This year, it’s safe to say not one sound dominated the entire scope of Nigerian music. Every sub-genre found a lane that represented both regional taste and production philosophies.
Highlife, Hip-hop, Afro-Pop, Afrobeat sounds all managed to have a place at the table. Obviously, every producer’s goal is to provide the perfect backing for the artiste to perform to their heart’s content.
These producers set the stage for some of the year’s best singles and almost did ensure that their legacy means more than being called a beatmaker. With that in mind, here are ten Nigerian producers who stood above the rest flawlessly. This is in no particular order.
Masterkraft – ‘Fada Fada’, ‘Jombo’, ‘Finally’
Every year, Masterkraft makes this. From extensive work with Banky W, Flavour and Phyno, the CEO of General Records has transitioned into a record label boss, and continues to thrive via the strength of his production. It is that production that has created CDQ, the viral hit star from last year. In 2016, he has the biggest single of the year (‘Fada Fada’). He has also worked with numerous acts, with a wide array of hits spanning pop culture and Gospel Music.
Shizzi – Who you epp, Gbagbe Oshi
Davido’s right hand man has continued his brilliance beyond Davido Although he helmed some of the best music from the “Son Of Mercy” EP, he continues to spread his wings. This year had him produce one of the most viral tracks of the year, ‘Who you epp’ in the Hip-hop space.
Krizbeatz – Pana, Diana
Here’s one relatively unknown producer working behind the scenes and getting result. It’s been 2 out of two for Krizbeatz, the man behind Tekno’s ‘Pana’ and ‘Diana’. Those two songs have effectively kept Tekno at the top of his game and provided him with plenty of accolades. What has worked best so far is his minimalist style, where the focus is on the vocals of the singer, and everyother snare and kick is designed to elevate it, not submerge it in a pool of studio magic.
Sess (The Problem Kid) – Bad Baddo Baddest, Chemistry, Champagne Shower
This young man is a beast. Responsible for the best works from Falz, Sess continues to singlehandedly hone Falz’s skills in a direction that keeps gaining acceptance. From pop singles, to Hip-hop muscular offerings, Sess possesses an uncanny knack for music which has ensured that the past two years has had music from Sess on everyone’s playlist. Then there’s “Chemistry” EP, where he was tasked with transforming Falz and Simi’s romance into a commodity for the fans to enjoy. On the back of his work on ‘Champagne shower’, new act Terry Apala is working his way up the rungs. He is the complete deal.
Cobhams Asuquo – ‘Aduke’, Live Shows
Cobhams continues to do it for the ‘good’ music. The producer who has worked out in putting out alternative, soul, rock and R&B genres spent the year more involved in the creation of live shows and scores. His major work in 2016 remains the production of Bez Idakula’s “Gbagyi Child” album. He also provided Tjan with the single ‘Aduke’, which stands as one of the best from the country. This year also, he has produced live shows such as the Hennessy Artistry, Buckwyld and Breathless, and also will provide guidance for 2016’s “Rhythm Unplugged.”