Navigating the Evolving Landscape of the Nigerian Music Business

Navigating the Evolving Landscape of the Nigerian Music Business


Over the past decade, the music business in Nigeria has experienced remarkable growth, with notable contributions from labels like Mavins Records, owned by the legendary Don Jazzy.

At the forefront of this evolution is the Mavins Academy, a breeding ground for talents that has given rise to artists such as Rema, Ayra Starr, Crayon, Ruger, and many more.

However, recent announcements about Mavins Records seeking outright sale or funding have raised pertinent questions about the sustainability of the current music industry model.

The Mavins Academy’s Impact:

Mavins Records, under the visionary leadership of Don Jazzy, has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Nigerian music.

The Mavins Academy stands as a testament to this, providing a platform for emerging artists to not only hone their craft but also understand the business side of the industry.

This unique approach has birthed a new generation of artists who enter the industry not just with a distinctive sound but also armed with a deep understanding of the business.


Challenges of Ownership and Sustainability:

As Mavins Records contemplates a change in ownership or seeks additional funding, it prompts reflection on the financial dynamics of the music business.

The question arises: Is having the artist with the highest streams on platforms like Spotify sustainable in the long run?

The industry gains, while impressive, may not necessarily translate to sustainable profitability for individual labels or artists.

Ownership of Catalogues and Global Reach:

Another crucial aspect to consider is the ownership of catalogues. With the increasing reliance on foreign streaming platforms, there is a concern about who ultimately owns the music.

Are these valuable catalogues sitting in the hands of major labels, or do the artists and local labels retain control?

Moreover, while these platforms provide global exposure, one wonders about the sustainability of relying on foreign markets when the core audience is predominantly African.

Can We Afford Our Artists?

The financial structure of the Nigerian music industry comes under scrutiny. Can the industry truly afford its artists, especially when compared to the revenue generated from international streaming platforms?

As the industry expands, it becomes essential to ensure that artists are adequately compensated for their contributions.

The Future of the Nigerian Music Business:

Looking ahead, the Nigerian music industry is poised for a major shift. The days of music business being affordable to private individuals may be numbered.

Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and venture capitalists are likely to play a more significant role, treating artists as startups where investors can own equity in their projects.

This shift represents a maturation of the industry, aligning it more closely with global business practices.


As Mavins Records contemplates its future, the Nigerian music industry stands at a crossroads. The gains of the last decade have been impressive, but questions about sustainability, ownership, and financial viability persist.

The industry must navigate these challenges with foresight and innovation to ensure that artists are not just creators but also stakeholders in the business that they fuel.

The future promises both challenges and opportunities, and only time will reveal the trajectory of the evolving Nigerian music business.