CEO of the Aristokrat Group, Piriye Isokrari, reiterates the mission of the company, which is to give the country’s music a global appeal, while explaining the new partnership deal Aristokrat recently signed with the Universal Music Publishing Group and what the Nigerian artistes stand to gain from the deal.
By Dubem George
What informed the partnership deal Aristokrat Group signed with Universal Music Group?
This strategic partnership consists of both a label deal, as well as a publishing deal through the Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). Aristokrat Group and Universal Music Group will work closely together to discover and develop exciting new African talents, giving artistes and songwriters the opportunity to reach global audiences with support from Universal Music Group companies around the world.
What is the economic impact of this joint venture to the Nigerian music industry and the economy?
This joint venture will give opportunities, to not only new artistes we intend to sign to the label, but also provide more job opportunities in the country through foreign direct investments FDIs, through the projects we’ll be working on. We intend to have more community outreach and giving jobs to local artisans to create merchandise and much more.
It is the understanding that many Nigerian artistes prioritize reach/popularity over revenue, which is why they are always on the lookout for international distribution companies like Universal.
Is this deal supposed to guarantee their popularity/reach over their revenue?
With this deal with Universal, our artistes will be able achieve both. This deal will ensure a reach and popularity to international marketing, which in turn will follow with revenue, not only from these international markets, but also increase popularity and revenue in our local markets.
The relationship between record labels and artistes is pretty broken. What is your comment on this?
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I wouldn’t say it’s broken. That a very general term. There are so many artists that thrive under record labels and there are artists who don’t. The Nigerian industry is a very young industry that is growing rapidly, so there are bound to be mistakes. The good thing about these errors is that we can all learn from them.
The world can no longer deny that Nigeria has talented artistes and quality music. How can the industry leverage this and how can government help?
So far, the Nigerian music industry has been doing a great job in leveraging artists and talent, but a way we can further put our music to the world is continuing to collaborate with artistes from different parts of the world, even in lesser known artistes in smaller genres. This way, we can show the versatility of Nigerian artistes and make our presence even more widespread. As for what the government can do to help, there is no denying the fact that our music is one of Nigerian biggest exports. Government can assist by establishing piracy laws for the music industry to ensure that the music industry can become an economic success that will benefit the entire country.
COVID-19 has caused global cancellation of shows, how is the record company coping with the ‘no tour, no concert’ situation?
It is important to remain innovative, especially during this challenging time. While tours and live shows have been cancelled, we have the beauty of the Internet to keep us connected. Our artistes have done Instagram Live concerts and music battles to get the spirits of their fans alive during this time. We personally want the fans of our artistes know how dedicated the artistes are to interact with them during this time.
Give us an overview on the gender distribution of artistes in your labels?
At Aristokrat Records, we currently have T’neeya signed as a recording artist, Saszy signed as a producer and Seyi Shay is also under our management at Aristokrat 360. Our staff strength is also made up of 70% women, including our executive staff that consists of 50% women. In short, we understand the essential creativity and power women bring into any business. With this new deal, we are looking to sign more talented women to the label and continue to be a champion for women in the music industry.