Banky W has announced the dissolution of the record label arm Empire Mates Entertainment (EME), which he co-founded.
He said the label has been dissolved since January 2017 as a result of the structuring of EME.
After nine years of “helping discover/boost the careers” many artistes in the Nigeria’s music industry, the singer and actor said it became necessary to shutdown the label.
According to him, EME’s business venture will now be marketing, advertising, public relations, branding, shooting of television commercials and documentaries.
Banky W named DJ Xclusive, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru, and Adesua Etomi as the first set of clients of the rebranded company.
He made the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
He said, “Essentially we have restructured our business and instead of operating just as a record label, we have expanded and changed our focus a bit.
“We are now a full fledged media agency that focuses on creative marketing, advertising, PR, brand events/activations and a talent management firm.
“This switch in focus has been amazing and fulfilling. Behind the scenes, we have been able to impact the launching and marketing of a number of brands and companies the way we did artists but even in the talent management side, we are no longer restricted to working with just music artistes. We still work with musicians, but we also work with OAPs, actors and are evaluating sports management as well.
“The goal was always to find talents and brands we believe in, and partner with them to help them become more successful. Now we have expanded to do that for more than just the music business. We are excited about our client portfolio: the corporate brands we rep, as well as the talents.”
EME was founded by Banky W and his best friend, Tunde Demuren in 2002 while they were at the university in New York.
The label was home to Wizkid, Skales, Niyola and Shaydee.
Wizkid reportedly parted ways with EME in February 2013, to start his own label Starboy.
Multiple reports at the time said Wizkid was raking in about N24 million monthly for the label but got 25 percent from every show, while Banky W and Demuren shared 50 percent and Osagie, Wizkid’s former manager, got the remaining 25 percent.
This was believed to have formed the basis of the pop star’s exit from the label.
The following year, Skales also moved on from EME following the expiration of his contract.
Although unprofessional, it is a regular practice in the Nigeria’s music business for artistes to dump their record labels once they record commercial success.
The labels would in-turn drag the artistes to court, the move which hardly yields the desired results. The labels are often the biggest losers.