At the start of July, Nigerian popstar Iyanya took to social media to announce some new plans. “I'll be launching my new label and new album soon,” he wrote.
The news led to speculation about a possible rift with his co-owned label Made Men Music Group, home to singer Tekno and producers Selebobo and DJ Coublon. In recent times several Nigerian artists have taken to establish their own labels some with the support of their erstwhile labels, others without.
Rapper Lil Kesh was allowed to leave after his contract with Olamide’s YBNL Records came to an end. The rapper Skales got into a problem with his label and was said to be arrested by the police. Runtown has had problems with his Eric Many label, now resolved. Some of the incidents of labels and Nigerian artists are covered here.
With Iyanya, whose album Applaudise was released in 2015, the announcement of his departure from MMMG was unexpected. Although the label has appeared to be focused on the career of the younger, seeming hotter property, Tekno. Iyanya’s announcement comes on the heels of the Chocolate City decision to have imprints headed by the artists Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz.
MMMG responds, says Iyanya still part of label
After a period of silence, Ubi Franklin, the head of MMMG Records took to social media to help fans understand the issues surrounding Iyanya’s departure. According to Franklin, Iyanya’s new label will function under the already established MMMG.
“Recently there’s been a lot said in the media about Iyanya leaving Made Men Music,” Franklin wrote, “I’d like to clarify things.”
“Iyanya had approached me about a year ago and notified me of his intentions to start up a label. He wanted my blessings to do so and I told him it was a welcome development. I assured him of my support to help structure his planned label with the existing company (Made Men Music Group) whenever he was ready and the process was initiated.
"Two weeks ago he shared with me, news that the company had been duly registered and was ready to commence operations. I was also privy to the information that he had identified a few artistes with potential he wants to nurture. This done, I knew the label was ready to kick off. I understand his post piqued the curiosity of the public and blogs made what they could of the news.
“Yes, Iyanya is starting a new label which will be a company out of Made Men Music [Group] with a different structure and a different focus, aiming at growing our industry. I would like to state here that like every other label we all have our internal issues from time to time. We have shared happy and sad moments and it’s only fair to grow each other in every way possible. Not every move means a breakup. As you know we still stand this way. Iyanya, Tekno, Selebobo, Tonye Garrick, Chibbz, DJ Coublon.”
In the days since the announcement, no information related to the forthcoming album by Iyanya has been released. The ‘Kukere’ singer has, however, released a few singles since the beginning of the year, including ‘Type of Woman' and the recent ‘Heartbeat.'