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    Chocolate City is a Nigerian record label founded in 2005 by lawyer Audu Maikori along with Paul Okeugo . Generally regarded the biggest and most successful indigenous urban record labels in Africa, [1] Chocolate City Music operates as a subsidiary of Chocolate City Group, one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in Africa. Other arms of the group are Chocolate City Distribution, Chocolate City Events, CCX and Chocolate City Media. [2] Thursday 28 March 2019,

    Warner Music Group announced partnership with the Nigerian label Chocolate City. Under the new deal, which was announced Thursday (May 28), Chocolate City artists will join WMG's repertoire and receive the support of the company's distribution and artist services via its independent label services division ADA[3]

    The label is home to recording artists such as M.I Abaga , Femi Kuti , Nosa,

    Dice Ailes , Blaqbonez, ClassiQ, CKay, Candy Bleakz, Torna and Dijay Cinch. [4] Artists formerly signed to the label include Victoria Kimani , Ice Prince, DJ Caise , DJ Lambo , Jeremiah Gyang ,

    Ruby Gyang , Pryse , Brymo , Koker and

    Jesse Jagz, Lemon Adisa, Mr. Gbafun and Ijay. Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari. Chocolate City Music has also worked on the careers of artistes such as Djinee and Asa . In 2012, business mogul and philanthropist Hakeem Bello-Osagie joined the board of Chocolate City Group as its chairman. In 2015, artist M.I became chocolate city's president which saw the return of his brother Jesse Jagz.[5]

    History

    Founded as a nightclub in 1997, Chocolate City quickly became the number one promotions outfit in the Northern part of Nigeria [citation needed] and moved into the industry mainstream in 2005 with the launch of the record label (Chocolate City Music ). In 2001, Audu Maikori founded the Guild of Artistes and Poets with Paul Okeugo which was called an "arts appreciation society" which held weekly meetings which focused on the arts, music, poetry and creativity as a means of youth engagement and empowerment. [citation needed]

    Under the leadership of MI, Chocolate City had its first ever press conference where every artistes were present to answer questions from members of the press. The press conference was planned to be on a monthly basis but it only had been held once [6]

    In March 2019, Chocolate City signed a worldwide distribution deal with Warner Music Group. [7]

    G.A.P

    The G.A.P later became one of the new age art renaissance movements which quickly gained membership in Jos, Abuja, and Lagos with a combined membership of over 3000 attendees at its peak. The GAP brought to light the need for artists to have better representation which Audu gave in form of pro bono legal services and this eventually led to his registering Chocolate CIty with his bonus earnings from his job as a lawyer with the chambers of Afe Babalola and co. The first act to be signed on the Chocolate City label was multi talented instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Jeremiah Gyang (whose debut album Na BA KA sold over 4 Million copies and won numerous accolades and acclaim for the artist as well as the label).

    Na Ba Ka was known for its instrumentals which was studied by a Canadian University on Sound Engineering and Production and was even listed on the top ten charts in Israel between 2005 and 2006.

    Chocolate City went on to discover and manage the careers of Djinee, M.I, Aṣa, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Brymo and other artists who have won over 70 awards both locally and internationally. [citation needed ]

    In June 2007, Audu Maikori won the

    British award the International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year (IYMEY) by the British Council, making Nigeria the first country to win two global awards in the Young Creative Entrepreneurs Series (the first was Lanre Lawal (IYDEY) 2005), after beating nine countries including the

    Philippines , Latvia, Lithuania ,

    Indonesia , India, Malaysia , Tanzania,

    Egypt and Poland. [8]

    Accolades

    Chocolate City was the first Nigerian music company to attain a global music award and recognition by the British Council in 2007: International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year (IYMEY) 2007. [8]

    Chocolate City has since worked closely with the federal government of Nigeria as well as several international organisations such as the British Council in promoting the creative industries as well as capacity-building projects in and around Nigeria. In April 2008, Chocolate City announced a major collaborative effort in partnership with the British Council and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to take a delegation of Nigerian music stakeholders to London Calling 2008 in a bid to open new vistas for the fast-growing Nigerian music industry currently valued at around $500 Million (2007). The 40 man delegation was led by the Minister of Culture and Tourism. [9]

    Chocolate City has also been active in the promotion of the Creative industries globally having participated in several workshops and initiatives. In January 2008, Chocolate City delivered a keynote address on a workshop tagged "Mapping the Creative Industries in Albania" organised by the British Council, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Ministry of Economy, Albania. The workshop was aimed at sharing experiences of creative entrepreneurs from around Europe, the UK and Nigeria.

