The Nigerian Music Industry has seen the rise of great music producers just like it has with artists in the past decade. It has also witnessed the emergence of Artist-Producer relationships with some blooming into a brotherhood.
The artist-producer duos have been an essential part of the Nigerian music industry. Many of our favourite Afropop hits were crafted from the prolific relationships formed through frequent collaboration by artists and their producers.
When you listen to a certain artist’s song, you can almost guess the producer of the song, this is what an artist-producer relationship can lead to.
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Don Jazzy and D’banj
These two held the Music Industry for almost a decade in their palms. The story of how they came to start from the UK where Don Jazzy was a producer working for JJC and D’banj was a security guard with dreams of becoming a superstar.
The story goes that after becoming friends, the two came back to Nigeria to pursue their music careers with D’banj as the frontman and Jazzy as the magic fingers. Their first release was “Tongolo” which was a smash hit.
Over the years, their partnership churned out more hits than any artist in their time could boast of. The two were also founders of one of the biggest labels at that time, Mo’hits records that gave artists like Wande Coal, D’Prince, Dr Sid and the rest a platform to shine.
It also birthed great international acclaim and one of their songs, ‘Scape Goat” caught Kanye West‘s eye who decided to sign them to G.O.O.D Music. But what should have been the beginning of new things in their partnership led to the end of a decade long fruitful collaboration.
ID Cabasa and 9ice
In the early 2000s, 9ice was the poster boy for ID Cabsa’s Coded Tunes record that also housed artists like Seriki, 2Phat, Reminisce, Lord of Ajasa.
9ice and ID Cabasa’s relationship is more of a brotherhood than an artist-producer relationship. 9ice’s first two albums, Certificate and Gongo Aso were produced by ID Cabasa.
“Gongo Aso” was however the album that showed more launched both of them’s career to another phase. The album remains one of Nigeria’s best albums to be released.
Although the two of them rarely collaborate on projects, their relationship still remains great. 9ice named his seventh album after ID Cabasa.
Olamide and Pheelz
Just like Don Jazzy and D’banj’s story, Olamide and Pheelz became friends while under ID Cabasa. Olamide released his first album, “Rapsodi” under Coded Tunes while Pheelz was an interning producer in the label.
When Olamide left coded tunes to establish YBNL, he took Pheelz with him. Their relationship can be described as Mutualism (A symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit.
The both of them became a major driving force in each other’s career. As Olamide’s popularity rose, so did Pheelz’s own too.
As a matter of speaking, Pheelz has produced almost 80% of Olamide’s songs. Olamide’s third album, “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth” was entirely produced by Pheelz.
For every Evolution process, Olamide achieved, Pheelz was there in charge of the soundboard and sonic directions.
2Baba and OJB Jezreel
One would argue that OJB Jezreel is Nigeria’s best producer to ever exist and they won’t be wrong. OJB was a versatile producer and an artist at the same time, of which many many music producers apart from Don Jazzy can’t boast of.
His music relationship with 2Baba would always remain relevant given the impact it had on the industry, and they were a perfect fit.
From 2baba‘s classic “Face to Face” album that produced hits like “African Queen“, “Ole“, “Nfana Ibaga” to the ever-flourishing, “Grass to Grace” album, these two had us feeling every emotion possible.
This is one relationship that had a strong impact on contemporary pop even with the arrival of Don Jazzy and D’banj.
Dagrin and Sossick
Dagrin and Sossick were like Batman and Robin. These two would have made more impact on the Hip-Hop scene if not for the death of Dagrin.
Sossick started working with Dagrin in 2006 but it wasn’t until 2009 that their partnership produced fruit with the release of “Pon Pon”
Although Sossick didn’t entirely produce Dagrin‘s popular album, “CEO,” one can’t deny the impact he had on it.
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Burna Boy and Leriq
Burna Boy and Leriq have been partners back from their days in Aristokrat label. In fact Leriq produced the whole of Burna’s debut album, “L.I.F.E” which produced hits like “Like To Party“, “Run my Race“, “Yawa Dey.”
Although Leriq hasn’t produced a full album for Burna after “L.I.F.E”, he produced Burna’s “Redemption” EP.
He is also responsible for the production of some of Burna’s hit songs like “Rockstar”, “Monsters You Made“, “Way Too Big“, “No Fit Vex“.
Davido and Shizzi
Shizzi is Davido’s most credible and dependable producer. The first time the two worked on a project was on “Dami Duro” which was initially produced by Davido himself until Shizzi came on board and made changes.
This move would be the beginning of their fruitful relationship which would see the birth of hit songs like “Overseas”, “Skelewu”, “Gobe”, “Ekuro“, “Tchelete (Good Life)”, Fans Mi”, “The Sound”, “Gbagbe Oshi”, “Like That”, “Blow My Mind”.
Wizkid and Sarz
The reason why these two are on the list isn’t about the number of songs they have worked on but because of the magic they always make whenever collaborate.
While Samklef was the main guy on Wizkid’s first album, “Superstar“, Sarz made his entrance into Wizkid’s second album, “Ayo“, producing just two songs off the album.
The biggest fruit to come out of their partnership was Drake’s “One Dance” song which was initially produced by Sarz and written by Wizkid.
Though it could be argued that Wizkid’s “Sound From The Other side” is one of their best collaboration.
Masterkraft and Flavour
Flavour popularized Afro Highlife with his songs and Masterkraft was one of the major driving force behind this.
These two have together crafted quality album that has gone to become cult classics. Despite the fact the Nigerian industry has unofficially seen Lagos as its capital, these have managed to break into the mainstream scene.
Falz and Sess
Falz and Sess relationship started with Falz’s second album, “Stories that Touch” and continued unto “27” and “Moral Instructions” which is the highest point of their relationship so far.
The two have undeniable chemistry when it comes to songs. Their synergy is easy to spot with the ease at which Sess matches Falz tempo by tempo.
Reminisce and Sarz
Reminisce and Sarz have come a long way. Although Sarz is yet to produce an album for Reminisce, the longevity of their working relationship is a cause for envy. The first song they collaborated on was on Jahbless‘ Joor Oh. “Kako Bi Chicken” was their second partnership.
In their 10 years of working relationship, the two have churned out hits like “Asalamalekun“, “Oja“, “Instagram“, “Ogaranya”
Naira Marley and Rexxie
While their relationship is still one of the youngest on this list, their less than five-year relationship has managed to establish both of them in the limelight.
Although Rexxie was a result of Chinko Ekun‘s “Able God” and Naira Marley‘s popularity was as a result of “Issa Goal“, their partnership in songs helped established them in the street-hop scene.
This partnership has birthed songs like ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy?’, “Soapy“, “Tesumole“, “Pxta“, “As E Dey Go’, “Idi Oremi“, “Chi Chi“, e.t.c
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- Olamide and Young John
- Burna Boy and Kel P
- Wizkid and Legendary Beatz
- Phyno and Major Bangz
- Mr Eazi and Juls
- Wizkid and Samklef
- Asa and Cobhams
- Don Jazzy and Wande Coal
- Davido and Kiddominant
- Niniola and Sarz