The Nigerian music industry has undeniably soared on a global scale, yet it seems to unintentionally overlook the crucial role played by the backbone of every hit song—the producers. Hidden behind the crafty melody of a song lies a producer, the mastermind meticulously intertwining every intricate beat, percussion, and instrumentals that resonate deeply within the hearts of music enthusiasts.
These music personas are just as vital as regular musicians, and it’s unjust to exclude their effort from the collective success of a Nigerian artist’s music. Many of these artists are brimming with immense talent, honing their skills beyond producing to double as both a producer and an artist. Producers like Tekno, Pheelz, and Young John have demonstrated that they can masterfully create both monster beats and musical melodies.
Tekno, for instance, is the genius behind Davido’s chart-topping hits, “Fall” and “If,” just as Pheelz, prior to his hit song, “Finesse,” played a key instrumental role in Olamide’s extensive hit discography.
Then there are the exemplary producers like Sarz, known for creating magic with almost every significant musician in the music scene, including Wizkid, Niniola, Reminisce, and Lojay. Sarz has undeniably become one of the most influential producers, sought after by every artist striving to leave a mark in the studio.
The list of such remarkable producers is extensive, including artists like Runtown and Phyno, who are producers themselves, regardless of their inclination to invest more in being behind the microphone than behind the sound labs.
The importance of music producers cannot be overstated. Hence, there is an urgent need to widely acknowledge their vital role in the massive success of Nigerian music. Without the creative talents of producers overseeing the creation of Fela’s every song, would there have been such a crossover of afrobeat into foreign lands? If Don Jazzy did not produce most of the monster hit songs of D’banj, would the artist have become such a veteran in the Nigerian music scene, evolving into an OG of the industry?
Music producers, without a doubt, are the spice of music. They are instrumental in adding flavor to your favorite artist’s music. Otherwise, how would you have savored the brilliance of Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla’s “One Dance”? Or Swae Lee and Drake’s “Don’t Be Late”? It was the creative vision of Sarz and Tekno that brought these masterpieces to life.
When we say that music producers deserve recognition, we stand firm in our assertion!
However, what truly magnifies the beauty of Nigerian music is the ability of multiple music creatives to come together and orchestrate what we can describe as an immaculate sound. These creatives are the best bet never to disappoint; their synergy is unparalleled, consistently producing music that proves their magical collaboration is indeed a match made in heaven.
The synergy between Clemzy and L.A.X, the scorching music Olamide and Pheelz crafted in the prime years of 2016 and 2017, or the mesmerizing collaboration between DJ Coublon and Yemi Alade—all these are assurances that fire is about to be unleashed through your stereos.
In appreciation of both artists and producers’ creative energy, while also recognizing producers and their contributions to the growth of the Nigerian music scene, let’s delve into some of Nigeria’s finest collaborations between these music creatives—
- SDC and Spax
When you hear “if it’s spax, then it’s gotta be a classic” on a Show Dem Camp track, you know you’re in for a classic lyrical ride. The energy between Alte’s finest music duo and Spax the producer is palpable.
Spax brings out the best in SDC’s melodies, maintaining the originality of their sound. It’s almost certain that Spax is the genius behind the SDC Palmwine vibe, having played a major role on Palmwine Music Volumes 1, 2, and 3.
- Falz and Sess
If you’re an ardent lover of Falz’ music, and a keen music enthusiast, you’ll acknowledge the undeniable chemistry that exists between Falz and Sess. For us, it’s how Falz introduces Sess into his song and sweeps you off your feet with his amazing lyrical flow. Sess, “the problem kid,” is a brilliant producer who once released a project showcasing his impeccable skills as both a singer and a producer.
Their chemistry resonates across Falz’ sophomore album, “Stories That Touch,” and eventually into “Moral Instructions.” Falz and Sess have disrupted the Nigerian music scene with their beautiful pieces such as “Ello Bae,” “Karishika,” “Bad Baddo Baddest,” among other impressive tracks.
- Rema and London
Rema, an artist who debuted in the music scene with “Dumebi” produced by the alluring Ozedikus, has created extraordinary music with London. Their synergy led to the creation and explosion of the global hit song, “Calm Down,” with a remix featuring Selena Gomez.
They’ve also created hit classics such as “Bad Commando” and “Soundgasm.” London is responsible for producing 14 tracks out of Rema’s 16-track debut album, “Rave and Roses.” Since the popular commercialism of “Soundgasm,” the duo has presented a formidable front, promising not to disappoint in the times to come.
- Sarz and virtually every artist (Wizkid, Lojay, Niniola, Reminisce)
Giving the tag “idan gan gan” to Sarz is no fault, for he is indeed a master of production, with none being able to reach within the grasp of even the hem of his garment. How else can you explain the undeniable chemistry Sarz has created with Nigeria’s finest, including Wizkid? Being responsible for Wizkid’s hardest track, “Samba (Beat of Life),” as well as Reminisce’s “Kako Bi Chicken,” and Lojay’s “LV N ATTN,” including Niniola’s “Designer,” there is an unbeatable claim of Sarz being the best in the Nigerian music industry. Hence, the Sarz Academy!
You’re guaranteed a hit with Sarz as the foundation layer of your music. Just inquire from the likes of Wurld and Lojay. Sarz’ perfect synergy with these artists is akin to a cooking recipe for success, solidifying the artists’ music careers.
- Burna Boy and Kel P
A list without the Burna Boy and Kel P combo would be incomplete. It’s worth knowing that through Burna Boy, Kel P is a well-respected Grammy-winning producer, having produced nine out of the 19 tracks off the Grammy-nominated album, “African Giant.”
The smooth aura of tracks such as “Pull Up,” “Killin’ Dem,” and “On The Low” is all thanks to Kel P’s flawless craft.
- Ruger and Kukbeatz
Ruger has climbed the contemporary music ladder with the consistency of having Kukbeatz, aka Kukuruku, produce almost all of his tracks, if not every one of them. “Kukuruku cook that tin’” is what Ruger delves into his captivating track, delving into the toxicity of the male gender and the hosting of carnally minded thoughts about a woman’s body.
Responsible for producing massive hits such as “Bounce,” “Wewe,” all songs on the “Pandemic EP,” among a host of others, including tracks on Ruger’s debut album, “Ru To The World,” the artist and producer undoubtedly form a match that creates blasting flames in the form of musical sounds.
- Davido and Shizzi
Shizzi’s “magic fingers” are the reason behind the existence of many of Davido’s most enjoyable songs since his debut in the music scene. Both artist and producer have been two peas in a pod ever since “Dami Duro” in the early days of Davido.
The duo has amassed an amazing catalog of music creation with songs such as “Gobe,” “Skelewu,” “Ekuro,” including producing some tracks off Davido’s “A Good Time” album like “Blow My Mind” and “Green Light Riddim.”
Whilst there’s a whole lot of artist and producer combos we’re sure will cook up amazing pots of musical rhythms and magic, the highlighted ones above are just the tip of the creative iceberg that lies within the Nigerian music industry!