Benjamin Spellz is rated as one of the top-five producers in Africa. He’s worked with Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Burna Boy and others. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, he talks about his new Sony deal, family and his career
A lot has been up lately
New music, new deals, more blessings and my family. That’s about it and as regards a new deal; I just got a publishing deal with Sony for worldwide distribution. That’s what has been taking me over to the US and back to Nigeria, spending few months a piece in both places. So, I’m signed to Sony as a producer and a song writer. I write songs for their artistes and produce for their artistes but I’m not tied to producing only for their artistes still producing other artistes signed to other labels.
Sony artistes I have worked with
As you all know, Wizkid and Davido are signed to Sony. So, I have been busy with Wizkid’s EP Sounds from the other side, and I did three singles on that. I did one for Davido featuring Tinashe and I’m presently working with a couple of international artistes and producers too.
I love what I do
It’s not even a job to me. It’s just like me living life and waking up in the morning. Just like how people love food; that’s how I love what I do. So, if I don’t work or have a studio in my house aside from the office, I feel very sick. I love what I do and enjoy it; so it’s not work to me.
At Peace with Myself
You can’t be fighting yourself. It’s a vibe and not an office job. There are no rules, so you have to be at peace with yourself and with other people too. When you are not at peace with people, it tends to distort your vibes and your vibes have to be 100 per cent. So, those are my pointers and things I strive to do; I keep my mind happy so I can make good music.
Music wasn’t as big as it is right now
Shout out to 2face, Dbanj, Don jazzy and Wizkid who paved the way for Nigerian music. These people have opened the doors. So, knowingly or unknowingly, whether they did it for themselves or for others, it has helped producers and artistes to see the bigger picture. That is if Wizkid can do it, we can do it, as we have the window, and the world is listening too.
Afro beat is the new thing
And do you know why? Because afro beats is like a mixture of every genre of music, and that’s why afro beats is so distinct. I love drums, so most times I really can’t do without it. I’m a drummer, and as long as the mood is right you can get to people. Good chords, melodies are things I cannot do without.
About my monthly competition
Back then, we had two finalists, and I successfully produced for them. Now, I tell you with competitions and stuffs like that, it’s not necessarily the person who wins that had the biggest drive. So, I realised that I wouldn’t do such again, but I would find other ways of finding real serious artistes, and not just those who want to win a competition. And that’s what I realized, as they were good and had good songs, but the drive of winning the competition ends there most times. If you check out most of these competitions, you’ll notice that after winning it ends for the artiste. I believe you don’t just win there, you win also in life.
For me, it’s the drive
And it has always been like that. For me, an artiste should be above average and then I would work with you, because at the end of the day not the best singers make the best hits. As we have seen with many artistes, the drive is the main thing.
God has kept me scandal-free
We all have made mistakes on a daily basis and no one is perfect. Sometimes, some people make mistakes and it gets to TV, but I keep a level head, as I have always been a level headed person. It’s not now that I will start acting out of the normal.
What should be expected of me
Bigger music such as last year’s when we did Iskaba, and it’s buzzing till now. Shout out to Wande Coal and DJ Tunes. This year, we have Malo which just dropped with Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and I. I think we would just keep pushing it and aim higher and bigger.
I have collaboration with other artistes
And it’s not like the way people see it with other producers and artistes; like you just produce a beat and allow an artiste to jump on it. So, I want to change that, because music is music and I may not be singing but the beat is part of the music; it’s 50 per cent of it and that’s the angle I want to face.
I own my record label
Benjamin Spellz productions, and I also own my record label in the US, October 11 music, but I am not signing artistes right now, as I want to focus on myself, because to carry people you have to stand and stand well. You don’t bring people and waste their time and career. I don’t want to do that and I want to be firm so that with time I can carry people along. Patience, as they say, is the best virtue.
Marriage is fantastic and everybody knows I am married
My wife is an amazing woman and she is the best. Recently, she did a surprise birthday party for me. I walked into the house with the lights off, and boom on it went, and I saw everybody from my friends and colleagues in the industry.
So, I want to use this medium to appreciate them, and thank them for coming, considering the fact that I didn’t know about it.
Fatherhood is amazing
My son gives me joy on a daily basis. And there is always something new with him; as he grows, he learns new things. He develops, and I see new traits in me. And you think everybody should be a father or a parent.
My view on social media
I don’t want to be a nuisance, because you don’t need to post when you don’t have stuffs to post, as it’s not really mandatory to post.
And you know social media is very addictive and you could spend your whole time on social media and still not achieve anything.
So, for me, I have to find that balance and, most times, I can’t be in the studio working on an artiste and be posting on social media, which is unprofessional. So, I just try to do it right.