Last week, Banky W ; singer and co-founder of notable Nigerian music label – Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) announced that the company has now shut down operations as a record label.
With a lengthy two-part Instagram post, Banky W explained that after nine years of its operations in the Nigerian music industry, EME has morphed into an advertising, PR, media, and talent management agency.
“We are now a full-fledged Media Agency that focuses on Creative Marketing, Advertising, PR, Brand Events/Activations AND a talent management firm”, He revealed.
In memory of Empire Mates Entertainment as a record label, here’s a list of every act that was signed by Banky W .
Banky W founded E.M.E in 2002 while studying at a local university in Albany, New York. He later established the label in Nigeria after relocating to Lagos in 2008 and signed Wizkid (a then budding musician) as the first act on the label in 2009.
During Wizkid’s time with E.M.E (which expired in 2013), he released two studio albums: his widely acclaimed Superstar and sophomore Ayo (Joy) album – which houses his magnum opus “Ojuelegba”.
Wizkid’s time at E.M.E served as the bedrock and defining moments of his musical journey.
During his time at E.M.E, Skales released hit records like; Mukulu, Dengepose and Take Care of Me, before departing the label in 2014.
His deal with the Banky-led label helped launch his career further and earned him the opportunity of working with heavyweights like; Wizkid and Ice Prince. During his time at E.M.E, he released chart-topping singles; Won Gbo Mi and High.
He also released a 20-track studio album ‘Rhythm and Life’ before exiting the label in 2017.
According to Banky W , he signed Niyola after hearing her sing in the bathroom at his sister’s wedding. “I was walking to the bathroom of an event center 1 day, and a voice from the female bathroom stopped me dead in my tracks. It was the most beautiful female voice I’d heard in person. I waited outside until the girl came out, and I introduced myself to Niyola”.
During her time with E.M.E, Niyola released her chart-topping single; Toh Bad and won the Nigerian Entertainment Award for Best Female Act in 2014.
Banky W however, announced Niyola’s departure from the label in 2017 along with Shaydee.
Rotimi Alakija, popularly known as DJ Xclusive was signed to Empire Mates Entertainment in 2012 along with Shaydee and Niyola. Through his time at E.M.E, the DJ grew to become the Nigerian disc jockey with the most chart-topping hits to his name; with the Timaya assisted ‘Pangolo’, to the Wizkid assisted ‘Jeje’, Xclusive surpassed the fame level of an average Nigerian DJ to becoming a household name.
DJ Xclusive is however still signed as a talent under the new E.M.E talent management and advertising structure.