There I was last week, fighting the urge to write an article about the ongoing drama between Ubi/Iyanya. My reason, a large part of allegations raised are quite domestic i.e Ubi physically abused Emma nyra, Iyanya does not like Tekno and Selebobo, allegations of sex with married women and so on. On this blog, we try to keep whatever we write Music related articles and how it applies to every other artist in the industry at large. Then this morning, the epiphany hit me that indeed there is a lesson to be learnt here that exceeds all the made men marital woes and cuts it into size to fit a music business standpoint. Hence the article “All Artistes, Take Music Business Seriously”, Ubi and Iyanya as the case study.
The genesis of the MadeMenMusic’s issue is the processing of the first CAC document which there are two sides to that story, Ubi’s is that Iyanya wasn’t interested in the business part and he had to do what had to be done and Iyanya’s part of the story is Ubi did not carry him along, gave him another document to sign and he got a tip from an anonymous caller that Ubi exempted him from the CAC doc. The two stories are different and there is no way to confirm the authenticity of either but I think this is carelessness from Iyanya’s part, we’ve heard it one too many times that artistes shy away from the business aspect thinking they do not need it and all it takes is to just keep making hits and staying relevant. This only leaves room for vulnerability. According to the book “All you need to know about music business” by top entertainment lawyer Donald S. Passman; every artist, I repeat every artist must learn the rudiments of the music business even if they don’t delve deep they are all required to know the back end, be able to translate contracts, have negotiation power, know what you deserve
according to your clout, learn the accounts, calculation of percents, revenue sharing to recouping label expense, sales of merchandise, endorsements, album sales, ringtone sales, streaming royalties etc. There is no excuse whatsoever to play yourself cheap even if the person you are in business with is your twin brother. If truly Iyanya took the business part seriously as he claimed, he would not sign to mavin or temple music afterward. He would have learnt the ropes, saved up and built from there.
More allegations sweep in against Ubi that his supposedly personal signees “Tekno, Selebobo and Emma Nyra” were promoted with funds jointly owned though Ubi claims he used his personal earnings. If this were true, then why didn’t he sign them under a different entity completely like the HKN and DMW segregation. Another goof off by Iyanya, even if Ubi plans on using his funds alone as long as these artists go under the MadeMenMusicGroup umbrella, it amounts for something. Not just a little but a lot from profit sharing. You can’t slap Made Men Music Group logo on videos, picture arts, and other promotional materials and not remit a dime to your partner because you claim its a personal investment. Hello!!! MadeMenMusic is a partnership. Create a different label that is completely void of the partner deal.
1) Its stale to start advising artists to read all contracts because they do and they even get lawyers to translate contracts into simple terms for them which is important but whats importanter is you should always trail your money, what goes in and out, you can not sleep Ji ma sun. Let your contract, partnership deal or management deal state that you are entitled to see all accounts that involve you at any point in time, you can employ an accountant to audit at any time, forget paddy paddy and relationship (business is business) because they will throw the “we are a family” line to you often. Yes, you guys are a family, but biko! family members must monitor their stake.
2) Never ever think any business aspect of your career is none of your business. NEVER. See your music as a commodity. The fact that music can only be conceived from the mind and heard by listeners have subconsciously given music creators, especially in Nigeria the notion that its literally an invisible thing and they can always come out with new hits, newsflash fam you can run out of hits, your can go obsolete, you can fade off so any hit you have currently or in the past is your only VISIBLE COMMODITY. It’s a commodity, it’s buying and selling like omo, milo, mtn credit, biscuit, sweet, generator (you get the idea) always remember this. Some of you would be like we all know this naah! if indeed you all know this then buckle your ass up and do something dammit. Stop forgetting this. Hold the reigns of your chariot horses and not give it out to someone who would use your own chariot to scornfully drag you by the leg around town. Paddy mi, JI.