News on Shatta Wale signing for entertainment label, Zylofon Media spread like wild fire. It came as a shocker to many music lovers, entertainment pundits and even industry insiders. Even though the story was earlier on debunked by Zylofon Media, it is a done deal for the self-acclaimed king of African Dancehall to join the tall list of celebrities on the payroll of Zylofon Media.
A lot of people have shared their views on the prospect of Shatta Wale joining the arguably the biggest label in Ghana. The reaction has been mixed, with some expressing their delight at the news while others seemed disappointed with the move by Zylofon Media.
But beyond all the euphoria, rumours of a luxury sign on packages, criticism of the move, what does this move really mean for Shatta Wale and Zylofon Media? Who stands to benefit the most? And who stands to lose out the most? For both parties, is this really a good move or one that will come back to haunt both sides of the divide?
Now let us take a critical examination of this strange and shocking move and its implication for both sides.
First and foremost, Shatta Wale is an artiste who’s known to have built his brand on independence, non- conformity and rebel against industry players. Yes, we may all hate and dislike that aspect of him always taking on respected industry players, media organisations and so on but it is a fact that these tactics have worked magic for him over the years. He has amassed an equaled fan base in Ghana just by rebelling against the system. People who believe in independence and speaking their mind against all odds have come to use him as a reference point. Now to go on and sign for a record label means Shatta Wale’s independence and freedom to speak his mind is being curtailed to some extent. He has spoken against Charterhouse, GhOne, Graphic Showbiz and all the media giants you can think about in Ghana but the question is will he ever be able to take on Zylofon Media when an issue pops up? The people who follow and love him, mostly do so because of his daring nature and freedom to speak against any establishment, no matter how powerful it is. Following social media comments, most of fan base see this suppose move to Zylofon Media as a betrayal of their loyalty and also a shift from the value he is known for; absolute independence, without control from the industry players. Now he risks losing his trusted and loyal fans.
Following social media comments, most of fan base see this suppose move to Zylofon Media as a betrayal of their loyalty and also a shift from the value he is known for; absolute independence, without control from the industry players. Now he risks losing his trusted and loyal fans.
Can an artiste signed to a record label ever have a public feud with a fellow record label mate? If you are a keen follower of music, you know that is not permissible and not allowed by record labels. What then does this mean for Shatta Wale? In simple terms, it means Shatta Wale would have to pick and choose artistes whom he disses. He can no longer pick a sly dig at Stonebwoy in a Facebook post, diss him in a song or take a dig at him in interviews. In fact, he cannot do that to anyone associated with Zylofon Media. This is such a restriction on an artist who has built a brand that is based on dissing fellow artistes, most notably Stonebwoy who he may now be on the same record label with. This is not a good thing for Shatta Wale, inasmuch as we speak against these dissing of artistes, it’s part of his success story and what has propelled him to unimaginable fame, wealth and support. Moving away from that could spell the end to arguably the biggest music brand in Ghana over the last few years.
A week does not pass by without the name Shatta Wale being associated with any controversial story, mostly negative ones. It is intentional, crafted to ensure he is always in the news, whether for the good or bad reasons. To him, all that matters is he gets the needed publicity, which keeps widening his fan base and support among the people. To commit his future to a record label might mean, he would have to do away with this negative publicity and controversial stories surrounding him. No record label would want to come out every week to try and defend or justify the actions of their artiste. This could spell trouble for the Shatta Movement Brand shatta Wale has worked so hard to build over the years because the main attribute of the brand, controversy, would be done away with.
This move could also have a negative impact on the Shatta wale owned SM Records. Attention would have to be divided between pleasing his pay masters, Zylofon Media and having time to work on and promote his own record label, which has some artistes signed under it. In short, signing for Zylofon Media could derail the growth and success of SM Records. That is most unwanted at the moment considering the fact that he already has about three signees under the label.
For Zylofon Media this looks more like simply throwing away money done doing a smart business. Ever since Shatta Wale burst onto the scene, first as Bandana and later as Shata Wale, influential industry players, award organisers, entertainment labels have all struggled to contain him. From the organisers of VGMA to the organisers of BASS Awards, Shatta Wale has fought every one of them and doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Zylofon Media at such an infant stage doesn’t need a character like Shatta Wale in their team. It’s not about he, having a bad character, it’s about him not being the submissive type of artiste. He always wants to have his way and be the boss running the show and record labels don’t work that way. Too much attention would be dedicated to ensuring he stays in line to the detriment of other signees. This could create a problem for Zylofon Media.
And there is also the issue of having two captains in one boat. Zylofon Media already has Stonebwoy on their label. And now wants to add Shatta Wale. How will this fare? Even though the pair’s relationship has been better of late, it is nowhere near being totally repaired. That silent competition for Supremacy between them still exists. Shatta Wale sees himself as the biggest Dancehall artiste in Africa, Stonebwoy thinks otherwise. How is Zylofon Media going to work with these two on the same team? Who gets the better packages, attention and financial backing for projects? This could spell trouble for Zylofon Media.
How is Zylofon Media going to work with these two on the same team? Who gets the better packages, attention and financial backing for projects? This could spell trouble for Zylofon Media.
Aso, any attempt by Zylofon Media to control the actions of Shatta Wale, especially in the media could potentially lead to the death of the artiste’s career. His brand is built on negative controversy, dissing fellow artistes and grabbing all the headlines in the papers and on blogs. Should these elements of Shatta Wale’s brand be curtailed by Zylofon Media, the artist could lose his fanbase, popularity and potentially damage his career. Zylofon Media in this case will run into millions of loses considering the lucrative package that Shatta Wale is rumoured to receive as part of the deal.
Either way,this looks like a lose-lose situation for both camps. Both Zylofon Media and Shatta Wale could be doing damage to their respective brands with this partnership looking at the odds. Shatta Wale has done a yo man’s job on his own and is just about to throw all that away to join a label that would restrict him and potential kill his brand and career. Zylofon Media on the other hand is about to experience just how difficult it is manage Shatta Wale and are at the risk of losing millions of investment should they try to control him and do away with the very attributes on which the Shatta Wale brand was built.
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