With its growing global recognition, Nigerian music has become one of the pride of the entertainment industry. Nonetheless, there is an important part of the Nigerian music industry that we don’t appreciate enough. These people produce and master the sounds that we listen to and vibe to every day. They’ve easily refined the Afrobeats sounds which Nigeria now sells to the world and adopted sounds like the South African induced Amapiano sounds to create eclectic reverberations. Of course, we are talking about the eccentric Nigerian music producers who keep wowing us by the day.
It’s quite ironic that these people who are responsible for the production of music have become unsung heroes in the entertainment industry.
First, what do music producers really do?
A music producer oversees the creation of a song or an album. The breakdown of the process usually involves seeing if a song is good enough to be put out to the public, adjusting the notes of a song to make it sound cohesive, adding different kinds of instruments to create a unique blend of sounds, suggesting features if need be, and distributing the project. A music producer has to be somebody who has good ears for music and an eye for details. While it requires talent, it also involves a lot of hard work.
Why are music producers important?
Music producers act as a balance between the creative aspect of music and the technical part. Most times, musicians have the creative vision for a song but because they don’t understand the technicality of music they may not know how to go about it. Music producers help them set the vision right and go as far as suggesting features to make the song more relatable.
Also, music producers add versatility to music. Producers go to different clubs, shows, and music events to get inspiration and ideas. They later input these ideas into their music creation to deliver a wide range of sounds and genres which in turn makes the songs sound more catchy.
In addition, they help musicians connect with their songs on a deeper level to reach their target audience. It is normal for people to try to hide their emotions when singing so they don’t look vulnerable. But, vulnerability is power. It is important that emotions are properly expressed in songs, so they can connect to the right audience. Producers play a huge role in this aspect because they understand what music entails. This is why music studios are usually referred to as spiritual houses.
However, musicians and the general public at large seem to forget these behind the scene heroes that put in a lot of work to the production and release of the songs we listen to. As a result, different music producers have complained about how they are underappreciated.
Let’s look at a few complaints:
In an interview with Hip TV, a Nigerian music producer, Ayoola Oladapo, popularly known as Kiddominat, talked about how music producers have to fight to get paid. According to him: “Here in Nigeria, to be honest, producers are not getting up to 10 percent of what they should be getting. Producers here don’t get royalties, you have to fight to get paid. You have to fight to even get your name on the album art as a producer…producers here are still on the come up compared to how international producers are doing.” Kiddominant has produced hit songs such as Davido’s fall, Fela in Versace by AKA, Rihanna by Orezi.
Ace Producer and songwriter Cobhams Asuquo also complained in an interview with The Cable, he said: “I can count the number of projects that I get royalties on and they are all international projects. Artists don’t put these things in context, they might go home with 100 million net profit at the end of the year and the producers are just there working.” Cobhams Asuquo is widely known for his hit songs such as One hit, Ordinary people, and his production of Asa’s debut album (Asha).
To do our little bit to honour Nigerian music producers, here are 3 producers that have given us amazing projects this year:
Sarz has told us he is not our mate many times and we can only agree to that at this point. After proving how talented he is, the top-notch producer is now working with new musicians. His first project was with Lojay, in LV N ATTN, an Afrofusion EP showcasing Sarz slick production skills which blend contemporary Afrobeats with Hip-Hop and sensual RnB sounds. Then, Sarz snuck up like a thief at night to steal our ears with Obonjayar’s assisted Sweetness EP which has left us anticipating more to come.
We are still yet to get over what DJ Coublon did on Oxlade’s new Eclipse EP from the riveting sounds to the bass drums and bouncy tunes. He has also worked on projects like King perry’s Waist and Economy by 9ice. Hit songs like Tekno’s Duro, Laye and good time by Kiss Daniel are all attributed to DJ Coublon.
Master Kraft released an impressive Ep called Masta groove and just like the name implies, the EP was a groove in mastery. Featuring notable artists from different parts of Africa like Diamond Platinumz, Sarkodie, Vector, and Seun Kuti, it was a mixture of different sounds and vibrations. Other songs like African bad girl by Zoro and Oxlade and Egbon featuring Phyno have also left us impressed.