It is sometimes very amazing how Africans think and react to certain news, in this instance, good news for that matter. It’s about time Africans learn the habit of being appreciative and supportive of each other, especially when a good feat is achieved, regardless of how we perceived it.
It looks like gradually African musicians are getting recognition and some level of attention in the world, as far as music is concerned.
As to whether fans are supporting the attention heaped on the musicians may be another subject for another discussion.
Just last week, two Ghanaian musicians, Reggie Zippy and Bollie, now a duo known as Reggie N Bollie and formerly Menn On Point, as well as Davido, a multiple award winning Nigerian singer born David Adedeji Adeleke, signed international deals with Simon Cowell’s label, Syco and Sony Music Global respectively.
Reggie N Bollie
In the finals of X Factor reality show in the UK in 2015, originally from Ghana, Reggie N Bollie lost to the 17-year old Louisa Johnson who hails from Essex.
In the run up to the finals, the duo who auditioned as Menn on Point but later changed their name, had rocked the stage with their energetic performances, which qualified them as strong X Factor contenders.
Placing second does not change or take anything away from them, since there is a long-standing history of second or third placed contestants doing far better than the eventual winners.
The news of the deal was confirmed on Twitter with the announcement that, the duo will release their debut album later in the year, 2016.
“We’re so happy to share the good news with you,” Reggie said. Bollie added, “We’re going to put in the hard work and bring you wicked songs and wicked entertainment.”
Prior to signing them, Simon Cowell in December after the finals tweeted about the duo saying, “And congrats to Reggie and Bollie. The nicest people. They will sell records next year.”
From Ghana to the world and they are gradually becoming international superstars.
Often known as Syco, Syco Entertainment is a global joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment focused on the production and marketing of music, television, film and digital content. It employs a staff of more than 50, in offices in London and Los Angeles, and manages a string of high-profile television and music brands through partnerships with Sony Music labels and TV production partners, most notably Fremantle Media.
Syco was initially owned by Simon Cowell, and then sold to Sony. In 2010, a new company was formed as a 50/50 partnership between Cowell and Sony, keeping the pre-existing name Syco but titled as Syco Entertainment.
In 2015, it was announced that the Syco Entertainment joint venture would be extended for a further six years.
Syco has three main divisions – Syco Music, Syco TV and Syco Film. Syco Music releases recordings from its roster of artists, mostly from Cowell’s television shows, such as One Direction, Little Mix, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Emblem3, and Fifth Harmony, and others such as Il Divo.
Syco TV is responsible for The X Factor and the Got Talent television franchise which have been produced in 41 and 52 countries respectively, as well as other television projects.
Syco Film is involved in the production of films such as One Direction: This Is Us. Syco is also involved in the production of the musical I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical.
Unlike Reggie N Bollie who are not known in Ghana for too many hit songs, Davido hasn’t lacked hits after hits ever since his debut Dami Duro, his other releases have been amazing hits.
Last Thursday, the HKN boss, Davido made announcement of his lucrative music deal with Sony BMG Music for an amount of $1 Million.
“Announcing in A Bit!! feels good to see A Million cash!! @ChairmanHKN
“Thank you God!! I’ve worked hard all my life for this day! This is the day that the lord has made!!”
“Thank God! Just signed my deal with @sonymusicglobal”
“Im gonna make africa proud!! i swear down ..”
1st African artist to sign a global record deal!! My story is just starting!! My mother is smiling in heaven right now!! @SonyMusicGlobal
That was how he tweeted on Twitter to announce the deal. Even though details in reference to the money, Reggie N Bollie signed for has not been made public, the two deals are a feat worth celebrating about.
Sony Music Entertainment Inc., sometimes known as Sony Music, is an American music corporation managed and operated by Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation. In 1929, the enterprise was first founded as American Record Corporation (ARC) and, in 1938, was renamed Columbia Recording Corporation, following ARC’s acquisition by CBS.
In 1966, the company was reorganised to become CBS Records. In 1987, Sony Corporation of Japan bought the company, and in 1991, renamed it SME. It is the world’s second largest recorded music company, after Universal Music Group.
In 2004, SME and Bertelsmann Music Group merged as Sony BMG Music Entertainment. When Sony acquired BMG’s half of the conglomerate in 2008, Sony BMG reverted to the SME name. The buyout led to the dissolution of BMG, which then relaunched as BMG Rights Management. Out of the “Big Three” record companies, with Universal Music Group being the largest and Warner Music Group, SME is middle-sized.
News of such big signings will always attract some level of comments on the internet, both negative to denigrate it or positive to encourage it. I have read a plethora of such comments. However, the negatives always outweigh the positives.
“Signing for Simon does not mean a thing! Especially Simon,” a comment read concerning Reggie N Bollie signing with Simon Cowell’s Syco.
Another also read in the Davido/SonyMusic news, “Sorry boy cos you just sold your soul to the devil, wish you could meet Michael Jackson for him to explain things to you.”
African artistes are always criticised that, their works are not going international and when they get international deals, all we do is to needlessly criticise them. Very unfortunate.
Looking at the little introduction about the two companies I have posted above courtesy Wikipedia, it’s obvious; the two artistes are in the best of hands for a smooth music business outside the shores of Africa.
For now, we should just wish them well in their new family and a successful music career. We can do that as we hope that other talented African artistes will also get such opportunity to get close to their dreams. It is a gradual process, so let’s be supportive and appreciative.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz