If you haven’t heard the tagline “Sess The Prblm Kid” on a song playing via the radio, TV or out of any music speakers, then you probably don’t know Falz and most definitely Sess the producer (Sess Beats), meaning you must be hibernating musically as far as Nigerian Hip Hop and rap music is concerned.
This story piece should serve both the unfamiliar and familiar folks an inspiring tale of the talented and skillful hitmaker repping Top Boy Entertainment - Sess Beats also known as Sess "The Prblm Kid".
Sess got his major break with the music when he got to work with Falz as a producer on his 2015 sophomore album “Stories That Touch”.
Producing runaway hits like 'Karishika', 'Soft work', and 'ello bae' off the album, Sess soon began to make a name for himself.
The chemistry between both creatives have gone on beyond "Stories That Touch" as seen in songs 'Bahd Baddo Baddest', 'Wehdone sir' and 'Baby Boy' among othersall produced by the amazing Sess Beats.
Worthy of note is also the "Chemistry" EP by Falz and Simi, which Sess played major part in producing.
But before all that, Sess tells Pulse that music has always been a part of him right from childhood, drumming for his high school and joining the church choir.
He also talked being in a music group named DBR (D Black Roses) at the school where he began to cultivate his Hip Hop interest, being the lead singer for a group. That gave him an understanding that music could be used as a tool to influence people and not just about being a big artist.
“That was the beginning of understanding that there is more to your talent than just writing songs, you can actually influence people with your music and actually create something that will outlive you”, Sess explained.
Sess interestingly has always been an artist all the while as he lets Pulse know, but because he couldn’t afford to buy beats, he challenged himself to become a producer.
“I started out as an artist but became a producer because I could not afford to buy beats, but I am still an artist.”
But this was a challenge because though he had the idea of what music should sound like in his head, he did not quite have the resources, so didn’t know how to put it out, not. until he got into the higher institution and got a hold of a production software his cousin had.
Daunting at first, Sess soon got hold of the software, realizing that he could bring out that sound in his head and create the kind of music he wanted to create. That was the defining point for him Sess recalled.
Sess was a law student at the University of Ilorin and even went as far as being called to the bar and practising as a barrister for a while. But the music was where his heart lied began to perform as a Hip-Hop act at shows within and outside the school in Ilorin, working with a certain DJ Tom who was his sound engineer that helped shape his sound.
Sess also pointed out that Pulse’s editor-in-chief Osagie Alonge, who was an alumnus of the University of Ilorin, happened to know him then as an artist and was really impressed with his sound which was bothering on something of the nature of novelty.
Osagie corroborating the story described the sound as ''Trap'', the same sound that more or less originates from the Western Hip-Hop scene, which Nigerian Hip Hop artists only just recently began to infuse into their sound.
He describes finding his own sound as an artist by pushing himself. This went on to him working on a project with a rapper Toye calling themselves The Misfits which he never released because that wasn’t the goal, he was just out to express himself and find his sound he explained. His manager also influenced the decision for him to start with production because according to his manager, it was easier to get into the industry as a producer.
On working with Falz, he narrates coming down to Lagos from Ilorin to meet with a certain artist but that didn’t work out. So he turned to Falz, with the strategy of hoping to now work a non A-list artist, and Falz seemed like a good fit for him at the time due to a number of factors like they both being trained lawyers out to prove a point and that Falz had a style that he was trying to push. Sess called it a spiritual arrangement.
“I think the reason why we worked well together was because we met each other at a point where we wanted to prove to people that we had more to offer”, speaking of both of them dropping law for the art and business of music, adding that he felt that helped the chemistry between the both of them.
His first outing with Falz was on the production of ‘Clap’, a song that featured Reminisce off the “Stories That Touch” album.
Sess also talked about his PRBLM free mixtape giveaway which he noted had good feedback from even international media. Speaking of the idea behind the tape, the creative talent attributes it to the fact that he empathized with fellow artists having also had the challenge of finding beats and instrumentals to work with during his hustling days.
“I really struggled to be able to express myself, to push my creativity, for me it was how I could bridge the gap, to influence people to work and be able to express themselves. That was what really inspired me,” he explained, hoping that that would also inspire them even in their lowest moments not to give up on the dream, and it so turned out for many like that as Sess would recount people reaching out to him to thank him for the noble and motivating gesture.
On his end goal, Sess who runs Top Boy Entertainment with manager Emperor Tobi states emphatically that he wants to have his own dynasty and personally wants to make a statement, and change the game as it were.
