It’s easy to shout “Afrobeats to the world” and talk about all the incredible artists breaking records these days, but the truth is that Nigerian music is nothing without its producers. With new age producers like P.Prime, Niphkeys, London, and Rexxie getting the praise they deserve It’s time to give flowers to some producers who started experimenting years ago and remain relevant to this day.
1. Young Jonn
Producing back to back hits for Olamide and Lil Kesh, Young Jonn quickly earned his title as “The wicked producer”, with the hits he made during his time with YBNL still being talked about today.. You’ve got to give it to the man responsible for Bobo.
Hits: Mama with Kiss Daniels, Story for the Gods with Olamide, Don’t Call Me Back with Lil Kesh and Biggest Backside with Davido.
2. Don Jazzy
Do we have to say anything here? The man is Don Jazzy. That’s enough.
Hits: Dorobucci, Oliver Twist with D’banj, Lift Off with Jay Z, Kanye West and Beyoncé, Bounce with Rema, Surulere with Dr Sid and Eminado with Tiwa Savage.
It’s safe to say that Masterkraft has worked with all the big names in Nigerian music, from Wizkid to Bella Shmurda. Starting out making hits for Flavour and Bracket back in the day, Masterkraft has evolved into one of the most versatile producers in Nigeria. He even makes his own music now.
Hits: Jasi with Banky W, Fine Lady with Lynxx and Wizkid, Ukwu with Timaya, Kwarikwa with Flavour and Hallelu with Bella Shmurda and Zlatan.
4. Del B
Remember when Kcee had the world in his hands thanks to Limpopo in 2013? Del B is the producer we have to thank for that boppity bop. Famous for songs that incorporate highlife and makossa, Del B has continued to make hits year after year, Mad Over You, duh.
Hits: For Your Matter with Wizkid, Shake with Flavour, Reggae Blues by Harrysongs and Tilapia with Mr. Eazi.
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Shizzi is the incredible producer responsible for giving us baby Davido hits like Dami Duro and Skelewu. He also worked on Wizkid’s Love My Baby and, more recently, Beyoncé’s The Gift. It’s giving range, and we’re here for it.
Hits: Blow My Mind with Davido and Chris Brown, Show You Off with Wurld and Who You Epp with Olamide and Wande Coal.
You would have had to be living under a rock in 2012 if you didn’t hear or dance to Iyanya’s Kukure. After winning project fame years before, this was the song that finally put Iyanya on our radar. Fast Forward to 2013, and Sean Tizzle’s Sho Lee had become a bonafide hit. What do these songs have in common? D’tunes. The moment you heard, “It’s D’Tunes again o”, you just knew your waist was about to be destroyed. Good times for real.
Hits: Your Waist with Iyanya, Mama Eh with Sean Tizzle and For My Matter with Emma Nyra.
7. Cobhams Asuquo
Can you believe the same guy who produced Catch Cold by Maintain also produced Jailer by Asa and Strong Thing by Banky W? That’s Cobhams Asuquo‘s power. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a heartbreak song to make you cry hot tears or a love song to make your enemies say, “God, when?” When it comes to emotions, Cobhams is your guy.
Hits: If You Ask Me with Omawunmi, Ego with Djinee, No Lele with Dekunle Fuji and Iyawo Mi with Timi Dakolo.
Show Dem Camp has always been on another level when it comes to ballsy rap music. And while they teased us with Feel Alright in 2013, nothing prepared us for 2018’s Palmwine Music Vol.1, and we have Spax to thank for that. Known for blurring the lines between alté and pop, Spax has created magic with everyone from rap kings like Lynxx and M.I to new stars like Tems and Oxlade.
Hits: Up to You with Show Dem Camp and Funbi, Marry Me with Falz and Yemi Alade, DKT with Oxlade and Damages with Tems.
9. Legendary Beatz
If these two decide to retire and invest in Akara or Crypto, we won’t be surprised. Do you know what it means to be the group behind hits like Ojuelegba and Essence? These two not only produced Wizkid’s biggest hits, they indirectly produced two of Nigeria’s biggest hits. That’s on periodt!
Hits: Caro with L.A.X and Wizkid, Ibadi with MayD, Take Care of Me with Skales and Crazy with Seyi Shay and Wizkid.
When Sarz says he’s not your mate, you better believe him. From the moment he dropped Beat of Life (Samba) with Wizkid in 2013, we knew this guy would be a big problem. Since then, he has worked alongside Niniola to make Afrohouse a thing with hits like Maradona, also producing songs for Drake and Beyoncé. When he’s not dropping thirst traps these days, he’s dropping mad ass EPs with artists like Obongjayar, Lojay and Wurld.
Hits: Come Closer with Wizkid and Drake, Bad Energy with Skepta and Wizkid, MAD with Wurld, If You Say with Obonjayar and Monalisa with Lojay.