While a lot of attention is given to the large heart of Olamide which has fueled his foray into label management and putting artistes on, very little has been shown to the amount of control he affords these artistes in the music creation process.
YBNL as a recording house has birthed two stars, a feat that many record label owners will look on with envy and pray to emulate. Lil Kesh and Olamide are the two successful acts from the label, and they have gone on to produce spectacular music, while enriching themselves in the process.
What happens in the studio? How does Olamide operate with his acts? How much artistic control does his signed acts have under him?
Adekunle Gold has revealed just about thing work as regards music. The Urban Highlife singer was signed to YBNL in 2014, and has taken to music with unique content, which has seen him grow to become one of the leading lights in a genre that had, prior to his arrival, received minimal spotlight.
His debut album – “Gold” – which was released in 2016 has received massive acceptance. According to the singer, a huge reason why this works out is because of the free hand he got from Olamide, to take his music in any direction he wants.
“Thank God I am in a label like YBNL, and I have an oga (boss) like Olamide that understands that you need to do you.” he told Guardian.
“Olamide has given each and every one of us the opportunity and liberty to just do what we want to do. Where he comes in is to give approval. He can say what he thinks works, and what doesn’t, and points us in the right direction.”
Without Olamide’s direct supervision and micro-management, how was “Gold” recorded? By his trust of course. Olamide let him flow, and the results were tremendously successful.
Adekunle continued: “I pretty much wrote the music myself. During production, I was the one telling the producer which direction I wanted everything to go. Olmide really entrusted everything to me, and he was always there to remind me that he knows I can do it.
“He would say, “Just see it as your business, I’m only here to guide you.’ So based on all this, it really just made sense to put me as the executive producer. And of course, I got approval from my oga”
Olamide’s decision to only offer emotion support and external positive reinforcement to Adekunle Gold was a masterstroke. The singer has one of the best albums of 2016, a huge benefit to the record label by way of raking cash via sales and distribution.
In this age of mushroom record labels and numerous investors stifling creativity by dictating the direction of the music, Olamide stands out as an artiste who understands that good music can only come from within. He also knows that an artiste would need to enjoy freedom in the creation process, while marrying it to the commercial aspect on his terms to flourish. He provided Adekunle Gold with the freedom, and it has proven to be the one of the best moves of 2016 at YBNL.
Sadly, this is rare in Nigerian music.