There is no doubt that Kcee and Harrysong have been beneficial to each other. Harrysong it was who composed Limpopo that Kcee recorded to tremendous success. And in appreciation, Kcee signed him to his record label, Five Star Music, and takes him around to his shows and other engagements and he has thereby enjoyed the sort of popularity he hasn’t since he’s been in music.
But being on the same label and competitors as well is now testing their relationship. Harrysong has always been deemed to be promising. He’s a producer, songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and voice coach.
Proof that greatness resides in him is that he penned the monster hit, Limpopo, the implication of which is that he can write another successful song like Limpopo.
Being responsible for Kcee’s success, there is also the implication that he can eventually be more successful than Kcee whom has always been criticised as not being a really good musician and only earned some little music respect courtesy of Limpopo. So, as things stand right now, Kcee is subtly suppressing Harrysong.
Though they are on the same label, Harrysong is not getting the treatment Kcee does. While Kcee shoots most of his own music videos outside Nigeria, Harrysong’s are being shot in Nigeria with directors who are not yet critically and commercially acclaimed. It wouldn’t be really inappropriate therefore to say that Kcee is scared of packaging Harrysong in the right manner so that he doesn’t outshine him consequently.
They are not the first artists to be in this unhealthy situation, though. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the common trends in the music industry: established artists suppressing promising artists on their labels so the promising ones don’t become more popular than them. Another case like that which the spotlight focused on for some time was that of D’Banj and Wande Coal while they were still on the defunct Mo’Hits Records.
Not only was D’Banj Mo’ Hits biggest artist, he was also co-owner of the label and it is believed that Coal’s seeming inability to release his sophomore album two years after his highly successful 2008 debut, Mushin 2 Mo’ Hits, was because D’Banj was against it.
Accepted that D’Banj was established and recognised, Coal was however coming up so fast that his success could have consumed D’Banj and the successful release of his sophomore album then might have made that come to pass so D’Banj is believed to have blocked its release.
Now that D’Banj and Coal are no longer on the same label, his younger brother, Kayswitch who is on his new label, DB Records, is believed to be feeling the suppression antics.
It is generally accepted that Kayswitch is a bundle of talents and that he is even more talented than D’Banj. However, D’Banj is in control and the decisions he is taking are those that will keep Kayswitch in his shadow. Accepted, he is Kayswitch’s mentor and Kayswitch is popular today because of D’Banj’s influence and efforts.
However, it has gotten to the point whereby Kayswitch should have released his debut album. There is no word on that, however, and Kayswitch will remain in D’Banj’s shadow until his album frees him
Another popular recent example involves P-Square and May D. One day, they announced that they had signed May D to their Square Records, featured him on their hit track, Chop My Money, featured him in the video of the remix with Akon and then one day, they suddenly announced that they had dropped him unceremoniously from Square Records. There was however no concrete reason given for dropping him.
Later, their manager, Jude Okoye, said they had to let him go because he wanted to be more successful than P-Square, thereby confirming that PSquare began to see him as a threat to them due to his rising popularity and success courtesy of their influence.
Still another example is Skelewu singer, Davido, and his cousins, B-Red and Sina Rambo, that he signed to his label, HKN Music. He hasn’t really made much effort to promote their careers and even works against them by releasing songs when they do so that the public focus still ends up on him.
He however tweeted earlier this week that he’ll focus this year on the success of his artists and label as he’s not the only artist on the label who must be successful but all of them. Well, everyone is waiting to see if he’ll stay true to his words. The bottomline is that artists stay successful when they don’t have really serious competition.
And if an artist faces serious competition from an artist he can suppress, you can bet that he will. And when that becomes the case, the suppressed artist will start fighting for his right and might even leave the label. May D is doing well on his own, likewise Wande Coal, and B-Red and Sina Rambo are believed to have threatened Davido last year that they want to leave his label.
Will this be the eventual outcome between the Limpopo master, Kcee, and his artist who is responsible for his success and who has the potential to eventually be bigger than him? Let’s wait and see.