Looking for top record labels in Nigeria and Ghana in 2021? Thedistin.com presents the vibrant record labels in Africa (Ghana, Nigeria) with its founders and names of artists signed onto them. The list includes Marvin Records, Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), EME Records, YBNL Nation, Chocolate City Music, Lynx Entertainment, Life Living Records, GroundUp Chale, Highly Spiritual, SarkCess Music etc.
Ever since the emergence of music as a foremost means of prime entertainment and a huge money-making venture, record labels have played a critical role in housing, grooming, and propelling artists to stardom.
These label imprints are the domain of music artists, and just like a businessman owns an empire or conglomerate, a record label owner also owns similar conglomerates, but in form of music artists signed under his label.
Over the years, some labels in Nigeria and Ghana have proven to be so prodigious, releasing every collaboration and singles as major hits year after year.
Some of these labels are worth billions when the entire caliber of its constituent music acts are priced.
They are household names in the Nigerian and Ghana entertainment scenes and ashore.
For upcoming artists, getting signed into one of these record labels marks a major breakthrough testimony.
Below are the top 15 record labels in Nigeria
1. Mavin Records aka (Mavin Dynasty)
Founded by Michael Collins Ajereh popularly known as Don Jazzy in 2012 following a split with his former co-partner D’Banj.
The split was actually a top gist in the entertainment scene, the duo of D’Banj and Don Jazzy co-founded “Mo’Hit Records”, a record label that rocked the Nigerian music scene prior to 2012 with top sensational albums coming from some of the finest and talented artists from its platforms like D’Banj himself and Wande Coal.
Post-2012, The Mavins Dynasty is the biggest and most influential record label in Nigeria and arguably West Africa.
It houses top artists like Reekado Banks, D’Prince, Dr. Sid, Koredo Bello, Di’Ja, and Tiwa Savage.
As a team, they have occupied the music airways with their songs starting from their debut scintillating collaboration in “Dorobucci” and then to “Adaobi”.
2. Davido Music Worldwide (DMW)
Davido was once a member of the HKN gang, a label that seemed more like a family business co-owned by the OBO himself and his brother Wale and having two of their cousins signed unto it with stage names B-Red and Shina Rambo.
He however left the record to establish his own, hence the Davido Music Worldwide entertainment outfit and label.
Currently, he has Dremo and the popular “MAMA” crooner Mayorkun signed onto his record label.
DMW stands as one of the biggest and hottest record labels in the country at the moment.
3. YBNL Nation
YBNL is an acronym for Yahoo Boy No Laptop.
It was founded by Lagos indigenous rapper and indeed one of the greatest rappers in the Nigerian contemporary times Olamide aka Badoo.
After Olamide shot to dazzling limelights in 2011 from the stables of ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes, he went solo in 2012 to establish his own label imprints YBNL.
Today, his imprint prides itself as one of the biggest in Nigeria even though the likes of Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold, Viktoh have all gone solo.
Currently, it has DJ Enimoney, Temmie, Ovwasa, Davolee, Lyta, Limerick, Star Prince among others signed into it.
It also houses big names in the producing department (Pheelz and Young John the Wicked Producer).
4. Chocolate City Music
Founded in 2005 as a subsidiary of Chocolate City Group by Lawyer Audu Maikori alongside Paul Okeugo and Yahaya Maikori, the music empire is certainly a force to reckon with in the Nigerian Music Industry.
The label is unique with its crop of talented urbane rappers in the likes of MI (arguably the best around the green nation), Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz.
Other notable artists in the group include; Nosa, Femi Kuti, Pryse, DJ Caise and it’s sensational First Lady Victoria Kimani from Kenya.
5. Made Men Music Group
Founded by Iyanya and his manager Ubi Franklin A.K.A Triple MG in 2012, the record label has in no small measure expanded it’s credibility, fame, and relevance since it’s inception.
With Iyanya, a star artist in the mix, the imprint can’t be more conspicuous.
And now it houses the fine music prodigy of Tekno, the incredible singer and producer in Selebobo, the scintillating diva in Emma Nyra, and the promising Daci.
The group has an album that was birthed recently.
It’s called THE EVOLUTION.
6. EME Records
Empire Mates Entertainment was founded in 2002 by Nigerian popular R&B Singer, Banky-W while in Albany, New York.
EME would later wake up to see itself in Lagos, Nigeria when it’s founder relocated back home to show his country the stuff he is made up of, well, he did.
The story of EME would have the writer stoned for not mentioning the Star Boy “Wizkid”.
He was groomed from the street by Banky, his potentials harnessed to the climax and today he’s been booked four years upfront.
