It’s very easy for lovers of good music to identify artistes with their hit songs, but how many of them really care to know the ‘brains’ behind the beats that make them dance to Oliver Twist, Alingo, Azonto and Limpopo, let alone celebrate them?
The fact is, the proficiency of a music producer determines if a song would be a hit or not. Obviously, producers are like magicians who make beats, before artistes voice their melody on them. In other words, the artiste would hum his melody to the producer, who then creates a beat to suit the artiste’s humming.
Findings also show that most producers use logic, a newest software on Mac laptops for sequencing. With another software called Reason, a producer can virtually get any sound in the world he needs, it now depends on how prolific he is to discover a beat that would sell a song. In a nutshell, this is just to show how producers are interestingly adding massive amount of value to the quality of songs churned in Nigeria and beyond.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s RASHEED ABUBAKAR takes us into the world of top 5 highly sought after producers making waves right now.
DON JAZZY, Original Producer
Don Jazzy is not only the hottest, but the biggest producer from Nigeria, having churned out best of the best hit songs for more than 10 years. From D’banj’s Tongolo to Oliver Twist, the multiple award-winning producer has proven to be The Don in the job he knows how to do best. After parting ways with his estranged best friend, D’Banj, the 31 year old entrepreneur unveiled his new record label that had Dr. Sid, D’Prince, Tiwa Savage, and Wande Coal, who recently floated a new label, Black Diamond. Apart from being the success story behind his artistes, the song-writer and musician has produced major hits for Nigerian and international artistes like Darey, Naeto C, Jay-Z and Kanye West. At the moment, the Original Producer as Don Jazzy was fondly called by Wande Coal in the Kick, is the highest paid producer in Nigeria, earning N500, 000 per production. He’s also brand ambassadors for Loya Milk, Samsung and MTN, with endorsement deals worth millions of naira. Although Don Jazzy has landed property at undisclosed locations in and outside Lagos, he currently lives at NICON Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he has a well-furnished studio.
D-TUNES the Anointed One
There is no doubt about it, D-Tunes (Adesanya Doyinsola, real name) is a genius, when it comes to making beats. Currently, he’s one of the hottest, and his achievements in the last two years are marvelous. He is otherwise known as the Anointed One, and the reasons are not far-fetched. In 2012, D-Tune made Iyanya’s Kukure beat, and the song later became a big hit, which catapulted him into international scene. Shortly after that feat, he parted ways with the man he had anointed, only for us to begin 2013 with another monstrous hit, Sho Lee by Sean Tizzle. Guess what, the beat for the song that turned us around was made by D-Tunes!
Although, D-Tunes is not new in the industry, he has been on for years, and at a tender age of 20, he had already laced songs for popular acts like Faze, Ruggedman, Dipp, Silver Saddih, Lord of Ajasa, Cap B, Iceberg Slim, Rico White, Shank, Hakym d Dream, Rasheed and many others. He also charges between N100,000 to N200, 000 per production.
DEL-B, Remarkable producer
There is no way one talks about KCee’s monstrous single, Limpopo, and Give It 2 Me, featuring Flavour without giving kudos to the beat maker! He’s no other than Ayodele Joseph Basil, popularly known as Del-B. Apart from KCee, the Kano born producer has made beats for great artistes, such as Waje’s Oko Mi, Seyi Shay’s Irawo, Tiwa Savage’s Baby Mo, among others. He recently received 2010 Toyota Camry as a gift from the Limpopo master, KCee.
Having been in the industry for over a decade, Del-B has worked with notable artistes, both on stage and in the studio. Such as 2Face, Sunny Neji, D’Banj, Fresh (formally Dr Fresh), Kenny St Brown, Felix Duke, and Kween are just few of them. And also, he has worked with corporate agencies on jingles and various music projects.
His fingerprints in the music scene can be traced to hit songs, such as D’Banj’s Why Me, Mo’ Hits’ All Stars album – C V, Kween’s Jebele, Paul Play’s Hitsville album and a handful of others.
Although a remarkable music producer, Del’B is also a talented vocalist and would give any musician a run. According to him, “I draw inspiration from idols as Quincy Jones, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Teddy Reilly, R. Kelly, Ryan Leslie and many others. My artistic influence comes from various musical genres ranging from jazz to rock, hip-hop, RnB, pop, highlife, calypso, fuji, juju and more.”
All of these, plus several other experiences have made him nothing short of a seasoned music maker. He charges between N150, 000 and N250, 000 depending on his relationship with the clients.
SARZ…On the Beat!
Osaretin Osabuohien, popularly known as Sarz, is undoubtedly gifted, and he’s loved by everyone, not only because of his proficiency, but his friendly nature has earned him that. By last count, the Benin, Edo born producer has more than 60 songs on his account, including Wizkid’s Jaiye-Jaiye, which is currently No1 on MTV Top 10 for the second week. Aside Wizkid, Nike Ambassador, Sarz worked on eLDee’s most recent album, before he left Tha Don’s Trybe Records in 2013.
Sarz is not just a beat maker, music flows in his vein. According to him, “Music is my life support machine I am empty without it.” He recently released his debut single, Beat of Life (Samba).
Sarz attended All Saints Primary School and Goodwill Secondary School, and got into the music scene when he had challenges; things were hard for his family; so he turned to music and began to develop his skills making beats. He sold his first beat just one week after it was done and emerged the most sought after name in Nigerian music production today, BeatzbySarz.
Sarz is easy to be around; he enjoys basketball, hanging out with his friends. His dress style is urban and trendy while his favourite colour is black. His production fee is between N150,000 and N250,000.
Shizzi is a member of Davido’s HKN Gang. As the gang’s in-house producer, he has produced all Davido’s hit songs, including Skelewu, Gobe, and Dami Duro, the song that brought Omo-Baba-Olowo crooner into limelight. His style of making beats is unique, hence, a lot of artistes are beginning to patronise him. He also produced songs for other notable acts such as May D on his debut album and Wizkid, (Body) off the EME All Star Compilation album.