For the love of the real stars, the producers, we created #Beatsmith — a series that focuses on the connections and inspirations that led to the creation of that hit song or album.
The Headies went down a few days ago, and Teni emerged as the night’s most awarded artist, taking home ‘Best Recording of the Year’ and ‘Best Vocal Performance (Female)’ for “Uyo Meyo”, Best Pop Single for “Case”, and the ‘Viewer’s Choice’ award.
Before the success of “Uyo Meyo” and “Case”, however, Teni had “Askamaya”, the breakout track that turned her into an afropop sensation. The boisterous single might not have gotten as much love at the Headies as it deserved, but it did earn Spellz a ‘Producer of the Year’ nod.
So, even though Teni has come out with a fair amount of gems since, “Askamaya” is still her at her hit-making best. Over a year after it’s release, we sat with the beatsmith behind the defining track, asking him about meeting Teni, promising to make her a hit, and pushing her to release it.
On meeting Teni:
Teni and I first met back in June of 2017, about a year before “Askamaya” dropped. We video called through a mutual friend, who later signed her to his record label.
On first discussing “Askamaya”:
She came to my studio in Lekki and was like, “Baba, I hear say you dey give people hit. Today, you must give me my own.” I laughed and promised to do my best. We prayed and then recorded three songs, including “Askamaya”.
On main influence:
I listen to a lot of music, from street-influenced bangers to r&b hits, so I can’t say one song in particular influenced “Askamaya”. It was just a beat I made a few days before we recorded.
On the difficulty level:
Compared to the other songs I’ve worked on, it really wasn’t that difficult. Making a hit song is usually quite simple for me. I don’t sweat it. I just go with my gut, and that’s how it was for “Askamaya”.
On getting the song out:
About 3 months after we made the track, I called Teni and told her that she was sitting on a monster hit. She was like, “Baba, which of the songs?” I told her “Askamaya”. A few weeks later, it was released and the rest is history