By Akpor Gbemre
Nigerian music has become a big deal in the global entertainment scene and it is gradually gathering momentum to become the biggest in the world. These are officially the finest producers in Nigeria at the moment. Let me say as at the time of putting this piece together, they are responsible for almost all the hit songs currently making waves in the country and beyond. This list and rating aims at shedding spotlight on the big names behind the creative direction of music-making process in Nigeria
Don Jazzy (Michael Collins Ajereh) is a multi award-winning record producer, singer-songwriter, musician, current CEO of the Mavin Records label. Don Jazzy was born on November 26, 1982 in Umuahia, Abia State.
With over 100 hit songs to his credit, Don Jazzy is no doubt the number 1 producer in Nigeria at the moment. Most people are of the opinion he’s undeniably the king of Nigerian music. His various ambassadorial deals and the success of artists (Dija, Reekedo Bank, Korede Bello, Tiwa Savage, D’Prince, and Dr Sid) under the Supreme Mavin Dynasty (SMD) are testimonies of his greatness and clout in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
Osabuohien Osaretin popularly known as Sarz is in a world of his own when it comes to making dope beats. The Edo born beat maker’s charges for beat range from $2000 upwards. Sarz has made hits for the likes of Reminisce, Wizkid, 2Face Idibia, long list. He continues to stay strong and relevant despite the influx of new dope producers in the scene. He is popularly known for the tag Sarz On The Beat, at the beginning or end of all his music productions.
His first full credit production work was for Lord of Ajasa’s “See Drama” in 2007. He has produced tracks for Wizkid, Naeto C, Banky W, Skales, Shank, Reminisce, Goldie, Eldee, Wande and YQ. He was formerly signed to Trybe Records, but left the outfit after his contract expired in November 2013.
Lagendury Beatz duo
Legendary beatz duo ( composed of brothers Uzezi Oniko and Okiemute Oniko) are a blessing to the contemporary afro-beat music genre. The two siblings hit limelight in the music industry after producing the critically acclaimed “Azonto” song for multi award winning artist, Wizkid. The duo have produced many songs with vocal contribution from artists such as American rapper Wale, British rapper Tinie Tempah, 2face, IcePrince, Efya, Banky W, Seyi Shay and Chidinma, amongst others.
Sunday Ginikachukwu Nweke popularly known as Masterkraft is a genius of some sort in the beat making sphere. As a bonafide connoisseur of the music industry “MASTERKRAFT” started his career journey at age 11. Since then his repertoire includes some of Africa’s leading musicians and celebrities such as Banky W, Jaywon, Sammie Okposo, Stella Damascus, Bracket, Capital F.E.M.I, J. Martins, Sound Sultan, The Pulse and Busta Rhymes to name just a few. His acquaintances with such prominent names has earned him diverse experience in producing almost all genre’s of music, ranging from gospel to soul, jazz, RnB etc. MASTERKRAFT is indeed a force to reckon within this industry with his diversity and contemporary efficiency. As a professional and experienced music/band director and piano instructor, he has been a major contributing factor in the LIVE performance move taking over the industry.
Young John (the wicked producer)
This young dude is shaking up the scene with his productions and street beats at the moment. He’s one of YBNL’s favourite producer at the moment having laced several hits for Olamide and the rest of the crew. “He is best known for producing the critically acclaimed single “Story For The Gods” and “Shakitibobo” With music production credits on albums includingStreet OT and 2 Kings, Young John was ranked #3 in The Net’s list of “Nigeria’s Top 7 Biggest Music Producers and went on to be nominated in the “Producer of The Year” categories at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and The Headies 2015. Young John is currently to signed to YBNL Nation”.
Aristocrat’s in-house producer/artist Leriq is a dope guy when it comes to “cooking” hit beats and music in general. Leriq produced the whole songs in Burna Boy’s L.I.F.E Album. Since then he has carved a niche for himself and his recent foray into music as a recording artist has been a successful one as his collaboration with Wizkid on his first single was a massive hit which earned him a category in 2015 Headies Awards. His album is one of the most epic compilation I’ve heard in recent times from Producer/Artist. Leriq’s Album “The Lost Sound” featuring the Like of Illbliss, Chidinma, Burna Boy, 2Face Idibia, Wande Coal is one of the best sounds released in recent times.
Del B (Ayodele Basel) started getting recognition after producing “Shake” for Flavour in 2012 N’abania and “Limpopo” for Kcee in 2013. We don’t really have much to say about this dude but for the steady hits that keeps coming from his Kitchen. He also worked on “For your Matter” and produced “Sisi” by Praiz featuring Wizkid, one of the massive songs last year among many others.
Puffy T AKA the beat miscreant is another talented producer in the country at the moment. We first heard about him for producing Olu Maintain’s hit song “Yahooze:” Since then he has produced several hits songs for the likes of Oritsefemi, JJC, Presh Yung6ix and others.
The list won’t be complete without a Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo on it. Cobham is responsible for Asa’s popular songs “Fire on the Mountain” and “Jailer” and he produced the internationally acclaimed album Asa and has produced for top acts like Banky W, Omawumi, Waje, Timi Dakolo, Dare Art-Alade, Rooftop MCs, Faze, Mode 9, Ego, Dekunle Fuji etc. He cuts the image of a genius in the Nigerian music industry and he has performed in international events. He currently operates his music business under the name C.A.M.P (Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions).
Signed to 323 management company, Benjamin Obaze popularly known as Spellz In 2009 he recorded and engineered the hugely successful dance-hall anthem ‘Champion’ by General Phype, and that was just the beginning. In the year 2011, he produced the 2012 anthem ‘Gaga Crazy’ by Chuddy K and also worked with 9ICE on ‘Mu Number’ and ‘On Point ft WizKid’ of his album BASHORUN GAA and VERSUS. He produced a couple of songs on the EME Mixtape namely ‘ROLL IT’, ‘LONDON GIRL’, ‘CHANGE’, ‘DONT DELAY’, ‘FOLLOW GO HOUSE’, ‘FIND MY TROUBLE’ just to name a few, and also worked with BankyW on his ‘RnBW’ album by producing ‘Find you’, ‘Good Good Loving’, ‘My way’ and ‘Good Good Loving rmx Ft Tuface”, where he was able to show his major strengths which are his ablity to adapt and be versatile in production. Some of his other notable works are; ‘My Dear’ by Dammy Krane, ‘Because of Love’ by D’Prince feat. Bracket and ‘Ojoro’ by D’Prince feat. Wande Coal. He worked on four tracks off the most anticipated album ‘Once Upon A Time’ by Tiwa Savage. “Folarin, Shout Out Ft Iceberg Slim and Sarkodie, Ejimafia, Stand As One Ft General Pype. Currently signed to 323 Entertainment under the able guidance of TJ ‘TeeBillz’ Balogun, Spellz Aka “Magik Boi” is bound to claim his spot in the music industry.
•Akpor Gbemre is a Lagos based promoter/publicist & one of the most sought-after talent managers in the music industry.