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DJ Irawo Rocks!

Friday, 20 December 2019


In the latter months of 2018, I made a call for songwriters on my Facebook wall and page and I got up to one hundred and one entries. Albeit, I was only able to choose five songs.

Unfortunately, two of these songwriters did not want to let go of their songs. They wanted to perform their songs by themselves. So, I am left with three songwriters.

These two songwriters do not understand what music publishing means. They assume that I am a record label owner.

Record label is not not the same as music publishing. They both perform different functions in the music industry internationally.

The truth is that it is not all music artistes that can write great songs. Some music artistes have lovely vocal expressions and enchanting stage craft but they write awful lyrics and compositions.

Meanwhile, some people can write great lyrics and melody but they have a terrible voice or they are shy or they lack stage craft or they do not want to become performing artists; they prefer to work a 9 to 5 or work in some other business ventures.

At the same time, some music artistes are also great songwriters. If this is the situation, then it is a plus for the record label.

Music artists like DJ Irawo, 2 Baba, Wizkid, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Teniola the Entertainer, etc can hold the stage spellbound and also write great lyrics. 

Thus, in simple English language, record labels represent music artists while music publishers represent songwriters.

One of the songwriters that I signed on in March 2019, is yet to submit his requirements. Albeit, he has promised to do before the end of 2019. When he does so, I will add his details to the two songwriters on my blog.

Marketing these songs have not been easy and at one time, I almost gave up the idea of publishing music but because of my passion for this section of the music industry, I have decided to bear my cross.

Music Publishing is the act and art of renting out music by a songwriter to users of music such as record labels, music artists, performing artists, movie producers, television producers, etc.

You may liken music publishing to the way we rent a movie tape of compact disc at a video club.

The tape of compact disc is not yours. You did not buy it. You rented it. So, after you finish watching the content, you return it to the owner of the tape of compact disc. 

In reality, the video club owner is not the copyright owner of these VHS tapes and compact discs but this analysis should suffice.

According to the Nigerian copyright law and the copyright law in many countries of the world, the copyright in a published song belongs to a songwriter for the duration of his lifetime and seventy (70) years after his death after which the song goes into a public domain and it becomes free for anyone to use. 

In a Creative Commons the songwriter makes his songs free from inception for the purpose of making the world a better place.

After the death of a songwriter, his next of kin or those that the songwriter has specifically listed has been entitled to his royalties will collect these royalties for seventy years after the death of a songwriter.

A songwriter can administer his royalties by himself or sign up with a music publisher to get a better deal.

I do not sign songwriters forever. I sign them up for a period of five years and if they intend to renew their contract with me, they can do so.

However, it is my intention that with or without a contract, songwriters who have signed up with me in the past can always walk up to me for advice. Our relationship after a contract must remain cordial.

However, there is a clause in my contracts that if a songwriter intends to sell off his song(s) and all the rights attached to it, he may do so. It is a win-win situation but licensing a song is much better.

The overall management of royalties accruing to a songwriter, music publisher, record label, etc is managed by the collecting society in a country.

In Nigeria, we have the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN).

Registering with a music professional like me will ensure that you do not only get your general royalties but in addition, you will get your specific royalties as at when due because I know the ropes to pull and the nuts to crack in this section of the industry.

I have the experience and certifications to practice as a music publisher all over the world. 

In addition to managing the songs of songwriters who do not intend to perform their own music on stage, I also manage the songs written by performing music artistes. 

These type of performing music artists/songwriters will need my services especially if they are independent music artists.

An independent music artist is one who is not signed to any record label.

I will stop for now.

I will like to read your comments and answer your questions.

Musically yours,

DJ Irawo

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