Apr 22, 2024 - Business

What Davido's partnership with UnitedMasters means for new artists

Davido performs onstage during the Recording Academy Honors presented by The Black Music Collective during the 66th GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Davido performs during the 66th annual Grammy Awards in February. Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for the Recording Academy

African pop star Davido is moving to exec mode with the launch of his new label, Nine+ Records.

Why it matters: The label will allow new artists to own their masters, pocket all of their royalties and release music to fans when they want.

Catch up quick: David Adeleke, known as Davido, is one of the pioneers of the Afrobeats subgenre in the U.S., and was a nominee for the very first best African music performance award at this year's Grammys.

State of play: Davido is partnering with UnitedMasters CEO Steve Stoute on the deal, which covers genres beyond Afrobeats.

  • Artists will have access to UnitedMasters' platform and get help with distribution, promotion and marketing.

Context: Traditionally, musicians signed to a major music label like Sony or Columbia Records abide by a schedule to release music.

What they're saying: "The ability for artists to create with the sense of freedom that they're not making [music] for anything other than what is pure to their heart, soul and creativity comes from a structure of independence," Stoute told Axios.

  • "I'm trying to teach these new artists that [they] don't have to do what I did," said Davido. "This is a platform where [the artists] are free. I give them 100% creative control."
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