Sess lets us in a bit on his creative process, says he creates beat depending on his mood and the type of song. He explains that if he doesn’t feel the vibe of the song, he cannot do it. It must feel good, it’s not just about sounding good. “Music is more than what it sounds like” Sess says is his mantra, explaining that it’s about the emotions and one should feel something about a song.
“The beat is just one ingredient of the whole meal, the artist is also important because he is the one conveying the message, and that’s why chemistry is very important, when you understand him not just as an artist but also as a human, connect with the artist emotionally you can key into his psyche and know this is the kind of song he should be making”, saying that is how he works with Falz.
“We just chill and talk about real life stuff, it’s effortless, it’s not thinking hard”, Sess talks on working with Falz.
For Sess every song must make a statement, he tells Pulse, though it doesn’t have to be deep all the time. To him, music is his existence, and it must leave an impression for it to make any sense to him.
He talks about not feeling ready just yet to come out as an artist but would know and do so when the time is right. Sess also talks about psyching himself to get to that mental state of mind where he doesn’t feel scared to make music that doesn’t follow the trend and yet be an artist that stands out.
From Sess perspective, he sees "Greed" as that causative factor hindering the growth of the music industry.
He believes if the collective stakeholders can begin to be selfless about things that affect the industry.
Using royalties as an example, Sess sees no reason why producers are not getting royalties like the artists are, expressing that one producer can’t just stand up to make the change.He believes that the industry will keep going round in circles if the people in the industry don’t look beyond the present.
“Until we all come together and say let’s make this thing work, for the benefit of everybody and people coming, that it’s not about you or me, and this thing is bigger than us, the industry will not move forward and will keep running round in circles if we don’t fight the mentality that it’s about me alone.”
Producers often have their hands tied because there is no guild to cater for them, and so are usually forced to settle for whatever deal an artist wants to cut for the producer’s job, lamenting that such orientation is not obtainable in the more developed countries.
On the change the industry needs, Sess believes the new crop of artists such as Odunsi "The Engine" whom he mentioned in the conversation have realized that the internet is now the stage and there is power in that alternative movement, seeing beyond the current situation in Nigeria.
He, however, relays his fears of the international labels and businessmen coming to colonize the African sound, fine tune it to the taste of their market back home and in the process making the Nigerian artist using Wizkid for example, to lose their original sound.
Sess also feels that the producers may not be left out in the brain drain happening.
“It’s gonna get worse they are looking at the artist but may soon realize that the producers are the ones making the music and when these artists get saturated, they come back and start picking up the producers”.
Sess on the concept of alternative music is of the opinion that it’s just semantics To him alternative music goes to the ideology behind the sound.
“An alternative artist to me is that artist not afraid to venture out, It’s not about what it sounding so woke but the idea, ” Sess says, adding that it’s not for everybody. Alternative music is deliberate, you can make alternative music and still be pleasant he added.
On collaborations, and forthcoming projects, Sess says new music is coming out May 26. The song titled ‘That’s wassup’ featuring Terry Apala is a fusion of Trap and Apala, something like ‘Champagne showers’. He terms it ‘Trapala’, a fusion sound which he plans to continue working with Terry on and they may be working on a joint project together but depends on Terry’s management.
Sess reveals to Pulse he is coming out with a producer EP in the last quarter of 2017 with the working title named “W.O.K.E”, but does not give away the artists except Tomi Thomas that he will be working with but says he is deliberate with the artists he will be working on; those that can express the idea he has.
The idea of him having a listening session of the EP with Pulse when the project is ready and before it drops was also pitched to Sess, which he was happy to go along with the idea.
Sess gives us his top five current Nigerian songs though he said producers don’t listen to enjoy the song but to analyze it.
He lists Mayorkun’s ‘Sade’,Ycee’s ‘Juice’, Davido’s ‘If’, Niniola’s ‘Maradona’ and Odunsi’s ‘Desire’/Nonso Amadi’s ‘Tonight’ as a tie.
For his top producers, he rates Sarz who he describes as his mentor, KrizBeatz (for his hard work). E-kelly (For giving low key bangers), Masterkraft and Cobhams Asuquo (whom he feels it’s disrespectful putting him on the list describing Cobhams as the Producer’s producer)
Others he mentioned were Del B, Gospelondebeatz, and Don Jazzy).
Sess "The Prblm kid" is out to make a statement and the industry would do well to pay attention.