Top 10 Record Labels in Nigeria and Why Musicians Need Them

by Morenikeji Odebiyi
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Record label

The music industry of West Africa has been booming, in light of a genre known as “Afrobeats,” thanks to the Internet, artists, and technology. This has enhanced the need for solid record labels to push upcoming artists forward.

Record labels in the industry have several ways of going about their business, and they come with other perks that may not be open to the public because they (the public) are more concerned about the result.

The Nigerian music industry is a big marketplace where everyone goes about the business that pays them, part of which includes upcoming music artists working to distribute their music to record labels, because of the many advantages it offers them.

Here are a few thriving record labels in Nigeria, but before that, let us understand what record labels are. 

What Are Record Labels?

Record Labels are companies that manufacture, distribute, and market the recordings of musicians, confirmed by signing a deal. Record labels consist of various staff who oversee a wide range of duties in the company and on behalf of the signed artist, including recruitment and development, also known as A&R (artist and repertoire). 

They are essential pillars of the music industry because they provide artists with the platform and support they need to create a name for themselves. Here are the top ten thriving record labels in Nigeria.

Read also: Global Impact of Afrobeat Music on Different Industries’ Trends.

Top 10 Record Labels in Nigeria

  1. Mavins record

Mavin Records’ ability to find the best of the best and some of the most promising talents in the industry and establish them into someone great has them holding down an undisputed spot as one of the best record labels in the country at the moment. 

The label is owned by Don Jazzy, who works with several musicians and has had quite a decade’s worth of history. The label also has solid financial holdings from international investors.

  1. DMW (Davido Music Worldwide)

Known due to the boss’ popularity, Davido, DMW wears the cap for being the most popular, thanks to the label’s ability to leverage the fame and prestige of its founder. Davido, who left HKN Music in 2016, founded the record label and signed a few artists under the label. 

DMW has also made its mark in the industry with the success of its founder and first man, Davido, who continues to rake in mega deals and make mega moves.

  1. Spaceship records (Spaceship Entertainment)

Spaceship Records houses grammy-award winner Burna Boy (African Giant), as they say, and veteran music and award-winning Grammy producer Telz. 

Burna Boy founded the record label on February 18, 2015, after his exit from Aristokrat Records. It is a primary company of Spaceship Collective, the holding company that houses the record label and the publishing company, Spaceship Publishing.

Read also: How to Identify Nigerian Hip Hop Musicians.

  1. Chocolate City

With 17 years in the game, Chocolate City remains the label that has produced many artists that graced our childhood, including the likes of Victoria Kimani, Ice Prince, and MI Abaga. Chocolate City is a subsidiary of Chocolate City Group, one of Africa’s biggest entertainment conglomerates. 

Warner Music Group announced a partnership with the Nigerian label Chocolate City on March 28, 2019. This deal grants Chocolate City artists WMG’s repertoire and support. 

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  1. YBNL 

Many times when music genres are discussed, Afrobeats consistently tops, with no space for street music, not until Olamide released Eni Duro in 2010. Since then, the indigenous rapper has worn many hats of success in the industry with his record label, which was formed in 2015.

The record label houses many talents, such as Lil Kesh, Temmie Ovwasa, etc. The record label, which also houses DJ Enimoney, secured a distribution deal with Empire in 2020, a distribution and record label company, and has been able to shoot current acts, such as Fireboy DML, Asake, and Olamide himself, to new heights.

  1. Starboy entertainment 

With Made in Lagos becoming a worldwide sensation in 2020, it has shot the star in the limelight that will not dim soon. This project was a great success and a significant achievement for the African continent, further cementing the artist’s name and his record label’s Star Boy.

Wizkid founded it in 2013, following his exit from Empire Mates Entertainment, and while he bagged a deal with RCA, the star continues building his reputation through music and bag-licensed deals.

  1. Empawa Africa

Although Empawa Africa is not an actual record label, it has sought to assist independent artists in getting the best out of the music world. It is a label company that provides distribution, publishing, and marketing for artists navigating their way into the music world.

It was established by Mr Eazi in 2018, as the musician had hoped to focus on only becoming a businessman, and due to the model of his company, he has established Empawa Africa as one of the most recognizable labels in the continent.

  1. Flboy Inc

It is incredible how the single artist and owner of Flyboy Inc., Kizz Daniel, has taken the country and its outside by storm with his music, mainly the Barnabas EP and Buga single. All this is noteworthy as the singer keeps a low profile and, for the most part, is on the news because of his music. He has fulfilled all these since he left his former record label, G-Worldwide, to create Flyboy Inc. 

  1. Jonzing world

It is owned by Charles Enebeli, younger brother to Don Jazzy, and was established in 2019. This record label has discovered two immensely great artists, Ruger and Rema, who are making waves in the industry.

Read also: How to Start a Music Record Label in Nigeria.

  1. Keyqaad

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it would have been unbelievable if anyone had imagined Omah Lay would pull through like he did that way. 

Omah Lay, a former producer, had indeed shone through the deafening silence of the pandemic days, cutting through the many barriers to become a new-school favorite in an era where we couldn’t be outside to feel the music. He is signed to Keyqaad Music, owned by Valentine Ngaji and established in 2018.

Why do Musicians Need A Record Label?

A record label is a guiding route for every musician who needs a foot in the industry. They are an investment bank for musicians and provide a solid ground for improvement for every artist.

They invest money in an artist, time, recordings, style, video content, management, and tour guides and expect a return on those investments in significant profits from tours, sponsorship, and merchandise.


Simply put, a record label is a soft landing for every artist looking to fly high. Ten of Nigeria’s top and most suitable record labels have been highlighted above. Are you an artist? You can apply to any of them, with hard work and determination, and you’ll be on your way to the music industry’s top.

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Edited by Oluwanifemi Akintomide.

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