He actually cracked out the shell of EME when he obviously became too big to be confined and now flaunts his StarBoy Records globally.
EME is still standing tall today, with the boss himself, Banky W, the only tempting Diva, Niyola, rising Shaydee, and the ever captivating DJ Xclusive.
7. Five Star Music
Two brothers, wealth, fame, talents are all adjectives and descriptions that come along with the Label Imprint “Five Star Music”.
Having a billionaire CEO that lives by the dollar is quite tantalizing, as the label is headed by Emeka Okonkwo popularly known as E-money, elder brother to the Limpopo crooner “KCEE”.
The record label rose to prominence while reflecting the light it got from KCEE after the singer also got the world to know he existed.
The record has Kcee, Harrysong, and skibii signed unto it until Harrysong left the group in a dust raising exit that rocked the brand.
The group is still afloat and Kcee is on a competitive edge raising the flag of his generous billionaire brother’s investment.
8. Capital Hill Records
Owned by renowned producer Clarence Peters, son of famous Nigerian music legend Shina Peters and veteran actress Clarion Chukwura.
This family certainly has a knack for knocking themselves out.
That’s by the way.
Capital Hill records have been around for a while and have earned itself a solid reputation amongst records labels in the country owing to the crackerjack producing skills of its CEO.
It once has Chidinma, Tha Suspect, and rapper Kel to call its inhabitants, but you know the affinity between artists, record labels and rifts is still healthy, so about this time, rapper ill bliss is the sole big name in the group.
9. StarBoy Entertainment
After bidding EME records farewell to lead to a solo prodigious career, In 2013 Nigerian A-list music act Wizkid launched his label imprint the StarBoy Entertainment.
According to Wizkid, he established his own record label to give upcoming musicians a chance at success.
Talk about giving back to society. His record label is one with a glaring identity in the Nigerian Music scene.
Some of the associated music acts in his label include Maleek Berry, Legendary Beatz, L.A.X, Efya, R2Bees, and Mr. Eazi.
10. G-WorldWide Entertainment
Founded by Festus Ehimare popularly known as Emperor Geezy in 2007.
The label existed in what seemed like an incubation period until 2013 when it signed top act Kiss Daniel who was up at his prime and if you ever heard of the hit singles “Woju” and “Laye” then you would see why the label is on the list.
Well, about now G-worldwide and Boy Kiss are seriously immersed in a legal battle, which further lends credence to our upcoming imaginary postulate dubbed “Music Stars, Record Labels and Rift”.
11. LoveWorld Records
The only gospel record label on the list and a religious subsidiary of Believers LoveWorld aka Christ Embassy.
Founded in 2009, the label since it’s the entrance into prominence, promoted aspiring and top gospel acts in Nigeria.
The likes of Frank Edward, Buchi, Ehi, Sinach, Joe Praise, Chris Shalom, Eben, Ada, all of which are household names when it comes to gospel music in Nigeria owe a heartfelt homage to LoveWorld records.
Really, the gospel is not for Sunday mornings alone, and the label has made it a call of duty to drive this point home by churning out A-list gospel acts at will.
Currently being managed by Ehi Moses, a music veteran, a tongue-speaking one, yeah!!
12. 960 Music Group
Founded by Mark Redguard who is the CEO in 2013, the 960 Music exists in a class all by itself.
It’s a content company, record label, and an artist management firm all in one.
It’s also the first music group to aggregate record labels together and equally own all of them.
Under the music, group comes the very popular Hypertek records which had Nigeria’s music legends 2Face (before he left) and Sir Victor Uwaifo and Dammy Krane.
It also owns Aristocrats Records which Burna Boy is signed unto.
And then comes the partnership with Ultima Group, famous for the biggest music talent hunt show in Africa, the MTN Project Fame West Africa.
13. Kennis Music
Founded by entertainment mogul Kehinde Ogungbe popularly referred to as Keke before Dayo Adeniyi also known as D1 joined him and they both became the CEO of the brand.
They founded the entertainment label in 1998 and made the brand one of the best during the years it flourished along with their regular TV and Radio entertainment show called Primetime Africa where they bring to light events and major groundbreaking happenings in the music scene.
The label once had 2Face, OJB Jezreel and Sound Sultan signed unto it.
Presently, it houses Eedris Abdulkareem, Kenny Saint Brown, Essence, Capital Femi, and Jo El.
14. Kalakuta Republic
Nigeria’s Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti though deceased, but lives on in the Kalakuta Republic which also doubles as a record label that reeled out the majority of his songs while he was alive.
The record label is one of the oldies in the game as far as Nigeria is concerned.
