By Ene Onoja
American singer and record producer, Akon, has alleged that contracts don’t exist in Africa, especially Nigeria.
In an interview where he used Wizkid, Davido and P-Square as a case study, Akon said that “all you need is just to shake hands for a deal to be struck”
The award-winning singer claimed to have once signed the trio back in the days when he was consulting for music artistes in Africa.
“I never left music alone, cause, when I was in Africa, I was building the Afrobeats scene. when I first went out there in 2008, I signed Wizkid and I was doing lots of consulting for lots of artistes. I singed Davido, Psquare,” he said.
According to him, there was no written contract documenting the deal because such a practice was not common in Africa at the time.
“In Africa, contracts really don’t exist, you just shake hands… especially in Nigeria, there’s no contract being honoured. And me and Davido we never had a contract… it was just like a big brother kind of deal… just walk him through some things, advising, and things like that,” he said. Akon also said the ‘Assurance’ crooner had initially started out his career in Atlanta with him but later decided to move to Nigeria.
“Davido was like my little brother. He started his music career from Atlanta and said ‘you know what, there’s too much of a struggle here, let me just go back home.’ He went home and just popped off. What I love about Davido is that he’s an independent artist,” he added.
On what he has been up to in recent years, the singer said he has moved from the United States to base in Senegal where he owns several businesses and from where he runs his Atlanta “hustles”. He also said he co-owns a label group named Akon Label Group (ALG) which encompasses a total of four record labels, one of which is dedicated to Afrobeats artistes.
“We created the Akon Label Group which has four labels in it. We got Ke Lo Ke where we’re putting all our Latin artistes. We got Akondo which is straight Afrobeats. We have Jamakon which is the Carribean. You know, Reggae/Calypso. And then we got Akonic which is more like the cross-over hip hop,” he said.