    Reuters International produced a documentary on the Chocolate City success story tagged "Music and Money" in recognition of its contributions to the development of the Nigerian music industry. [8]

    Over the years, Chocolate City has set up partnerships with many international and regional creative industry organizations, with affiliates in South Africa, U.K and the US, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the British Council toward promoting and celebrating creativity in Nigeria. [9]

    On 8 December 2011, parent company Chocolate City Group won the African Awards for Entrepreneurship, beating over 3,300 applicants from 48 countries in Africa to clinch the runner-up prize, thereby making history as the first entertainment company to win the prize since 2007. [citation needed ]

    Chocolate City won the "Best Record Label of the Year" award at the 2013 City People Entertainment Awards. [10] At the 2011 edition of the aforementioned awards, the record label won the "Record Label of the Year" award. [11]

    In April 2015 Maikori stepped down, after 10 years of piloting the affairs of the label and appointed M.I to takeover as the CEO of Chocolate City Music label while Ice Prince became the Vice President of Music for the label [12][13]

    Awards and nominations

    International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year Award-Global Winner 2007

    Record Label of the Year - City People Entertainment Awards, 2011

    Best Music Company" - Effzye Awards, 2011

    African Awards for Entrepreneurship" 2011- Africa Awards

    Artist Roster

    Management

    Act Year signed

    Femi Kuti 2014 [14]

    Current artists

    Act Year signed

    Releases

    under the

    label

    Ref

    Nosa 2012 1 [15]

    Dice Ailes 2014 – [16]

    Ruby Gyang 2015 1 [17]

    Ckay 2016 1 [18]

    Yung L 2017 1 [19]

    ClassiQ 2019 – [20]

    Blaqbonez 1 [20]

    Candy Bleakz 1 [20]

    Former artists

    Act Year

    signed

    Year

    left

    Releases

    under the

    label

    R

    Jeremiah Gyang 2005 2010 1 [2

    M.I 2008 2020 8 [2

    Jesse Jagz

    2010 2013 1

    [2

    2015 2017 [2

    Ice Prince 2010 2016

    [note 1] 3 [2

    Brymo 2010 2013 1 [2

    [2

    DJ Caise 2011 2017

    [note 2] 0 [3

    Pryse 2012 2016 0 [3

    [3

    Victoria Kimani 2012 2017 2 [3

    [3

    Milli 2015 2016 0 [3

    Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari

    2015 2016 0 [2

    Koker 2015 2018 0 [3

    DJ Lambo 2015 2019 0 [3

    Discography

    Year Information Ref

    2005

    Jeremiah Gyang - Na Ba Ka

    Released: May 2005

    Singles: "Na Ba Ka", "Wakar Najeriya", "Gonna Be", "Kasi Tala", "Ban Da Kai"

    2008

    M.I - Talk About It

    Released: December 11, 2008

    Singles: "Safe", "Anoti", "Money", "Teaser", "Crowd Mentality", "Blaze", "Short Black Boy", "Talk About It"

    2010

    Jesse Jagz - Jag of All Tradez

    Released: April 20, 2010

    Singles: "Wetin Dey", "Nobody Test Me", "Love You", "Pump it Up"

    M.I - MI 2

    Released: November 23, 2010

    Singles: "Action Film", "Beef", "Undisputed", "Nobody"

    2011

    Ice Prince - Everybody Loves Ice Prince

    Released: October 9, 2011

    Singles: " Superstar ", "Oleku ", "Juju"

    2012

    Brymo - The Son of a Kapenta

    Released: November 15, 2012

    Singles: "Ara", "Good Morning", "Go Hard"

    2013

    Victoria Kimani - Queen Victoria

    Released:October 14, 2013

    Singles:

    Ice Prince - Fire of Zamani

    Released:October 28, 2013

    Singles:" I Swear ", "Gimme Dat", "More", "Aboki "

    2014

    Nosa - Open Doors

    Released:March 14, 2014

    Singles:"Always Pray for You", "Why You Love Me"

