2021 was at the heart of it, a socially-inclined and fun-filled year, with everyone out and about, looking to make up for time lost to the pandemic.
So while personal and general economies worked on bouncing back, people were also trooping out to events and parties all in a bid to have a good time.
In Nigeria, this bustling atmosphere was upheld by music, lots of it from musicians as different as night and day and as myriad as the proverbial fishes at sea. But one of 2021’s musically-hinged twists was the fact that record producers themselves also came to share in this spotlight.
Thanks to the creation of dance beats and riddims which most times involved viral voiceovers and clips from internet personalities, producers have been able to innovate a new age of sound that sees us dancing to these dance beats.
So in this list, we give a nod to the impact of such records by highlighting 8 Nigerian music producers who are the masterminds behind some of our favourite dance beats:
Nigerian Producers Making Dance Beats;
1. Paul Cleverlee
A graduate of Computational Linguistics from the University of Ibadan who’d been honing his music talents since his childhood days of serving in the church choir, Paul Oyebanjo, more popularly known by the tag on his audio mixes as Paul Cleverlee, is one sound engineer that has fired up social media with his hilarious mixes.
An obvious case of talent meeting the right avenue, Paul Cleverlee has made a name for himself churning out Afrobeats-flavoured audio mixes brought to life with hilarious videos clips such as the Buhari Spelling Mashup that inspired all of us to misspell words for fun. He’s also the mastermind behind the percussive Afrobeats mashup of Hillsongs Spirit Lead Me, as well as the Afrobeats version of Justin Beiber’s Yummy among several others that have gone from being social media hits to living rent-free in our heads.
2. Lord Sky
In the spirit of supremacy battles, lovers of audio mixes and remixes who get into loggerheads over who the king of the subculture is, find themselves bringing up Lord Sky’s name during such moments. Undoubtedly, this goes to prove that the music producer has been established as a force in the scene.
Born Benjamin Idoko with a degree in Music Production from London’s Middlesex University, Lord Sky who has worked with one of two the Psquare duo, Rudeboy on his Audio Money hit, never fails to intersect his skills as a comedian into his musical ventures. Through this, he’s given us popular mixes like Chiwawa from the infamous squabble between Omashola and Tacha in the Big Brother Naija house. There’s also the very viral Corona Virus mix that helped us all find humour in the trying days of the lockdown. Lord Sky is also behind viral sounds like Kugaga Tuangaga from an interview of Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon, as well as Helta Seketas.
3. Ajimovoix Drums
Born Oguntade Adewale Damola and popularly known as Ajimovoix Drums, the Ikorodu-bred artiste is one music producer changing the music game one dance beat at a time.
Inspired and backed by his parents, his Cherubim and Seraphim upbringing and days of practice as their drummer, and a combination of sounds from his home in Itumoja, Ikorodu, Ajimovoix Drums, has proved that viral music can be made from electronically-hinged street inspired beats without lyrics on them. Proof being his internationally felt Focus Dance Beat, played several times by Burna Boy during his world tour and also jived to by world-class footballer, Pogba.
Interestingly, his Focus Dance Beat is not the first of his dance beats to go viral as he is the sound maestro behind Eko Ojina and Lagos Scatter Dance Beats, all sounds which have soundtracked the night and social life of several young Nigerians.
4. Professional Beat
While trends are typically followed, some others stay at the opposite end of such ripples by making the trends. Professional Beat falls under the category of the latter and also the grey point, making dance beats with street slangs that become trending slangs and also amplifying others to become bigger trends.
His influence is evident through his hit dance records like Kala, from which the voiceover sampled beneath became re-echoed by Olamide on his feature on Portable’s Zazoo banger track. Professional Beat is also the producer responsible for street banger dance beats like Aborintayi and Onijibiti.
Ironically, Professional Beat also produced the instrumentals to the original version of Portable’s song which blew up into the Zazoo remix.
5. DJ YK Beats
On the streets of Lagos, kids hear ‘DJ YK mule!’ and they get ready for a party, dancing to his intense electro-based street hop dance beats.
Known as Olayinka Lawal, his version of audio mixes and dance beat creation involves a mix of viral voiceovers looped into his dance beats that are sure to get the listener on their feet.
His works which are currently the rave of the moment include Trap Lanje, Esare and Are You Mad or Something, which samples Portable’s viral rant about Poco Lee, among others.
Real name Orlando D. Oparaugo, Ditweni is one music producer that has wormed his way into the hearts of several music lovers with his audio mixes as well as his humourous music tracks which are based off the randomest things like the plight of a Christmas chicken, to more serious minded issues like Nigeria’s government policies.
Ditweni is the producer behind the viral State and Capital mix featuring the the voiceover from a viral video of poorly pronounced Nigerian states by a group of young girls from Northern Nigeria.
7. DJ Wapsam
A fresh name already gaining traction on video creation social app, Tiktok, this DJ is responsible for the trending Do or Die Cruise mix which samples the audio note of a girl demanding that her lover professes his love to her after an having an intense meet and greet of the privates.
His refix of a harried woman running and calling for her friend after gunshots were fired off which is titled Ibon, is also currently building steam and is set to become another viral sound from the prolific producer.
8. Kvng Vinci
When Squid Game, the South Korean dystopian-themed series that satirises capitalism became a viral sensation and the rave of the internet, it had not only had it’s viewers in a chokehold but had spiralled into many things. One of such was Sir Vinci’s Squid Game Amapiano mix of the call from the Red Light Green Light game in the series.
A pleasant mix of Afrobeats percussions and South Africa’s thrilling pianos, the mix had soon erupted into a viral sound that had owned all of social media. His Afro-Nae mix also got much love across social media platforms and he’s put out other mixes such as the Dorime Drill mix, showing skill and a keen eye for the art of audio mix creation.