The whole of last week, entertainment blogs were filled with news of Shatta Wale’s ‘juicy’ deal with record label, Zylofon Media. News of the agreement between both parties started a whole new debate on artiste signings on social media. This was not the first time a record label had signed an artiste in the industry, in-fact it happens all the time. However what made this signing topical was the reported packages associated with the deal.
A week after the signing, the controversy and buzz surrounding Zylofon Media still rumbles on and has generated a whole new debate on social media. This time round, the question that every entertainment follower keeps asking is, can Zylofon sign Sarkodie, the biggest artiste in Ghana for the last decade?
Already Zylofon has under their belt two of the three biggest artistes and music brands in Ghana; Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, with only Sarkodie left to complete the Jigsaw. Will that deal ever happen and can Zylofon make strides and sign him?
Currently, looking at the odds, which would be an extremely difficult and uphill task for Zylofon Media, an almost impossible one. Why?
Firstly, there is the problem of Sarkcess Music. Sarkodie has spent the best part of the last three years building his own record label known as the Sarkcess Music. The label is largely responsible for the production work of Sarkodie, and beyond that, has signed a couple of artistes under it, most notable of them being singer and songwriter Akwaboah Jnr and upcoming rap sensation, Strongman Burner. From all indications, Sarkodie habours a big dream and has big plans for Sarkcess Music, hoping to make it one of the biggest in the industry in a couple of years’ to come or when he is no longer doing active music, the reason why he spends so much resources and time promoting the label. For him to sign on to Zylofon Media may mean a halt in the progression of Sarkcess music because his concentration would be divided between two labels. It is hard to see Sarkodie taking any decision that will stifle the growth of his label and surely becoming a signee of another record label will cause exactly that. This factor alone could make it impossible for Zylofon Media to sign Sarkodie.
Ever since Sarkodie emerged on the scene in 2008, he has hardly associated or committed himself to any business brand. He is one of the smartest and business minded artistes in the industry. He knows very well that endorsing or signing a partnership agreement with a business brand in Ghana may result in some consequential restrictions as it would imply that he can’t perform at certain events, especially if they are sponsored by competitors from the brand he is committed to. For this reason, Sarkodie hardly commits himself fully to brands, and he depends largely on album sales, Youtube views, returns on sold-out Concerts and world tours for his revenue. Zylofon Media is no different in this case as it can be considered as a business brand with branches in the television and radio industry. Sarkodie surely knows very well that the moment he puts pen to paper with Zylofon Media it comes with certain restrictions on his craft, as Zylofon Media as his new management will pick and choose which shows he performs, which events he attends and so on. The Sarkodie we know in the industry will not commit himself to such restrictions and limitations.
Also there is the ever unending debate of how much Sarkodie is worth. Shatta Wale was rumoured to receive a whopping 1.5million dollars when he signed on to Zylofon Media. So, the question is, if truly Shatta Wale was paid 1.5million dollars, how much will be enough to ‘buy’ Sarkodie or convince him to put his whole management in the hands of Zylofon Media? This is an artiste who has consistently and consecutively made the list of Forbes richest African artistes for the past five years, and the only Ghanaian to do so as a matter of fact. If Shatta Wale who has never made the list of the richest artistes on the continent was paid a million and half dollars, then it will take something mind-blowing and at least twice that amount plus other goodies to sign Sarkodie. This will imply Zylofon Media would have to dip their hands deep into their coffers to raise that amount. It’s not a matter of whether Zylofon Media has that kind of amount to spend, because from all indications, the label can raise that money but how would Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale feel?
Another factor that will make it almost impossible for Zylofon Media to sign Sarkodie is the lifestyle of Sarkodie. Zylofon Media as a strategy uses juicy packages worth of millions and promises of luxury to lure artistes onto their label. This strategy will however not work on Sarkodie as he is known to live a modest lifestyle and has no intense desire to live a luxurious lifestyle. Indeed Sarkodie never brags about the mansions or cars he owns and he never displays his properties on social media like Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy and some other artistes. His focus is on bettering his craft every passing day and not on acquiring the finest of cars or owning the best mansion among colleagues. Every decision he takes, is motivated by his desire to keep building his music brand and mastering his craft and not on making quick millions. This means Zylofon Media would have to give him another reason for him to join their label and not use the old strategy of promising millions of dollars as signing on fee because Sarkodie is hardly moved by money and luxury.
Signing Sarkodie will be the icing on the cake for Zylofon Media but the moment the odds do not favour them and it will take something out of the ordinary to lure the biggest artiste in the country to the label.