There you are… Dancing with so much intensity to that heavy jam, and you’re just smiling so happily because this is one of your favorite naija songs currently. The beat is on point, the lyrics are stellar, and everything just comes together perfectly.
If you’re like me, one of the first things that comes to mind is “Omo who do this beat?” Yep. To me the beat is beginning of everything that has to do with that hot joint. So hey, I did a mini survey of over a 120 people among peers, artists, managers, and just good old lovers of music and came up with a comprehensive top 10 list of the hottest producers in Nigeria.
Yeah I know, some people will not agree with the list but this is from a survey so it’s not all my opinion. Actually my opinion had very little to do with it. That’s why after the list I’ll tell you who I feel would be on the list if I had my way.
10. MI Abaga
This would surprise some people, but Mr Jude Abaga actually kicks off this list at number 10. Yes MI is also a producer and he’s a pretty good one at that. Doubt me? Listen to MI2. He produced every song on there with the exception of Represent. So that means Action Film, One Naira, Undisputed, Number One, Epic are all produced by him… and they all sound different. Talk about some production diversity. He also produced 2 songs on Ice Prince’s album, Everybody Loves IcePrince, and DJ Neptune’s 123 HipHop.
Personal Fav: MI ft. Waje – One Naira
9. Tee-Y Mix
Some of Naeto C’s biggest hits have come from this outstanding producer right here. 10/10, 5 & 6, Kini Big Deal are all products of TY Mix. But not to get it twisted he’s done a lot of other stuff and worked with other artists including Darey (Carry Dey Go), Praiz (Jekalo) etc. Not enough space to put in all his songs but be sure the next time you hear “Things Are Not The Same…”(10/10) give TY mix a nice nod and big thumbs up.
Personal Fav: Naeto C – 10/10
8. Jay Sleek
Jay Sleek is not the most out-there producer but he has certainly done some of the biggest tunes we’ve heard lately. Including but not limited to 2face’s Implication, Rain Drops & Only Me, WizKid’s Oluwa Lo Ni, and For Me by Wizkid ft. Wande Coal. What do I like the most about Jay Sleek’s beats? Doesn’t matter what you’re doing that beat will catch your attention immediately. Jay Sleeky Sleeky
Personal Fav: 2Face – Implication
7. Dokta Frabz
*Now putting on my Beatz By Dokta Frabz Headphones* Dokta Frabz in the building!!! Dokta Frabz hops in on this list at number 7 and for all the right reasons. His diversity in music production is enviable. One minute he does Follow Me, and then he produces For A Minute (Waje) and switches up to Thief My Kele (Banky W). It’s almost like you can’t even guess he did a beat until you hear his name on there. Other hot joints he’s done include Thank God (Da Grin) and Chocolata (Omawumi).
Personal Fav: Da Grin ft. Omawumi – Thank God
This is another producer that is not really out there but if you dig deep you’ll see his footprints in a lot of the hits out there. Most recently you can find this J-Town cat’s foot tracks on Waje’s So Inspired, MI”s Number One (Co-Producer) WizKid’s Say My Name, IcePrince’s Somebody Lied, and Loose Kaynon’s Mo Ti De. I’m sure if you dig deeper you’ll find a lot more. Simply put, E-Kelly is super talented. No question.
Personal Fav: Waje – So Inspired
Sarz On The Beat!! Coming in at #5 is one of the hottest producers over the past year. Sarz has hits after hits under his belt. Should we name a few? Ok here goes; Joor Oh (Jah Bless), Salute (Shank), Don’t Touch (Goldie), Kondo (Da Grin), Super C Season (Naeto C). Is your screen hot yet? I have to stop my fingers are burning just typing this out. You get the gist though. Sarz is an extra hot commodity.
Personal Fav: Goldie – Don’t Touch
Na Who Do This Beat? Samklef Noni!! Samklef has been one of the hottest commodities over the past year and for good reason. On any given night at the club you’ll probably here 3-4 of his songs and it gets the club jumping. On his resume so far? Don’t Dull, Pakurumo both by WizKid, Molowo Noni, Jonzing World & most recently End Of Story by IcePrince. Samklef has found the sweet spot in everyone’s ear that makes them want to dance and it’s not looking like he’s leaving that area soon.
Personal Fav: WizKid – Pakurumo
3. Cohbams Asuquo
This guy right here exemplifies what great music is all about. Doesn’t make a lot of noise and most times you barely even know he produced the song until you read the credits. He’s the head of CAMP (Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions) and has a great string of hits under his belt. Banky W’s Strong Ting, Darey’s The Way You Are, Omawumi’s If You Ask Me, Omolara’s Lover and Chidinma’s Kedike are all products of Cobhams. He is such a great asset to the Nigerian Music Industry.
Personal Fav: Banky W – Strong Ting
2. Jesse Jagz
Jesse Jaga Jaga. Hit after hit after hit. This is one producer that simply can’t be replaced. The day he retires, there’ll be a hole in our music. I’m not sure I need to tell you why this cat is sitting at number 2. Do I need to start a mini list of hits? Ok just for those living under a rock for the past 4 years. Oleku by IcePrince, Wetin Dey by Jesse Jagz, Superstar by Ice Prince, Jikolo by Jesse Jags and a slew of the joints you here on IcePrince Album, and MI’s Talk About It Album. If I continue then this list wont stop. Just take it from me. He’s unrivaled… unless if we talk about the number 1 guy
Personal Fav: Jesse Jagz – Wetin Dey
1. Don Jazzy
*drum roll* Ok like you were really surprised. Na who do the beat o? Don Baba Jay. Don Jazzy is single handedly the most recognized producer out of Nigeria and I mean no disrespect to the others but Don Jazzy spells out Mo-Hits. From Gbono feli Feli, to Fall In Love, Under G, Bumper to Bumper, You Bad, Over The Moon, Scape Goat, Oliver Twist, I mean Don Jazzy is more than an asset to our industry. He’s a blessing. And with all that he has managed to stay very down to earth and is as friendly to fans as possible.
Oh let’s not forget he co-produced a song on Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. Yes he’s taken his talents international.
Personal Fav: Dbanj – Gbono Feli Feli
So there folks, there you have it. The 10 hottest producers in Nigeria right now. It’s hard to go wrong with any of these producers on your song.
Producers I would’ve squeezed into this list if possible: Sossick (Pon Pon Pon by Da Grin, I done did it by Eva), DJ Klem (Holla At Your Boy by WizKid, No Be Money by Mo’Cheddah), ID Cabasa (Gongo Aso by 9ice, Young Erikina by Olamide)
Look out for them cos they’ll be really big soon: Chopstix,
OJB [I stand corrected], Kid Konnect, Spankie, Big Foot
Like I said earlier this is based on a survey and yes the survey was pretty wide spread. Do you disagree with this list? Well let’s hear it.
One thing occured to me when composing this list though. Not a single person made mention of a female producer. I can’t think of any myself but I sure hope there are some out there. Or is production not something the women are interested in? Something to think about.
Update: OJB should not be on the “soon to be big list.” I stand corrected. Error on my part.