It would be a spat on the legend’s legacy of his republic coined after the prison he was incarcerated if his imprint was omitted.
15. DB Records
After the disbanded Mo’Hits records became a fine history, D Banj took care of himself pretty good, rising up from the split and propelling himself to very steep heights in the Music Industry.
DB Records was an offspring of his independence.
Currently, he has his own younger brother Kay Switch, Jaysleek, DeeVee, Jsoul, Kris, and Nollywood screen goddess Tonto Dike signed into his label imprint.
Although not much has been heard of the actress recently when it comes to music.
16. Kaycee Records
Kaycee is a record label formed in the United Kingdom managed and owned by Kennedy Kesidi Richard and Kingsley Chibuzor Aguoru.
Kaycee records have been promoting Nigerian acts in the U.K as far back as 1995. However, in 2010, the company expanded and launched its record label. During this lauch, Kaycee Records presented the following artists; Uche Uzoigwe (Mel-Dee), Chike Ken Nwoke (Seaflo), and the group Siuthend.
Currently, one of the popular artists at Kaycee Records is Safin de Coque, the son of the legendary musician Oliver de Coque. They also have Mr. Bistop, a former member of Bracket under this label.
17. Alapomeji Ancestral Records
Founded by Abolore Akande popularly called 9ice, Alapmeji Ancestral Records is another top record label in Nigeria.
It was founded in 2008 as Alapomeji Records but was rebranded in 2015 to Alapomeji Ancestral Records when the entertainment company had acts like Seriki, Kayefi and Wise departed from the label.
18. Square Records
Owned by the popular musical duo called PSquare, the Square records has only two artistes signed on to the label which are coincidentally the owners, Peter and Paul Okoye.
The label signed Mr. May D when things were going smoothly for the duo but he left when the founders faced a disagreement which has made them solo artists at the moment.
19. Edge Records
Edge Records was founded by Ibrahim Okulaja and JahBless in 2005. The first music act to be signed to this label was 9ice.
The current music acts at Edge Records include Reminisce, Ola Dips and SoJay.
20. Soul Muzik Records
Soul Muzik is an entertainment company based in Nigeria. The company was founded in 2008 by award winning singer Dare Art Alade (Darey).
The artists signed under this label includes Dare, Zaina Agoro and Mo Eazy.
Below are the top 15 record labels in Ghana
1. Lynx Entertainment
Lynx Entertainment is a Record Label founded by award winning musician and producer, Richie Mensah, in 2006.
Back then the label had signees like Eazy, Asem, OJ Blaq, Mzvee who all came out with couple of hit songs.
Currently the label has two of the talented Ghanaian musicians, KiDi and Kuami Eugene who have emerged top VGMA winners in recent years.
Musical duo, Dope Nation was also a part of the label but left within few months after they were officially introduced into the label.
2. GroundUp Chale
Ground Up Chale is a Tema-based record label. Somehow the founder of this label has remained silent and off social media as the output of the artists on the label is selling it both locally and internationally.
This entertainment company is opened in helping anyone with talent and has a lot of artists.
Ground Up Chale have artists like Quamina MP, Day On The Track, Twitch, Scanty, just to mention few
The Tema-based Record Label rose from the ‘Undergrounds’ to attain a BET recognition in the international front with their artiste, Kwesi Arthur.
Despite having a lot of artistes being part of the label, their front-liner, Kwesi Arthur is the only clear officially signed artiste on the label.
3. Life Living Records
Life Living Records was birthed during the lockdown. The founder at the moment remains unknown but has its artists well known to the public.
Collectively called the Asakaa Boys, Life Living Records have stars like Jay Bahd, O’Kenneth, Reggie, Kawabanga, City Boy, Bra Benk, Sean Lifer, Kwaku DMC, others.
Asakaa Boys have some of the buzzing songs since 2020 till now as they keep topping charts in Ghana.
Aside being known for producing drill songs, the Asakaa boys produce different vibes to entertain their fans.
Life Living Records is a magical label based in Kumasi.
4. AMG Business
The Arab Money Gang Business Music Label has all it takes to make any talented rapper or singer blow globally.
Their head-line artiste Medikal is a clear example of their works.
He has constantly managed to remain relevant in the Ghanaian music industry with the help of the AMG Business team.
The Label is currently one of a kind in terms of work output. Aside Medikal, the label has artists like AMG Armani, AMG Mawuli Younggod etc.
The CEO is Criss Kwaku Waddle.
5. Highly Spiritual Music
Highly Spiritual is a record label owned by award winning sound engineer and producer Kaywa. CEO of the Highly Spiritual Music a record label based in Tema – Ghana has signed 5 artistes signed under his label.
