There’s the popular saying: “Behind every successful man, there’s a woman”—I call cap on that. Why? Have you heard of king Solomon in the Bible? Okay I’m just joking but I indulge you to allow me rephrase that statement—“Behind every hit song by an artiste, there is surely a producer working behind-the-scene”—now that makes sense, don’t it? For as long as man had discovered the sonorous vocal ability of singing, there has always been the availability of instruments and those who know how to play these instruments like harps, drums, guitars, trumpets, trombones, xylophones. . . you name it, making harmonious and heart-warming cohesive instrumentation so much the vocalists want to bless it with their voices.
Well what am I trying to paint? Simply put, without instrumentals, there would be no music (except you decide to go acapella) and there are just some divinely arranged artiste-producer combo that anytime they collaborate on a track, we listen to that particular song until our ears tire out; without thinking much, we have a lot of such artiste-producer duo in our Nigerian music sector who have blessed our ears and are continuing to do so. Let’s start by examining such ones:
• Wizkid & Sarz
“Let me you hear you say “Yeah yeah”, “Yeah yeah”. . . Sarz on the beat” is the intro to the 2014 Sarz produced “Beat of Life (Samba)” featuring Wizkid. Ever since, Wizkid and Sarz have gone further to work on nothing less than 10 songs including “Jaiye Jaiye”, “Come Closer”, “Energy (Stay Far Away)” with Skepta, “Sound It” and the most recent “LV N ATTN” with Lojay off EP of the same title. Anytime Wiz and the only loved Sarz come together, it’s mazza!
• Burna Boy & Leriq
Burna Boy and Leriq duo existed way back in the days of Artistokrat Records leading to Leriq being the executive producer of Burna Boy’s debut album—“L.I.F.E – Leaving an Impact for Eternity—combining on tracks like “Yawa Dey”, “Run My Race”, “Tonight” and so on. nuff said, Burna Boy and Leriq will basically destroy your speakers because they bring so much heat. Even after Burna’s controversial parting of ways with the aforementioned record label, he reunited with Leriq on the 2016 EP—“Redemption”—which had Leriq producing all 7 tracks including fans favourite, “Pree Me” and “Boshe Nlo”.
I’m sure you’ve heard “Monsters You Made” and “Way Too Big” from the Grammy winning “Twice As Tall”. Yes! Leriq produced both tracks. Burna Boy and Leriq might be the best (unofficial) duo since white rice and stew.
• Rema & Ozedikuz
Ozedikuz Nwanne is synonymous to the tag – Another banger. Both personalities, that is, Rema and Ozedikuz synthesise like sun on plants on a beamingly vivid day and I mean that literally. Who do you know confidently declares “Another banger” on just the third track off of his debut project? No one other than Rema on the very energetic and party-themed “Dumebi” production by Ozedikuz.
“Corny”, “Iron Man” and “Woman” should be quantitative reasons for you to understand the wave Rema and Ozedikuz are on—surfing confidently on the new school Afrobeat-Pop sound.
• Davido & Shizzi
From his first major hit single—“Dami Duro”—Davido and Shizzi ‘the magic fingers’ have always been a sensation and their union on tracks is phenomenal. On Davdo’s first album — “Omo Baba Olowo: The Genesis” — Shizzi did a superb job of being the executive producers. Moving on, Davido and Shizzi have collaborated on several tracks including “Gbagbe Oshi” off of his only EP—“Son of Mercy”—the singles “The Sound”, “Blow My Mind” and “Sweet in the Middle”, the last two being from his 2019 album – “A Good Time”.
Shizzi having the word “magic” in his producer tagline is so true with the way he casts spell with his hands producing the best of the best instrumentals to soothe Davido’s cadence and aura. Although Shizzi wasn’t spotted on any track from the November released—“A Better Time”—we can be sure to keep our fingers crossed, knowing quite well Davido and Shizzi might just burst our brains soon.
• Olamide & Pheelz
You know Olamide and Pheelz go way back when you hear the old tagline “Pheelz Mr. Producer” on songs like “Omo Wobe Anthem”, “Eyan Mayweather”, “2Baba Zone”, “First of All” etc instead of the newly coined “Riddimmacoolayor”. Olamide-Pheelz bond is reminiscent of the once blossoming D’banj-Don Jazzy bromance on records.
From “Rapsodi” to “Street OT” to “The Glory”, Pheelz have been the engine to Olamide’s triumphant drive through Nigeria’s mainstream media, making instinctively distinct beats time after time while Olamide handles the microphone perfectly like Lionel Messi with a football. Talk about “Omo Anifowose”, “Lagos Boys”, “Letter to Milli”, “Melo Melo” all the way to 2020’s “Triumphant”, Olamide-Pheelz combo have been nothing short of amazing.
There we have a list comprising of some of the best artiste-producer duo in the Nigerian music industry. Some honourable mentions will be Show Dem Camp & Spax, Lil Kesh & Young John and Naira Marley & Rexxie. Truth be told—we need more bangers from these elite duo of artistes and producers.