    M.I - The Chairman

    Released: October 30, 2014

    Singles: "Bad Belle", "Monkey", "Bullion Van"

    Sales certification: 30,000 in pre-order sales

    2015

    Ice Prince - Trash Can

    Released: January 29, 2015

    Singles: "Marry You"

    Chocolate City - The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation

    Released: April 30, 2015

    Singles: "Summer Time", "Suite 99"

    2016

    Ruby Gyang - This is Love

    Released: February 29, 2016

    Singles:"Shakara", "Good Man"

    M.I - Illegal Music 3

    Released: February 29, 2016

    Singles:"Everything I Have Seen"

    Victoria Kimani - Safari

    Released: December 5, 2016

    Singles:"Gota", "Giving You"

    2017

    Yung L - Better Late Than Never

    Released: October 13, 2017

    Singles:"Gbewa", "Anya", "Pressure"

    2018

    M.I - Rendezvous

    Released: February 9, 2018

    Singles:"Your Father", "Lekki"

    [38]

    M.I - A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl

    Released: August 24, 2018

    Singles:"You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives"

    [39]

    2019

    C Kay - C Kay the First (EP)

    Released: August 30, 2019

    Singles: "Way"

    [40]

    Street Billionaires - Street Born (EP)

    Released: September 27, 2019

    Singles: "Yoruba Ni Mi"[41]

    [42]

    Blaqbonez - Mr. Boombastic

    Released: October 25, 2019

    Singles: "Shut Up", Mr. Boombastic

    [43]

    Notes

    1. ^ Although Ice Prince's contract expired in 2013, he didn't publicly announced his exit from the label until 2016. [25]

    2. ^ While announcing his exit from Chocolate City, DJ Caise revealed that his deal with the label was basically a joint venture.[29]

    References

    1. ^ Anani, Vincent. "Chocolate City vs. Mavin Records: which label rules the Nigerian Music Industry?" .

    www.thesparkng.com . Vanguard Spark. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-09.

    2. ^ "Archived copy" . Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-03-28.

    3. ^ "Archived copy" . Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-03-28.

    4. ^ Akan, Joey. "Chocolate City Record label merges with Loopy Music" . Pulse.NG . Archived from the original on 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2015-12-09.

    5. ^ "#InCaseYouMissedIt: Hakeem Bello-Osagie joins Chocolate City as group chairman » YNaija" .

    YNaija . 2012-02-11. Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-08-29.

    6. ^ "Chocolate City's Tete-a-Tete With The Media - Tush Magazine" . Tush Magazine. 2015-09-29. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved

    2017-08-29.

    7. ^ "Archived copy" . Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-03-28.

    8. ^ a b c "Music and money (6:44)" . Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.

    9. ^ a b "Corporate" . chocolatecitygroup. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.

    10. ^ Aiki, Damilare (19 June 2013).

    "Ice Prince, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Sarkodie, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Yvonne Okoro, Tonto Dikeh & BellaNaija Nominated for the 2013 City People Entertainment Awards -See the Full List" . Bellanaija. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved

    19 December 2013.

    11. ^ "BN Bytes: M.I, JahBless, Tiwa Savage, Juliet Ibrahim, Mbong Amata, Samkelf & Halima Abubakar win at the 2011 City People Entertainment Awards" . Bellanaija. 8 August 2011.

    Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.

    12. ^ "M.I Becomes Chocolate City CEO" . Daily Times . Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.

    13. ^ "New Chocolate City CEO and Vice President" . Ola Peter. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2015.

    14. ^ "Nigeria: Chocolate City Signs Femi Kuti" . allAfrica.com . This Day. 9 November 2014.

    Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.

    15. ^ Osagie Alonge (25 August 2015). "Chocolate City signs R&B singer Nosa" . Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    16. ^ Itzea, Netzayet (4 September 2014). "Watch Chocolate City's Newest Signee Dice Ailes' Video For 'Yemisi' " . OkayAfrica. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.

    17. ^ "Power Move!! M.I's Loopy Records in Merger with Chocolate City!" . Hype Station. 28 April 2015. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    18. ^ "Chocolate City Music Signs Multi-talented Artiste, Producer and Songwriter Ckay" . BellaNaija. 1 September 2016.

    Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    19. ^ Idoko Salihu (4 May 2017).

    "Chocolate City Music signs Yung L" . Premium Times. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    20. ^ a b c Lawani, Tolulope (28 March 2019). "Chocolate City signs partnership deal with Warner Music" . The Cable Lifestyle.

    Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.

    21. ^ "No producer wants a penniless musician – Jeremiah Gyang" . Punch. 14 July 2017. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    22. ^ Motolani Alake (6 March 2020).

    "Watch MI Abaga announce his exit from Chocolate City [Video]" . Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 6 March 2020.

    23. ^ Showemimo, Dayo (8 April 2015). "3 years after exit, Jesse Jagz returns to Chocolate City" . Nigerian Entertainment Today.

    Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    24. ^ "Why I left Chocolate City – Jesse Jagz" . The Punch. 16 July 2017. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    25. ^ a b "Here are 6 artistes who left label in one year" . Pulse Nigeria. 10 July 2016. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    26. ^ Anazia, Daniel (21 May 2016).

    "Ice Prince floats own record label, confirm split with Chocolate City" . Guardian Life. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    27. ^ Olonilua, Ademola (5 May 2012). "Dad was furious about my choice of career – Brymo, Arambe exponent" . The Punch. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    28. ^ Ezeamalu, Ben (24 September 2016). "Chocolate City battles Brymo, says N20 million invested on artiste yielded below N3 million" . Premium Times.

    Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    29. ^ Temitope Delano (2 February 2017). "I Am No Longer With Chocolate City – DJ Caise" . TooXclusive. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    30. ^ "DJ Caise leaves Chocolate City, has the label lost its spark?" . African Music Law. 3 February 2017. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    31. ^ Collins, Tadeniawo (24 February 2012). "Chocolate City Signs First Female Rapper Pryse" . Nigeria Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    32. ^ Adelana, Oludolapo (2 October 2016). "Another artiste, Pryse leaves Chocolate City" . YNaija.

    Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    33. ^ "Chocolate City signs Kenya's Victoria Kimani" . P.M News. 2 December 2012. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    34. ^ Abubukar, Murtala (19 March 2017). "Victoria Kimani confirms Chocolate City exit" . The Cable Lifestyle. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    35. ^ "Rapper addresses split from Chocolate City" . Pulse Nigeria. 6 April 2016. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    36. ^ Olatujoye, Moroti (9 August 2018). "Koker Leaves Chocolate City" . Osun Defender.

    Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    37. ^ Ohunyon, Ehis (10 January 2019). "Pulse Exclusive: DJ Lambo steps down as Choc Boi Nation president, leaves label" . Pulse Nigeria. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

    38. ^ Victor Okpala (February 15, 2018). "REVIEW: M.I Abaga's "Rendezvous" Is a Decent Crossroad Of Musical Diversity" . Nigerian Entertainment Today.

    Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.

    39. ^ Smish (August 30, 2018).

    "Review: "Yxng Denzel: A Study Of Self Worth" Is Reflection Music For Gloomy Days" . Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2019.

    40. ^ Motolani Alake (30 August 2019). "CKay releases new EP, 'CKay The First' " . Pulse Nigeria.

    Archived from the original on 22 February 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.

    41. ^ "Why we chose to celebrate culture in 'Yoruba Ni Mi' ― Street Billionaires" . Vanguard . September 25, 2019. Archived from the original on 21 November 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2020.

    42. ^ Tomiwa (September 28, 2019).

    "Street Billionaires – "Street Born" (The EP)" . TooXclusive . Retrieved 6 March 2020.

    43. ^ Lawrence Burney (October 25, 2019). "Nigerian rapper Blaqbonez's Mr. Boombastic EP is worth all your time" . The Fader. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.

    External links

    Official website

    Chocolate City

    Industry Entertainment Media

    Music

    Founded 2005

    Founder Audu Maikori, Paul Okeugo

    Headquarters Lagos Abuja

    Nairobi , Lagos , Nigeria

    Key people

    Hakeem Belo-Osagie : Chairman •

    Audu Maikori: Co-founder & President •

    Paul Okeugo : Co-founder & COO •

    Aibee Abidoye : EVP Music

    Divisions Chocolate City Group

    Website chocolatecitymusic

    .com

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