8 producer/artists tell us what it’s like to be self-sufficient in these times

It’s crazy to think that we’re getting all this great music, and can probably only consume it in the comfort of our homes until it’s safe to go outside again – if that ever happens. With the pandemic keeping people out of nightclubs and temporarily off the dance floor and concert grounds, it has taken even more resilience from artists and other key players to keep the music industry running.

Thanks to digital channels which have kept us all entertained, and also kept the music alive during this period, music entertainment hasn’t been entirely crippled, and even though traditional channels have been skewed, for now, the actual music has still remained an avenue to for up-and-coming artists to be heard and appreciated.

With most of the world going into isolation and with the order of things drastically changing, today’s climate has now jolted most things, and you’ll find that self-sufficiency is key to getting most things done. It seems as though all over the world, life is going back to normal, and we have to all adapt to new ways of being. The traditional sense of almost everything has been flipped on its head, which has left room for new and fresh things to emerge.

In a bid to get a better idea of their state of affairs, The NATIVE spoke with 8 producers/artists, who have the ability to make entire songs in one sitting without needing any external help. They are in a unique position at the moment, as their creativity doesn’t seem to be stifled at all.

From what inspires them to what they’re working on, here’s what keeps Omah Lay, Dunnie, TMXO and more self-sufficient.

Dunnie

NATIVE: What events led you to start producing and performing music?

I’ve always had a lot of sounds in my head but did not know how to put them out, eventually, I became an artist and the cost of production became a bit much so I took up music production so I could produce myself and also sell beats so I can make some money…so you can say the recession inspired my decision to do commercial music production.

For performing, I grew up in the church choir so it just came naturally, I can’t remember any particular event that led me into it. I just found myself in it tbh.

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

The hardest part about doing both is the Politicking of the industry…it is a game and having to play it can be very stressful if you are mostly all about the music.

How has producing and recording music yourself benefitted you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation?

The benefits of producing and performing my own music means that I get to make music on my own terms whenever and however I like. That freedom is priceless. Also, the current isolation really has nothing on me because I spend most of my time making music in isolation anyways.

What have you been working on?

I just finished work on my sophomore Project FOUR which drops on the 28th of may…I’m also working on my debut album, also I’ve been producing and writing for a lot of artists.

Would you advise other artists or producers to develop themselves to be self-sufficient? 

Not every artist should be a producer and not every producer should be an artist. It’s a slippery slope that needs proper management to succeed at..but if any artist/producer feels they are up for the challenge, why not?

Spotless 

View this post on Instagram

Soco Video out now Links on my bio

A post shared by Sharp Shooter 🔫 (@spotless360) on

NATIVE: What events led you to start producing and performing music?

Well for me music has always been there from my childhood. I started playing the piano from age six, and because I was really good at it, I would have older guys who were producers at the time bring me to their studio to play chords on their drums… I  fell in love with the process of making music and soon developed an interest in making beats myself. I asked to learn from these producers but they just wouldn’t let me stay after my work is done. Fast forward a couple of years down the line, I got my first laptop as a gift from a church I was playing the piano for in my early teenage years. I had someone install Fruity Loops on my computer and started practising what I’ve been seeing those others guys do and I never looked back since. 

I was already singing and writing songs before I found love for music production. Loved listening to the likes of Westlife, Backstreet Boys, Usher, Akon, Fela, Timaya, Danfo Driver, Psquare, 2face. So music found me from a very tender age, I’m very grateful To God for such an excellent gift.

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

Well for me the hardest part for every creative person, whether you’re a singer, songwriter or producer, is when they feel uninspired. Because like it or not, days like that would come and the best thing to do is listen to other great songs. Take a chill pill for a bit then get right back into it.

How has producing and recording music yourself benefitted you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation?

For me, I wouldn’t say it was that much of a benefit. Instead, it was distracting because so many people who were dear to my heart that are not used to the indoor lifestyle got really bored at this time. All they wanna do is speak to you to avoid being bored and alone, so it was distracting for just a bit until I controlled the situation. Now I can’t wait to share the classics I’ve been able to create with that time.

What have you been working on?

I’m just rounding up my EP for the year, but before I put out my EP I’ll be releasing a single and a video from quarantine.

Omah Lay

NATIVE: What events led you to start producing and performing music?

I like to say I started off as a producer, but I only went into that after deciding I didn’t want to become a rapper anymore. That was my first step into music; I used to call myself Lil King back then. But I decided I didn’t want to rap and started learning how to make beats as Omah Lay. I always hoped to blow up as a producer, but I was hardly getting paid for beats and even worse, getting credit for my beats or songwriting was a bigger issue. So last year I decided to start performing. It was my clap back to everyone that wasn’t giving me what I deserved, and now here I am; Omah Lay, the artist. 

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

I’d say the hardest part is producing because sometimes I already have half the song in my head, but making a beat that fits that song can be stressful sometimes. It might be good when others hear it, but for the song I want to do, it might not be good enough. That’s the hardest part.

How has it benefited you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation?

I never really thought about the benefits until I started working with other producers. Now I appreciate how I’m able to keep working on the beat till I find the right emotion for the song I’m working on. That’s what I think I achieved with Bad Influence and Do Not Disturb, and the isolation period didn’t stop that process, which has been a big plus for me.

