Budding beat maker, Bennet Omonelume Ikanade-Agba has a dream: to rule the world of music production in no distant time. Also known as Prince Boom, the UK-based student of Economics at the University College, London (UCL) is already on the move with modest production credits from the generation of Nigerian artists like Sean Tizzle, Iyanya, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, Young Girl, Ajebutter…
In this exclusive interview, Prince Boom (who is from Nsanu, Etsako East, Edo State) tells ENCOMIUM Weekly how he delved into music and his experience so far…
Why did you choose production and not singing?
Actually, there are a lot of musical people in my family but they are mainly instrumentalists. I have an uncle who used to arrange songs and there is another one who is a drummer; another one plays the trumpet. My dad plays the guitar and my elder brother also plays a bit of the guitar too. So I was drawn more to the instrument than singing. Eventually, I started learning the piano, perfected it and started producing from that knowledge.
What gave you the courage that you can earn a living with production?
I think the support from my family, friends and everyone around me and the fact that I believe in myself.
What have you done so far?
I have been able to work with a few big artistes so far and hopefully the songs will be out in 2014. I have been able to work on the substantial part of Sean Tizzle’s album and that should be out sometime this year.
I have worked with Iyanya, I have worked with Young girl, Ajebutter and I am working with Wande Coal and Ice Prince at the moment.
How were these guys able to know your antecedents and entrust you with their jobs since you are new?
I think some of them heard of the jobs I have done but then all these artistes I mentioned are my friends. So, they know when I was starting and when they listen to stuffs I have done they are like amazed and we take it up from there.
Producers are dabbling into singing, so are you thinking of doing the same someday?
Nooo! I don’t think I am going to do that because I don’t think I have a good voice…last night, Sean Tizzle forced me to do back up for one of his songs. So you might hear my voice but it’s not going to be credited to me. I will just be doing backup vocals.
With array of talented and wave – making producers, what do you think will stand you out?
I think my selling point will be that I am coming in with a new sound. Afrobeat is popping right now in Nigeria, Africa, U.K and I am working with that, but I am infusing my own kind of sound into it. I am not doing what everybody else is doing. I think when a lot of my materials are out people will understand me better.
Some producers are of the opinion that making production sound is spiritual. Do you agree with this?
I think it’s very spiritual because sometimes you make this beat and when you go back you begin to wonder how you do it, So, I think it’s very spiritual. I don’t understand it but it just flows and I am thankful.
What are your projections for the year?
Since I am working on Sean Tizzle’s album, we are making effort to make it album of the year and hopefully to be on the list of top five or ten producers of the year at the end of 2014, and the next year we could take it to producer of the year, biggest producer in Nigeria, biggest producer in Africa and hopefully biggest producer in the world.
What do you do to move with the trend in production?
As a producer I think you need to stay fresh with your sound, look for new sound and you need to be very creative to re-do things that have been done before. Basically, I think one should be an inventor because it’s not like an office where you do the same thing every day; you have to do something new.
Where would you say your strength lies in production, because some have theirs in guitar, piano and so on?
I think my strength is in the drums. Although, I can’t play physically, I know how to compose it well and I could do the sensitizing, that is the electronic sound you hear these days.
In the old school setting of producers I look up to Don Jazzy and Jesse Jagz a lot but these days, I will say Del B, Chizee and D tunes.
Does any producer pose a threat to you?
I don’t think anybody poses a threat to me because I am trying to carve my own niche and I don’t think anybody can be a threat to another person because everybody can be there at a time. We can all move forward together.
What would you say is your mission in the music world?
First of all, is self-satisfaction. I am making music to satisfy myself and I am also trying to make the music to please people, to make people happy. Also, I am trying to help change the sound of Nigerian music at the moment.
What do you do aside of music?
I am in the university at the moment studying Economics and I will be adding music to it very soon.
Which school are you?
I study at UCL, University College, London.
How do you juggle music and academic, especially when you school abroad and your business is here in Nigeria?
Every free time I get, like study break, holiday…for one week or half term, I come to Nigeria to work on music. When I am in school, I work on beats, experimenting, trying new sounds. And when I come back I sample them to artistes and we go into the studio to do something.
What was growing up like?
Growing up for me was great. I was born in Warri, Delta State. I spent the first eight years of my life there before my dad was transferred to Lagos and I have lived here till 2010 before I went to England. After a while I came back to Nigeria when I was missing home and saw what was happening in the music industry. I think that was the time I went into music and perfected my skills.
What is Nigerian music like in Britain?
It’s really amazing how Nigerian music is taking over places. When you go to strange places where you don’t see blacks and you would be surprised to see them playing Psquare, Sean Tizzle or Wizkid and you could see a Chinese or Indian driving by and playing Nigerian stuff. So the acceptance is great.
Where do you see Prince Boom in the next couple of years?
Like I said, I want to be the biggest producer in Nigeria, and from there take it to the Africa as a whole and the global stage.
– UCHE OLEHI