Nigeria for one has being a country that has always churned out in large numbers, many producers. In fact at the moment, almost every artiste has some production skills, this is fantastic and much thanks goes to the creators of DAWs. Some producers have obviously stood out. They are obviously too many to mention as every producer is unique in his way. Only a few of the best producers have managed to change the landscape of the music industry.
By changing the landscape of the music industry, what do I mean? It simply means changing the kind of music people listen to. Many producers go with the trend, only a few dictate the trend. Even the most talented of producers might not be able to change a trend of music, because most of the time it is psychological and a whole of timing is also involved.
There are two ways to change the trend of music: either you produce an artiste that can change the trend or you produce a different kind of beat that other producers start to imitate due to its general acceptance.
1. OJB Jezreel: With due respect to the producers before him, OJB gave birth to the modern Nigerian music. His peak was the production of African Queen (which is still one of the highest points of the Nigerian music industry). Of course tracks, like “Right Here” by Tuface (written and produced by OJB), “Searching” and most recently “Locho” that was written, produced and sang by OJB himself, can compete well, African queen just seem to have eclipsed them all.
2. Cobhams: Probably the most talented Nigerian producer. Producing Asa, Darey, Banky W, Bez, Priaz, the list is endless, what more can be expected of any producer. He is just someone that words cannot fully describe. This is not a sentiment, as he has hardly contributed something new to the drums or other instrument part of production. But when Cobhams produces a piece for you, that is the master piece. Even more than others his works speaks for him.
3. Don Jazzy: No African list of producers is complete without Don Jazzy. Most noticeable among his achievements is being the producer of Africa’s number one entertainer, D’banj. He also turned producers into celebrities. Before him, most producers have languished in obscurity; Don jazzy was the turning point because he knew his selling point. No long thing album had a different flavour; it was truly African with the fusion of some African sound like congas, which was rare at that time.
4. K-solo: Oba K-solo (like he refers to himself), might not be the most talented producer around, but only few will argue his immense contribution to the music industry. K-solo is the father of commercial music that was much criticized but later accepted. As the producer of Iyanya’s and Timaya’s first albums, you also cannot deny his talent. His fusion of makossa and hiphop, and well as his introduction of the talking drum (a reversed voice of it though) was revolutionary.
5. ID Cabasa: A hugely talented yet under used talent. Producing 9ice and Olamide two Yoruba lyricists who till date still make us appreciate the use of Yoruba in our music. He also enforced the influence of makossa and the talking drum on our music alongside K-solo. The sad part is that he tends to lose grip on his artistes too easily.
Honourable mentions: Kelly handsome (produced Plantashun Boiz among others), Terry G, J martins, TeeY mix, JaMix, Sossick, Docta Frabz, J Sleek, Mekoyo, Sarz, Samkelf, among others.
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