The job of a mix engineer is no small or easy feat at all. While music producers are the ones tasked with the responsibility of finding diamonds from the rough, the mix engineers have the bigger responsibility of making the diamonds sparkle and shine. To put it simply, they ensure that the sounds brought by artistes on songs are super crisp and crystal clear. If you have the first idea on the technicalities involved in music production and sound engineering, then you’ll understand the grueling efforts put in by these bad men for us to enjoy on tuneful numbers like Fada Fada and Mama, with all the relish that we do.
Now there are mix engineers and there are mix engineers. So we wanna tell you a teeny bit about these 5 who are honing the industry’s spotlight in music.
One of the favourite sound tags I relish hearing on songs has to be ‘Mixing Zeeno Foster!’
Zeeno Foster is definitely one of the best, having executed a variety of music hits for a rare caliber of artistes in the persons of P-Square, Flavour, Kcee (and his 5-Star Music cult), 9ice, 2face, J.Martins, Wizkid, Iyanya, Sean Tizzle, May D, Presh and Humblesmith. Going by his very introverted nature and lowkey personality, there’s not so much – if at all any – information on his background out on news sites and blogs. But what’s certain is that he is most respected in the industry, and his penchant for playing a strong hand of consistency with musical sounds and albums that have spanned years, has left his professional skill as one of those in very high demand. Zeeno who hails from Delta State is also a music producer with song credits from Tiwa Savage, P-Square, Deebee and Olu Maintain. He is the CEO of Zane Pro Studios, a high-tech ‘music factory’ located in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos.
Plateau State born, Suka Andrews is no strange nom to the industry. Asides being well sought-after by artistes, he also has perhaps the most familiar signature line heard on many many cherished tunes and hit songs that have surfaced on and off the music charts. Suka Sounds boasts an active service that spans almost a decade. After bagging his degree in Music from the Lani Stephen’s institute, he returned to his home town in Jos where he acted in the capacity of an in-house producer and studio manager.
Fast forward 3 years after, Suka joined the EME label music force, where he constantly torched sounds for Skales, Niyola, Wizkid, Shaydeeboi and Banky W of course. But his genius hands didn’t just end there at all. His skillful magic has been felt from a clientele covering the industry’s best and most finely bred musicians and superstars like Dremo, Davido, Mayorkun, Ruby Gyang, Jhybo, Phenom, Brymo, Ice Prince, Patoranking, Orezi, Ketchup, MC Galaxy, Yemi Alade and L.A.X. Some of the sound bangers that carry his uber-familiar ‘Suka Sounds’ signature include Shuperu, Caro, Ginger, Toh Bad, Jasi, Ara, Sekem, Ojuelegba, Owo Ni Koko, Eleko and My Woman, My Everything… among an infinitesimal count of others.
They call him the industry’s finest and I’m sure it has plenty to do with his seasoned skills amassed from wealthy years of experience. Almost a decade in the music grind, MarQai (real names Michael Udenna) started from the very basics of voicing jingles heard on revered radio and TV stations before undertaking the task of editing these jobs by himself just so it could meet with his idea of standard. This later brought him to Top Radio and Rainbow FM where he handled production duties and soon rose in the ranks to heading the intensely demanding unit.
His clientele includes a creme of top shots in the industry. From 2face Idibia to Falz, Reminisce, Ruggedman, Seriki, Praiz, Niniola, Sojay, Vector, Terry Apala, K9, Splash and Kid Konnect, MarQai has built an utterly impressive catalogue of songs… jamz actually, and some of them include Coded Tinz, Oya Come Make We Go, Karishika, Clap, Religion, Gboriduro, Bounce, Seyi Shay, SugarCane, Where is Vector, Agege, Nwata Ji Nku, Champagne Showers, Stand Back Mudafucker, Lord Have Mercy… we no go comot hia if I no stop to dey mention, so just blow your mind some more by peeping his professional credits on his website. MarQai is very bad like that and best part is, he is for everybody!
The intriguing thing about Oluwole Iloyi aka Indomix is the fact that he introduced the use of music signatures for sound engineers on songs that had their adept hands in musical mastery and mixing. Just like artistes and producers, this trend became widely accepted by many engineers who were simply after heralding their fine works to the public. So everytime you hear Suka Sounds, Mixing Zeeno Foster and other music tag lines on all those songs you love so much, remember that Indomix championed it first.
Indomix is a ND holder from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. He used to be part-member of a 4-man music group back in 1998 before focusing majorly on the technical side to music – engineering and production. Asides glistening the shine for acts like Pepenazi, Reminisce, Niniola, Ruggedman, Vector, D’Banj, Sound Sultan and Olu Maintain on musical singles including Illegal, Akara Oyibo, Local Rappers, King Kong, Oyato and an almost infinitesimal count of others, he sometime moonlights as an afro artiste with singles like ‘Owo’, ‘Aganran’ and ‘Eran’ whose video was just released a couple months ago. For a comprehensive look at his musical discography and professional service, you can check out his website.
Sheyman’s musical niche doesn’t only reside in the high-tech specialty, he is also a R&B/afro singer-songwriter from where he earned the title ‘king of melody’. Unlike most his colleagues in sound engineering and music production, he has an impressive repertoire of songs which attest to his flair for the vocal art. Some of his popular singles include the Davido-assisted ‘Paper’, the Flavour-assisted ‘Sampuwa’, ‘Celebrate’, ‘Kokan’ Aye’, ‘Overload’ and more recently, the DJ Coublon-produced ‘Ball Properly’.
Sheyman (real names Oluseyi A. Ademoye) who hails from Ogun State, Nigeria, has had working stints as a judge on music talent hunt platforms and currently heads Phat Entertainment outfit. Since assuming responsibility as one of the industry’s finest music makers, he shares professional credit with several industry superstars including the late Goldie, Jaywon, Aramide, Kiss Daniel, Iyanya, Jah Bless, Pasuma, Joe El, Bigiano, Byno, T.W.O and several others having attained a certified hit status for songs like Kukere, Woju, Feeling This Feeling, Joor Oh, Don’t Touch and Shayo.
Certified beat master, music producer and singer, Selebobo goes by the mononym ‘Mix Monster’ when his assignment requires services from his mixing and music mastery skill. Some of his credits include songs by Yemi Alade, Bracket, Flavour and Tekno.
Slowly but gradually, Brain is making an imprint with his knowledge reservatory in music. He appears to be exclusive with a certain artiste fold but he is most certainly at the service of a clientele that comprises the likes of Vector, Solidstar and more others.
Another very good badt guy is T-Piano, who continues to cater for the music needs of the ever growing Nigerian musicville. While artistes set to blow keep benefiting from his finger magic, Yemi Alade, Oritsefemi, Rayce… are some eyebrow musicians with songs tied to his mixing credit.
Spyritmix comes in very hot and popular demand especially in circles that are run mostly by upcoming and fast-rising artistes. That aside, he comes highly recommended and it has too much to do his very deft and appreciable skill.