Top 10 Music Producers in Nigeria

From the days when performing artistes were considered deviants and societal misfits whose peculiar 24 hours revolved around having wild parties late into the mornings, staying in bed past noon, spinning reckless webs of s*x, booze and indiscipline around beautiful girls to more contemporary times when corporate brands, high profile events, and the crème de la crème of the society all crave a chunk of music stars and the lucrative human brands they have become, the fundamental roles of music producers in Nigeria have remained unaltered.
Rather, the stakes have been raised higher, the bars of expectations have soared, the media is no longer what it used to be, deals are no longer one million naira or two; in essence, the game has changed and so have the players.
In this piece, we have drawn up a list of 10 Nigerian music producers who have distinguished themselves; not by their heights and body mass but by the quality of what they bring to the table as well as reputation, diversity, ability to adapt, earnings, consistency, industry ranking and professional depth.

Don Jazzy
On top of the list is prominent producer, singer, songwriter and unrepentant philanthropist, Michael Collins also known as Don Jazzy. As far as music producers go in Nigeria, Don Jazzy is the musical version of having a blend of Messi, Mourinho and Ronaldo in one entity – Yes! He’s that good and has remained consistent in the last decade.
A musical journey that started with Mo Hits Records and hits like Tongolo, Mobolowo Won, Bumper to Bumper, Oliver Twist and many others has since morphed into the Supreme Mavin Dynasty with hits like Dorobucci, Eminado, Surulere, Godwin and a colourful list of others. Sources close to the producer reveal that he charges one million to produce a song; a figure that continues to climb as the days roll by. Don Jazzy has worked with the biggest names in the global music scene including Jay Z, Kanye West, D’Banj, Naeto C and several others. His endorsement deal with telecoms giant, MTN recently got renewed.

Cohbams Asuquo
There’s a good reason Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo takes the third spot and that’s mainly because of the Midas touch his production skills throws up as well as his penchant for classical pieces. Cobhams was largely instrument in Asa’s highly successful album, ‘Asa’ and has gone on to work with the likes of 2Face, Banky W, Omawumi, Styl Plus, Chidinma, D’banj, Darey Art Alade and a galaxy of others. He recently snapped up a deal with telecoms giant MTN and has been officially unveiled as an ambassador. Some hit tracks he has worked on include ‘Strong Ting,’ ‘If You Ask Me,’ ‘Kedike,’ ‘Rich and Famous’ and Cocoa Na Chocolate. To get Cobhams on a track costs a minimum of N600, 000.

 ID Cabasa
When one of Nigeria’s most successful artistes, Olamide never stops mentioning a producer’s name and this same producer takes credit for the monster hit track, ‘Gongo Aso,’ then it is not a coincidence. ID Cabasa sits on top of Coded Tunes Entertainment alongside Jahbless and a few other players.
His production skills brought 9ice from zero to hero and the same applies to Olamide, who we all began to take notice of after ID Cabasa spun his creative magic into his lyrics.
ID Cabasa is not in the league of flamboyant producers but his ability to deliver hit after hit has never come under doubt.

 Legendury Beatz
Legendury Beatz is the brilliant production mind behind hits like 2 Mush (Reminisce), Ojuelegba (Wizkid), Kokose (Sound Sultan), Ginger (L.A.X and Wizkid), Ibadi (May D), Caro (Wizkid), Azonto Freestyle (Wizkid), Ara (Brymo) and Emi Ni Baller (Chidinma). Legendury Beatz consists of two brothers; Uzezi Oniko and Okiemute Oniko. The unbroken run of hits continues for Legendary Beatz. A track by Legendury Beatz will cost a minimum of N600, 000.

Trust me, drawing up a list of ferociously gifted music producers in Nigeria without mentioning his name amounts to sheer injustice and a ‘sin’ against man. Pheelz (born Philip Moses) has consistently left footprints of hit songs in the sands of time and some of his notable works include Shoki (Lil Kesh), Awon Goons Mi (Olamide), Durosoke (Olamide), Eleda Mi (Olamide), Turn Up (Olamide), Rayban Abacha (Olamide), Anifowoshe (Olamide) and a host of others. He presently charges between N350, 000 and N400, 000 for his services.

Sarz (born Osabuohien Osaretin) is the kind of producer who does not need 24 hours to cook up a beat that reels in distinct followership. At first glance, his boyish looks and charm give him a timid appearance but when the doors of music production open up, he transforms into that ferocious talent behind hit tracks like Jaiye Jaiye (Wizkid), Jor Oh (Jahbless), Kako Bi Chicken (Reminisce), Don’t Touch My Body (Goldie), Ghetto (Shank), Beat of Life (Sarz), I Like Girls (YQ), Fantasi (Reminisce), Wash Wash (Eldee) and Eleniyan (Reminisce) go on blast.
Sarz hails from hails from Benin City, Edo State and is 26 years old.
Before we leave Sarz, did you know that he was once nominated alongside Don Jazzy for an award but after Don Jazzy won it, he presented it to Sarz saying no one else deserved it as much as he. “No one else deserved it more, considering the hard work Sarz has put in and the number of Hits to his credit,” were Don Jazzy’s precise words. That’s how good Sarz is.

Shizzi’s musical resume looks like a wish list for most Nigerian producers and the reason is not far-fetched. He is one of those gifted minds that music has chosen as a vessel through which hits, hits and more hits are born. His list of conquests via songs he has produced include: Skelewu (Davido), Dami Duro (Davido), Go Low (Wande Coal), Tchelete (Davido featuring Mafikizolo), Gobe (Davido) and Rise Up (Multichoice Africa featuring Davido). Other prominent acts he has worked with include Sarkodie, Tiwa Savage, Naeto C, Sasha, Saucekid, Lola Rae, Harrysong and a growing list of others. At the time of writing this, Shizzy charges between N500, 000 and N700, 000 per song.

DJ Coublon

DJ Coublon
At the moment, rising music producer, DJ Coublon does not have a list of hit singles long enough to make him number one. However, when a producer has a hit single like Woju (Kiss Daniel to his credit), then you instantly understand why he has to be taken seriously. Other hits to his name include Le Kwa Ukwu (Iyanya), Iwotago (B-Red featuring Phyno), Double Trouble (Ric Hassani) and a host of others. His rates are affordable and charges around N200, 000.

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