A look at the finest current hitmakers.
In the last few years, the Nigerian music industry has consistently been churning out hits and making waves internationally, thanks not only to the hardworking artistes who front these songs but also the producers who work behind the scenes to create the beats and melodies that have got everybody moving.
Of the contemporary producers, Mavin Records CEO, Don Jazzy s arguably the most renowned especially thanks to his past collaboration with the Kokomaster, D’banj.
PREMIUM TIMES’ Michael Abimboye and Sakpaide ‘Ogagus’ Ogaga (an A&R with X3Music and music enthusiast) examine five upcoming producers- Shizzi, D’tunes, Young D, Del’B and Sarz who currently or in the future would be giving Don Jazzy a serious run for his money.
In his early twenties, Oluwaseyi ‘Shizzy’ Akerele, a graduate of Information Technology from the University of South Africa is one of the new beat makers who, in a short time, has shown that he is in the business to leave a mark.
The HKN Gang producer has worked mostly with Davido and other HKN acts- Shina Rambo, B-Red, Danagog and DeeKay but has still managed to prove his versatility and daring. He has also worked with Wizkid and Bigiano.
Ogagus: Shizzi reminds me of Sarz – Dami Duro, Gobe, One of a Kind, Skelewu… They were all produced by Shizzi. Do I need to say more?
“D’tunes again o” is Adesanya ‘DTunes’ Doyinsola’s sign in tune on his production. The Olabisi Onabanjo University graduate began from the church by learning how to play the drums and keyboard and has since produced for popular acts like 9ice, Faze, Ruggedman, Dipp, Silver Saddih, Lord of Ajasa, Iceberg Slim, Rico White, Shank, Hakym D Dream, Rasheed etc.
D’tunes became a household name after the success of the monster hit single, Kukere which saw the sharp rise of former MTN Project fame winner, Iyanya, from upcoming singer to established star. D’Tunes later cemented his place in the hearts of music lovers as a hit maker with more work on other Iyanya hits such as Your Waist, Flavour and Sexy Mama. He also produced Sean Tizzle’s Sho lee. He currently runs his own label, Difference Entertainment.
D’tunes is certainly a producer who has his eyes on the future and may just become the next Don Jazzy ahead of his peers.
Ogagus: In my opinion D’tunes is not a risk taker. He does not experiment. He plays by the rules of making a hit. The beat might not blow you out of this atmosphere but after listening to the song a number of times, you finally come to love it.
Born Akintewe Feyisayo, Young D, who got his stage name based on is love for American rapper-producer, Dr. Dre, became popular after an impressive work on dancehall/pop singer, Timaya’s latest album, Upgrade.
His beautiful dance beat on Timaya’s single, Ekoloma, proves he is no fluke.
He even has a fan in Don Jazzy who, soon after the realease of Ekoloma Demba, tweeted, “Timaya and Young D are on some different kind of fire mehnn; heavy jamz of life.”
The Computer Science graduate of the Lagos City Polytechnic who runs his MurderBeatz Vibez imprint is said to be working on his debut single. Young D may not be popular yet but his works certainly speak for him in the meanwhile.
Ogagus: Young D has to be the most rigid producer excelling at his trade. Although he has undeniable chemistry with Timaya, he is yet to replicate his magic with other artistes except for Alaye Mi by LKT and E Go Better For Every Man by Orishefemi.
Del’B is probably the least famous on his list but with one of the most impressive resumes: Omotola’s entire sophomore album; most of Harrisong’s Testify album, Ade Bantu’s No Man Stands Alone; Darey’s Rhythm and Beat album; Orezi’s singles, I No Fit Lie and “High BP; Kcee’s Now I Know, Carnival, Limpopo and Okoso; Seyi Shay’s Loving Your Way and; General Pype’s Give it to Me etc.
The one time audio engineer at MidiCorp Studios and sound engineer at Paul Play Dairo’s Playground Entertainment is known for his versatility, producing for different genres; jazz, rock, hip-hop/R&B, Pop, highlife, fuji, juju etc.
Ogagus: Del’B’s productions allows the artiste to actually use their pipes and show-off their vocal abilities. It is not always jam-packed or very up-tempo compared to hit-making producers. Del has his own unique style. If you play five instrumental sounds for me, I am very confident that I will point his out; the way he uses the piano, kicks, strings and more. However more recently his works are getting monotonous, Kcee’s Limpopoo and Okoso, Monica’s Suddenly and even Seyi Shay’s Killing Me Softly all sound alike. I wish he challenged himself more.
Even Donjazzy has acknowledged Sarz as a super producer. With the success of Jah Bless’s ‘Jor Oh’, Sarz became the go-to-producer for hits. With over 50 tracks to his credit, Osaretin ‘Sarz’ Osabuohien who hails from Benin believes he is the biggest producer in Africa.
Ogagus: Sarz is a beast! The best thing about Sarz is unpredictability. He is far from the box. He experiments like it’s no man’s business. Sarz’s beats are mostly driven by the quest to conquer the dance floor and win the disc jockey over completely. He can give an afro-beats masterpiece like Reminisce’s Kako Bi Chicken or Wizkid’s Jaiye Jaiye or do a risky fusion like he did in ‘Beat of Life (Samba)’. One thing Osarentin does not joke with is his kicks and synths. I was going through his Sound Cloud page and listened to his remake of Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise and it had the synth-pop feel to it. It sounds like something you will need in a Danish club in 2013. If you want an audacious hit, I will say go and work with BeatbySarz.