line. It can be argued that Pit has succeeded to keep Empire Company atop the charts of music labels, especially in Central Africa. Pit has been able to influence the careers of Magasco, Ridimz, Mimie, Nami Nami Cyrus, Oken, Sojip, and many others. Pit hasn’t for sure been without fault, but he’s been directly involved in the growth of many Cameroonian and African artists. His input and willingness to exploit the unexploited music-sphere has been incredible over the years.
3) Don Julio Bats: Another unsung hero whose daring game is less spoken of is Don Julio Barthson who is the CEO of BGC Melody, one of the few international Cameroonian record labels. Don could have decided to take his funds elsewhere to invest but has seen the need to invest and reinvest In the music industry over the years.
Don’s label is one of the few that is harnessing the entertainment industry far beyond just music. They’ve been actively involved in modeling, movies, etc. Going back to the music label, the label can be named one of the most structured labels as they’re consistently garnering some papers. The label has artists from Ghana, Cameroon, Congo, and all these artists are not without albums. They’ve got to be given some respect and most should be going to the man who sees the need to invest in his country despite being abroad!
4) Salatiel: He’s still just one of the few success stories of his generation as far as the Cameroonian music industry is concerned. He’s a successful songwriter, producer, label owner, and musician. Salatiel is known for his exceptional input in the growth of his label Alpha Better Records (ABR).This label has once had one of the most promising music groups made up of four very talented artists: Salatiel, Mr.Leo, Blaise B and Askia.
As nothing lasts long forever, the label had a few ups and downs and the group would move on to follow their careers elsewhere. But with an artist like Mr. Leo who remains an asset due to his achievements via the label, and who has gone on to establish his own record label, Blaise B who’s equally doing well after ending his spell with ABR and who in-turn went on to start his own record label, we can not overemphasize Salatiel’s importance so far!
5) Jovi with real names Ndukong Godlove better known as the Mboko God, is a pillar not just as a musician or producer but as a label owner. The CEO of New Bell Music (NBM)has set records straight without any doubt. It might be easy for those doing it from the diaspora, but it’s important to give credit to those doing it from home.
Jovi has via NBM, produced amazing artists like Pascal, Tata, Ishaku, Reniss, and himself.
He’s unarguably one of the best African rappers with his unique genre “Mboko”.
Reniss became a success in the music industry thanks to the diligence and excellence of the label and its financial stance. Jovi’s NBM hasn’t been without drama over the years but if you must name a successful label in the country, then you must name his label. The label currently has Reniss, Tata, Ishaku, and Jovi himself as artists signed therein. the label equally has one of the most reliable fan groups in Africa!
6) Marvin Slim: Marvin Slim popularly known as Igwe is one of those names that have brought about a revolution in the music business in the country. He’s the founder and CEO of Blu Nation Recording who has been on a trajectory with his frontline artist, Tzy Panchak. The label stood with its financial prowess and has succeeded to establish Tzy Panchak as one of the icons of the growing industry. Blu Nation has added Khoruz, Wavele and Cleo Grae to their project recently, showing their signs of not slowing down any soon.
When listing one of the label owners to celebrate for powering dreams, Slim is one of those!
Four out of the six names are diaspora-based, except for two, Jovi and Salatiel, who are not only label owners but musicians and producers themselves, doing it from home (Cameroon) which in itself has its own set of challenges. Some labels have also come into the industry in the past three years and the future looks bright, even though many are on the verge of crashing.
We know it’s easy to criticize them when they sign your favourite artists and have seemingly not delivered, but sometimes without these people, the industry would not only be vague, it would barely exist.
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