What are you currently working on? 

I just released my debut EP ‘Get Layd’, where I focused on showing that I can’t be boxed into any sound and let my personality shine through. The reception so far has been great, but I’m already working on new music. Maybe another project isn’t so far away.

Would you advise other artists or producers to develop themselves in that way?

I don’t know about advising anyone to do it the way I did it, because I only just started. But I encourage everyone to keep growing your talents and keep believing in yourself. Hopefully, everything works out in the end.

Tochi Bedford 

NATIVE: What events led you to start producing and performing music?

I started making beats for games I was designing when I was much younger. But it quickly developed into a hobby of it’s own. I didn’t start to actually record music till at least a year and a half later. As for performing, I rarely ever perform but that’s more of a personal preference thing. 

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

I’d say the hardest part about producing music is getting into the right headspace. Of course, I can always sit down and create beats that people would love, but to create something unique for myself I have to be in a different headspace entirely. 

How has producing and recording music yourself benefitted you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation?

It has mainly benefitted me in the aspect of being partly independent. It has become another source of income and I don’t even have to leave my house to make the money most times. 

What have you been working on?

I finished my EP during the quarantine. Now I’m preparing the whole thing for release. 

VEEN

NATIVE: What events led you to start producing and performing music?

I started out as an artist in 2013, making covers of my favourite rap songs at the time. Then I moved onto minimal production in 2015, then fully in summer 16. I started producing ‘cause I really couldn’t afford beats and the free ones didn’t cut it. Glad I did because it gave me a deeper understanding of music. 

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

I think the hardest part about it would be the dissatisfaction of rinsing the material to the point where it gets boring, because it starts and finishes with me. 

How has producing and recording music yourself benefitted you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation?

It’s been great, I can’t lie. I’ve been able to craft the different sounds that I like, you know translating your ideas from your head pristinely is priceless. And I’ve owned a studio since 2016 so I’ve never really had to leave my studio for a session, except the times where we move the gear to the hotel or something. 

What are you currently working on?

 I’m working on multiple projects as always. I like the element of surprise so I’m not going to give anything away but expect something from me at the end of the year!

Would you advise other artists or producers to develop themselves to be self-sufficient? 

I would advise anyone interested in developing their own sound to find a producer on a similar path and work it through. If you can learn to produce, it’d do you a lot of good too. Ultimately, I think everyone should develop themselves in a way that is unique to them.

Nxwrth

NATIVE: How did you get into producing and performing music?

I’ve always wanted to perform music even before producing. I started off as a rapper but along the lines, I realised I was a better beat maker than I was a rapper. So I decided to take a step back to focus on production cause you know, in everything, you need to go towards your best trait.

So I took a break from performing and studied everything I had to learn about producing and I became a producer and helped everyone around me with beats. I believe that in the process of watching them become better artists, gave me the strength and inspiration to develop my craft as a producer and as an artist.

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

I think the difficult part about doing both is that each side has its own industry and how it works. Before you come into an industry, things have the way they already go. So you tend to do things a certain way as a producer but coming into the performing, producers don’t really know how to promote their music. But you know, you live and you learn.

Would you advise other artists or producers to develop themselves in that way?

I’d tell producer not to be discouraged from taking on their own beats because no one will understand you beat more than you. I really believe that every producer has a spot-on talent of artistry in them, and if you have the desire to take it a notch further, then you should accomplish being the best beat maker you can be before taking on the artist route.

TMXO

NATIVE: How did you get into producing and recording music? 

Well, it just puts me entirely in the driver’s seat as opposed to being co-pilot or having to take the backseat. I call the shots and the music gets heard in real-time. I have total control over direction too.

Has producing and recording music yourself benefitted you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation?

Definitely, funny thing is that creating tripled during the quarantine. I’ve delivered more records this period than when we could go outside. 

What have you been working on?

Been working with a couple of people in the UK, US or even just one street away from me here in Lagos. All from my desk and at the same time.

Minz 

NATIVE: How did you get into producing and performing music?

I started producing just cause I needed beats to sing on. I didn’t know any producers at the time and I really didn’t want to do covers, so I started learning how to make my own beats. It’s always been my dream to perform, I started out as a rapper and I always wanted to get on stage and be a star.

What is the hardest part about doing both? 

I think the hardest part is satisfying myself. I’m such a perfectionist and sometimes I just wanna outdo myself, it stresses me out at times.

How has being self-sufficient benefitted you, especially given today’s self-isolation situation 

Well, because I produce a lot of my own music I’ve been kinda self-sufficient in the sense that I don’t really have to wait for someone to be able to create.

What are you currently working on?

A long-overdue project for this summer.

Would you advise other artists or producers to develop themselves in the same way?

I think every artist should learn a thing or two about production, doesn’t have to be deep cause trust me, it’s stressful. But it’s really dope when you can record yourself or put down beat ideas and have a professional finish it. For producers, I think there are some really talented producers who are actually dope artists at the same time but aren’t confident enough to come out. To them, I’ll just say “take risks and succeed”.

Sign-up form

Subscribe to our mailing list


You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu


ICYMI: Check out all the latest songs from around the continent here

administrator 1692 Articles

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet

00