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General Manager Sony Music Entertainment West Africa announces exit

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The pioneer General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment West Africa, Michael Ugwu has announced his exit from the company after an eventful five-year period of driving the record label’s footprint in West Africa’s hitherto the uncharted music scene.

“Today is my last official day as the pioneer General Manager of Sony Music Entertainment West Africa. I’m super proud to have anchored the first major label in Nigeria validating the massive efforts of the independent sector in Nigeria’s meteoric music business growth.

“Despite all the current challenges we are facing as a nation-state suffices to say that the Nigerian music industry is one sector that makes us all immensely proud,” Ugwu said on his Instagram page while announcing the exit.

During his time as General Manager, he spearheaded unprecedented historic deals for Africa’s biggest talents including Davido and Wizkid who are still signed to the Sony label.

He was also instrumental to the signing of Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter, YCee whose deal ‘Ycee’s “Juice” became the most-streamed track in Sony Music Africa’s history.

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Although that single deal came with some unforeseen challenges, Ugwu showed tremendous leadership and saw the differences resolved before his exit from the label.

Another historic feat he accomplished during his time was the licencing of Sony Music’s entire music catalogue to Africa’s largest mobile telecommunication network, MTN via the Huawei developed Music Plus service – a deal which took an arduous three-year period to negotiate, making Sony the first major label to do so.

“From an international perspective, one of my personal favourite highlights were bringing Jidenna, Sylvia Rhône and both their teams to Lagos and Enugu, Nigeria (Igbo kwenu!).

“More recent highlights would be watching Lil Nas X break the record for longest run ever at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (17 weeks and counting) as well as the release of Beyoncé’s “The Gift” album under Columbia Records,” Ugwu recalls on his achievements.

On the recently released Byeonce’s The Gift Album, which he played a crucial role to birth, he said:

“The full impact of that album on the scene is yet to be really felt but I believe it was a brilliant introduction for some of Africa’s biggest stars to the US market, big congrats to all involved. Collaboration, after all, has been and will continue to be critical on the creative as well as the commercial side of the business.”

Speaking on the music entertainment scene in Nigeria, the music executive said the African music industry must leverage global best practices and technology, if it must continue to thrive.

“From a local to a global business perspective, we must always recognize that there is a symbiotic relationship between creators, distributors, indies, majors and DSPs and everyone under over and in between in today’s music business.

“I’m fortunate to have met and delivered for some superstar artistes but I’m even more proud to have met, worked with and learned from some of the best executives in the global music business. I’ve now participated in almost every segment of the modern music industry value chain and continue to learn a lot about these relationships and structures.

“In this day and age of opportunity, awareness and artist direct opportunities, unless the major labels deploy considerable resources to a market like Nigeria, they will not be a dramatic value add to the ecosystem in any way shape or form,” he said.

He added:

“Technology has given creators a massive advantage to grow their careers independently and as the industry continues to grow, the majors will hopefully find their rightful place in the local ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa because in truth we all need one another to continue to create local and global value as well as grow this into a truly “sustainable” sector.”

Ugwu said he is moving on to his next challenge, top on his priority is his start-up, Freeme Digital – Nigeria’s first world-class label services platform he founded in 2013 to ensure artists and creators are heard, bought and paid for their works both locally and internationally.

“It’s a super exciting time to be an entrepreneur in the creative space,” he noted.

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Bidemi Kosoko shares adorable photos of son as he clocks one 

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Bidemi Kosoko shares adorable photos of son as he clocks one 

Nollywood actress, Bidemi Kosoko, has shared adorable pictures of her son, Jeremiah, in an agbada and matching oversize cap to celebrate his first birthday.

The 31-year-old shared the picture on Instagram on Wednesday.

She wrote, “Where do I start from God who am I that you love me so much to have blessed me with this jewel of inestimable value, you favored me in all areas, you gave me a new song to sing. Ireoluwatomiwa my precious Son… Happy glorious birthday to you Omo Bankole…”

On May 19, the daughter of actor, Jide Kosoko, had shared a video of the little boy in an oversize cap and jokingly called out the designer for making it so.

”Few days to your first birthday my pride. I bless the day you came into my life son am just super happy… @possibledesignerstitches olowo idan but I don’t know y u made this big cap on this fine cloth for my Son ooo abi na him papa size u sow ni,” she captioned the post.

Jeremiah was born in May 2019.

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READ ALSO: AY Makun reacts to claims that he berated Olamide before he became famous

See his post below;

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AY Makun reacts to claims that he berated Olamide before he became famous

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AY Makun reacts to claims that he berated Olamide before he became famous

Nigerian comedian cum actor, AY Makun has reacted to Toni Payne’s claims of him berating music star, Olamide when he was just an upcoming artist.

Toni Payne who was Olamide’s manager at the time, took to her IG stories to share this, stating that the rapper was still an upcoming artiste when AY Comedian turned down his request to have him perform at his show.

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She, however, said things turned around for Olamide a year later.

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The Warri born actor took to his Instagram page to sarcastically callout out those who talk too much for wanting to sabotage the one love in the industry.

He wrote:

To attract positive things in your life, start by giving off positive energy. I was actually going to CALL OUT @ramseynouah, and let the world know how he refused to wake me up some years ago in Atlanta to brush my teeth before shoot. Now that my set of teeths are white, he wants me to smile at him because Merry Men 2 goes on NETFLIX June 5th. But no need to trend. Let me use the time to hit the gym and shake off every idea negativity that pulls us down as one family. UNA TOO LIKE STORY. #loverules

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74-year-old Bollywood actor, Kiran Kumar, recovers from coronavirus

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Veteran Bollywood actor Kiran Kumar, who tested positive for coronavirus on May 14, has now tested negative.

The 74-year-old actor made this known in a statement he released on Wednesday.

“After being retested for COVID-19, I am happy to say that I have tested negative. My family is still following strict home isolation. I was totally asymptomatic, and apart from the boredom that accompanies isolation, I had no other complaints,” Kumar said in a statement.

The Dhadkan actor, however, expressed gratitude to his support staff, family, and the team of doctors and nurses that helped him over the last two weeks.

“For being by our side in these challenging times, I would like to say a loud and resonating thank you to all our support staff. I would like to take a breath to thank all the wonderful friends and family that have offered their unwavering support, whether it be through endless facetime calls or home remedies steeped in love and haldi.

“A special thank you to my brother in law Dr Deepak Ugra for standing by us like our personal medico superman. Doctors and medical workers are the real superheroes, and no amount of praise can do justice to their service,” Kiran Kumar said.

“I am continuing to take this forced time out as an opportunity to introspect and focus on life’s small pleasures. The days are spent meditating, catching up on ample OTT content, and reading books I have long forgotten I’d bought. We all held on to our optimism, and if there’s one take away I have from this, is that there’s nothing to fear but fear itself,” the actor concluded.

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