It’s been a merry-go-round of breakups in the ever delicate Artiste-Record Label, and Artiste-Producer relationships of the Nigerian Entertainment Industry. An alarming number of winning partnerships have hit the rocks and smashed beyond repair in the last 15 months.Don Jazzy and D’Banj did their acrimonious number, D’tunes and Iyanya kissed goodbye, Sheyman and Trybe Records shook their last, and Wizkid and Banky W flirted in the danger zone before amicably reaching an understanding. And here we have more…
This time it’s the rapper, Naetochukwu Chikwe better known as Naeto C that has called it quits, ending his relationship with Storm Records, the music home where he launched his skyrocketed career into the competitive galaxy of the Nigerian music market.
Investigations have revealed that the rapper plans to fully launch his WKG/Cerious Music label in a matter of months.
This time, the breakup is not ugly (as is mostly the norm), devoid of Twitter fights and press releases. Naeto’s exit has been managed in secret, silence being the rule As Storm Records still insist that the rapper is signed with them.
One of the label’s directors Tola Odunsi intimates that Naeto has had his own record label Cerious Music for a while but is still with Storm.
‘Naeto has had his record label for a while at least 3 years it’s called Cerious Music – his music is being pushed as a joint venture btw Storm 360 and Cerious Music. Nothing has changed’, Odunsi responded to our curiosity.
Naeto C’s profile remains active on the Storm Records official website but preceding similar circumstances do not make this a proof of unwavering allegiance, because General Pype (an artiste who has since parted ways with the label) also has his profile on the website.
An inside source however says Naeto has indeed left and his upcoming project will not be released under the Storm Records imprint. One insider said: ‘It is true Naeto started Cerious Music a few years back but the launch of his new outfit WKG (meaning White Kaftan Gang) will see him act fully as an independent artiste.’
WKG got life in mid-2012 with the launch of Naeto’s ‘Tony Montana (Bad pass)’ video featuring D’banj. We are told he also plans to sign Lagos producer E-Kelly who recently did a number on M.I’s Chairman.
Storm Records was also not listed as one of the organizers of his first ever solo US tour which ran from late March to early May 2013.
Naeto who remains silent on the issue (he refused to reply our E-mail messages) has been busy though: he welcomed his first child while on tour in the US and returned to Nigeria to seal a deal with telecoms company Globacom as an ambassador. Popular artiste manager Godwin Tom also says Naeto is his new client.
Naeto joined Storm Records in 2006, returning from the US where he had already formed a rap group with close friend Ikechukwu and his younger brother Uzikwendu called ‘World Famous Akademy’. With the smash hit single ‘Kini big deal’, he released his debut album ‘You Know my P’ in 2008; parted ways with Ikechukwu who left Storm in 2010 and then released a successful second album ‘Super C Season’ in February 2011.
Storm Records headed by Obi Asika and Olisa Adibua (both are currently in a legal battle) has an impressive rap sheet of acts including Jazzman Olofin, Darey, GT the Guitarman, 2shotz, General Pype. They currently have on their payroll, rappers Sasha, Yung6ix, Pop singer Ms Jaie, Urban-Pop group L.O.S and gospel singer Tosin Martins.