• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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What to know about Rema’s contract uncertainty with Jonzin, Mavin

Nigerians contribute 3.2% to Rema’s 400 million YouTube streams in 6 months

Afrobeats star Rema is sparking rumours of a rift with his label Mavin Records. The singer behind the hit “Calm Down” featuring Selena Gomez has been absent from the label in 2024 and reportedly refused to sign a new contract. Despite the whispers of discord, Rema is set to release new music titled “Hehehe,” his first project this year.

The award-winning Afrobeats singer recently teamed up with rising star Shallipopi for a hometown anthem called Benin Boys. The song, which is under the imprint of Mavin Global/ Jonzing World and distributed by Interscope Records and Universal Music, gathered over 1 million streams on Spotify on its first day, making it the first song released in 2024 to hit that milestone.

According to sources, Rema has yet to renew his contract, which will expire sometime in 2024. However, it is unclear why the star has not been at the label. Industry sources highlighted that it could be because of creative differences, promotional disagreements, or something else entirely.

Rema had an incredible 2023, with his hit song ‘Calm Down’ breaking streaming and chart records locally and internationally. This led to successful US and UK shows, including a memorable performance at the 2023 Balon d’Or. However, he cancelled the rest of his scheduled shows in December due to health reasons, which reportedly cost Mavin billions of naira.

Universal Music Group announced in February 2024 the acquisition of a majority stake in Mavin Global, comprising Mavin Records. However, the deal remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalised by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

Read also: Multiple international artists rushed Rema’s Calm Down — Igbokwe

Rema also has a distribution deal with Virgin Music Group, a subsidiary of Universal Music and is currently regarded as the label’s top asset in Africa.

On April 27th, Rema posted a series of cryptic tweets, hinting at dissatisfaction with the industry and his label. He tweeted, “No more Big 3, there’s now a Big 4,” and “Afrobeat >> AfroAnything,” suggesting a desire to break free from established norms. He also accused stylists of using his name without permission and criticised the industry for lacking creativity.

Mavin Records attempted to control the situation by asking fans if they wanted new Rema music, but the artist was not pleased with this move. He ended his rant with a tweet saying, “No new music. sorry. I’m Too big for fake PR bye!”

While the reasons behind Rema’s unsigned contract remain unknown, there are a couple of possibilities. Renegotiation is a common scenario in the music industry. Rema and Mavin are likely simply working out the terms of a new deal with the release of his latest songs. However, the situation could also turn sour, potentially leading to a split between the artist and the label, leading to Rema going independent and starting his own record label.

In a January interview on HipTV, D’Prince, chief executive officer of Jonzin World, said the nature of Rema’s contract was a collaborative arrangement between the two labels.

Rema’s success, particularly with “Calm Down Remix,” which reached a billion streams on Spotify, marked a significant milestone for African music. The song also recently became the first song from Africa to surpass one billion streams in the US.

It remains to be seen how Rema’s contract dispute will be resolved, if it will be resolved and what impact it will have on his career and the industry.