When Panshak Zamani, aka Ice Prince, announced on a radio programme recently that his contract with Chocolate City had expired three years ago, the record label had to act quickly to control things.
In a chat with The Point, The Chief Executive Oficer of Chocolate City Music, Jude Abaga, popularly known as MI, admitted that there were serious issues in the company.
“When Ice Prince made a comment about his not being signed on to Chocolate City for over three years, he was saying the truth. I personally don’t have a contract with Chocolate City for about the same period. But we’ve always been like a family.
“While we’ve been having the conversation throughout this year, we were not ready to relate with the public. One thing we should know is that music business is growing. I was very happy when Lil Kesh announced that he was leaving YBNL. As the industry grows, we have to be inventive and create new ways of doing things,” MI said.
He said the reason they had to call a press conference some weeks ago was to unveil Ice Prince’s Super Cool Cats and Jesse Jagz’s JagzNation.
“We are excited about it. Labels in Nigeria have a short lifespan. If a Jesse has an idea, it looks as if the label is torn apart. I think Chocolate City has developed to the point that they can support their artistes. When I said I wanted to establish Loopy Music, the label supported me.
“Ice Prince became the vice president last year, but his desire for his own label has grown stronger. Jesse already has a label, though he later came back to the family. We’ve decided that this is the best way for us to move forward and it is a big step for Chocolate City. I have known Ice Prince since he was a 16-year-old and Jesse is my brother,” MI reacted.
According to him, the media should carry out research on how labels are formed because the industry needs information.
“As far as I am concerned, the only record label in Nigeria that won’t break up if all the owners say they don’t want to talk again is Chocolate City.
“Ice Prince has a distinct vision on how he wants to affect culture and the music he puts out. It has always been like that since we ventured into music. I have a vision in the corporate capacity to work with Chocolate City. Though it is almost pretentious to stand in front of people to say we are cool, three of us have some exciting things we are doing together. It is easier to step out and do these things for ourselves.”
On why Milli left the label, he said, “Nothing happened to Milli, he is healthy and sound. I would allow him and his new situation to answer the question because that is what we agreed on. They have something in the pipeline and it is amazing. I signed Millie not with the intention that we were going to the same place. He was clear on what he wanted, but he had no resources then.”
MI however stressed that the label did not drop Milli, saying that both parted ways on mutual agreement.
He added that Milli had a great future and was one artiste to look out for.