Kaywa has artists like ‘Mr. Drew’, krymi, King Maaga, Yaw Berk and the sexy Rashelle blue.
Two of its artists, Mr. Drew and Krymi have put the label in the public eye with their back-to-back hit songs.
6. SarkCess Music
SarkCess Music is clearly a big deal in Ghana Music Industry.
The Label’s CEO, Michael Owusu Addo aka Sarkodie doubles as Ghana’s most decorated rapper.
The Label will not stress in blowing artists signed on it.
SarkCess Music’s previous signees; Strongman and Akwaboah are good example of their good output.
7. Burniton Music Group
Burniton Music Group owned by Ghana’s current dance-hall King, Stonebwoy is one of the finest labels any up and coming talent would love to join.
Kelvynboy and Okailey Verse are the two talents the label has been able to blow.
Burniton Music is a perfect deal for any Reggae, Afrobeats and Dance-hall Artistes.
8. Black Avenue Muzik (BAM)
D-Black is a man who needs to be commended for using his Black Avenue Muzik (BAM) to push a lot of talents.
Despite not being able to completely run things as compared to the previously mentioned labels, Black Avenue’s name cannot be written off in terms of good labels in Ghana.
Dahlin Gage (Afrobeats, Dancehall, Hiphop), Kobla Jnr (Afrobeats), Nina Ricchie (Pop, Afrobeats), Osayo (RNB, Afrobeats), S3fa (Soul, Afrobeats, RNB), Rony Turn Me Up (Music Producer) and Dj Breezy are some few talents on his label currently.
9. RuffTown Records
RuffTown Records is currently the leading Record Label in Ghana.
The Label owned by Ricky Nana Agyemang (Bullet) is now all over after perfectly blowing late ‘Ebony Reigns’ and continuing down to ‘Wendy Shay’.
Bullet arguably has got the chemistry and formula to blowing songstress’ in the Ghanaian music industry.
Bullet had Fantana on his label but she left due some reasons known to them. However, the label added another female, Kiki Marley who replaced Fantana.
He has promised in a post on his Instagram handle to add up a guy to his list of female artistes and prove he can equally blow guys on his Label.
10. High Grade Family
Owned by legendary Reggae-dancehall artist Samini, High Grade Family is mother of Bhimnation, and Team Move owned by Stonebwoy and Kofi Kinaata respectively.
The above names (including Kaakie) were on the label where they produced super hit songs before moving out to form their own labels.
High Grade Family is one of the labels who have contributed to the growth of Ghana music.
11. Zylofon Music
Zylofon cannot be ignored when it comes to the most powerful record labels in Ghana. They can boast of having some of the top artistes in the industry whiles the financial powers of the founder and manager of the record label Nana Appiah Mensah made the label an instant hit.
Zylofon Music has artistes like Shatta Wale, Joyce Blessing, Obibini, Kumi Guitar and many others making them one of the labels with the greatest collection of talents. They also had a deal with Stonebwoy who is a five time winner of the reggae dancehall artiste of the year.
12. Legacy Life Entertainment
Legacy Life Entertainment owned by KillBeatz is one of Ghana’s Music Label fast breaking into the International front with their headline artiste, King Promise.
Their efforts and push has made their artist, King Promise one of the most southed-after artiste in the International market.
This label will definitely not fail any hardworking talent signed on.
13. NKZ Music
NKZ Music owned by Nana Yaw Adjei Yeboah Maradona popularly known in showbiz as GURU is also one of the most hardworking and amazing record label in Ghana.
King Paluta, Wutah (no more with the label) are some few talents Guru have pushed among others.
The celebrated rapper in a matter of time will grow to have an outstanding label in Ghana.
14. Shatta Movement Record Label
Charles Nii Armah Mensah aka Shatta Wale’s SM Record Label is a hot cake.
Many argue that he hasn’t signed artistes that have got ‘mad’ talents on to make it a big brand since it’s set up.
Notwithstanding, the name Shatta Wale is big enough to blow talents signed on the label.
Natty Lee, Captan and Joint 77 are the 3 signees who were on the Shatta Movement Music Label.
15. GEM Records
Golden Empire Media (GEM) Records is a subsidiary of GEM multimedia owned by entrepreneur, Joana Gyan.
GEM Records has Ghanaian musical duo, Joshua and Andrew who are collectively called Keche.
CEO Joana Gyan is married to Andrew of Keche fame and also manages him professionally.
The Ghanaian music duo Keche received two brand new Hyundai Elantra saloon cars from their new management.