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Who Deserves Credit For A Hit Song, The Music Producer Or The Artiste?

Posted by Jim Donnett on October 5, 2015 in Editorial · 70 Comments


A lot of factors come to play on this subject matter about who is appropriately deserving for the credits to a hit song, whether it is the music producer or the artiste. The way our industry operates, it is undecided, the strings that determine the hit status of a song. It goes beyond just having panache vocals, a popularly known producer giving mad beats and Suka Sounds in the mix. There’s even songs that never saw the light of the charts simply because no proper hype was attached to it, notwithstanding the fact that it checked all the right boxes. In some shores outside of here, songwriters even demand music credits as part of their rights considering they’re the ones responsible for the lyrical framework.

More times than not, when a song becomes a hit, the artiste is extolled for his (or her) level of genius exuded on the track and so for the purpose of this post, I shall be focusing on the two parties involved in making the music (sounds), which has largely become the basis for our judgment – the artiste and the music producer. In furtherance to adjudging this matter, it will be noteworthy to always consider the prominence of both artiste and producer, their technical knowledge of their art (singing and music production) as well as the hit songs in question. Let me start with Don Jazzy (I bet you already guessed it), his heavy involvement in music matters not only brought him to the forefront of affairs but has kept him as a constant front row player, which continues to set him apart from his colleagues in the industry. This also explains why almost everyone wants to get him on their track because his records speak volumes. Is it Korede Bello or Dr Sid, even D’Prince, Di’Ja and then Reekado Banks? The trend stays consistent as he continues to churn out hit productions for his Mavin crew. I obviously won’t forget to mention D’Banj and Wande Coal, and how their different paths have swiveled since severing ties with Don Jazzy.

Cobhams is another producer whose art is equally vested in the music. His trend isn’t any different and that’s why Timi Dakolo, Dare Art Alade, Bez especially haven’t looked else where since realizing he had already developed a penchant for making their individual magic tick. Even Banky W, when he feels pressed to go back to his roots, he looks no further than Cobhams.
Samklef would be the producer that founded the Wizkid sound and tailored it into some level of consistency. Back then, you hear Wizkid and you just think… “this is Samklef!” The excuse now is that Wizzy’s sound has gone international, yet there’s that Samklef fine-tune in Wizkid’s songs that we really used to love but no longer get anymore since he parted ways with him for good.
Could I possibly forget OJB and J. Martins? Never! These two are responsible for a large amount of hits from the early to mid millennial era. And their discography covers works from 2face Idibia, Ruggedman, D’Banj, Wizkid, Durella, Goldie, Resonance, Yemi Alade, Waje, P-Square, Flavour and Bracket (just to mention a few) respectively. OJB is that guy whose production launched a fine crop of today’s a-list artistes into fame and J. Martins has never relented in well-doing since since. Many artistes owe these two real big!

There’s also Masterkraft, Tee-Y Mix, Pheelz, D’Tunes, Young John, DJ Coublon and their likes who amidst the tight monopolistic turfs associated with the industry, they still shone through like diamonds from their rough to stealing seats at the high table and eventually becoming the most sought after producers of today. Alternatively, there are instances with some producers where the artiste has succeeded in building a personality that will always overshadow the producer’s works. This is evident with the likes of Selebobo and Shizzi whose stellar works can be tied to unarguably Africa’s best artistes, Yemi Alade and Davido. No matter how epoch their inputs are in the music, we might never really get past overlooking Ms Alade and Davido to herald their producers solely for the genius work done on their records. Leriq suffered this feat with Burna Boy as with Del’B who still experiences same with Chidinma, Flavour, Wizkid and even Kcee. For those of us conversant with industry trends, you must have noticed that more producers are turning artistes in a bid to fight this anomaly. Those with vocal prowess have taken to singing while others who have crafted a signature sound, task themselves with doing collabos. Oh, I just remembered Sarz now. He was quite the bad guy then and calling the shots. Although he remains respected but he is hardly ever remembered seeing as he has almost fizzled out into oblivion now. The thought is indeed very painful.

Thankfully, this isn’t an ill that has befallen only us here in Nigeria, it’s a global fight that has been on for decades. Producers all over the world are not duly recognized or well appreciated for their efforts and contributions to building the industry. This would explain the movie “Straight Outta Compton” starring Dr Dre, Ice Cube and a couple other international producers trying to pass a message across although from a racial angle but we get the big picture. Some producers never get any attention and the little recognition a few others get, is sometimes not even enough. Now, they have all resorted to lacing their sound tags on every production they ever laid their hands on by a means of announcing themselves (and their works) to the world. Will that ever be enough? Obviously not. Even if it’ll suffice on the interim, how long really will it last?
It’s over to you guys… care to join me speculate?

Written by Jim Donnett

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58 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. its the musician nw

    • Guy don’t be overwhelmed with the fact that you love him it is clear that he is in an oblivion state

  2. Biko where is legendury BEATZ

  3. Great pointz ryt thr… i think d producers also deserve recognition buh the artistes got most of d credits… and also tawkin bouh SARz… i think he nidz to come out again… d man is damn good.. #respect

  4. The Artiste gain more popularity than the Music producer… simple!

  5. eez young jonn d wiked prod. itz pheelz mr prod.

  6. And you even forgot Id cabasa who blow 9ice out of the waters to shores b4 9ice said the aquatic life was the best for him. The same id cabasa delivered olamide to us on a Plata of Gold. Eni duro, still one of olamide’s best works n wen id cabasa and jmartins cooked up a beat together, menh that was mad. He also gave us Lord of Ajasa, Jah Bless, Reminise. We just forget so soon. SMH

  7. Nigerian Best producers of all time that deserve recpect and loyalties from the artistes are
    1. Nelson Brown (Plantashun boiz- u & I)
    2. OJB (2face- African queen)
    3. Jokaynie (Dj Jimmy Jatt -Style)
    4. Don Jazzy (D’banj- Why me)
    5. Sossick (Dagrin- pon pon pon)
    6. Dr frabz (Y Q- Efi me le)
    7. Sarz (Dagrin- Kondo)
    8. Jay Sleek (2face- Only me)
    9. Laylow (morachi- hapuya like that)
    10. Jesse Jagz (Ice price- Oleku)
    11. M.I ( MI- Safe)
    12. Del B (Kcee- limpopo)
    13 Shizzi (Davido- Dami duro)
    14. Cohbams Asuquo (Banky W- strong thing)
    15. Yung John
    16. Pheelz
    17. Dj coublon
    18. Rayce
    19. Yung D
    20. K-Solo
    21. Terry G
    22. ID Cabasa
    23. Baby Fresh
    24. Phyno
    25. Selebobo
    26. Tekno
    27. D’tunes
    28. J. Martins
    29. Samklef
    30. Leriq
    31. Legendary beatz
    32. Paul okoye
    33. Ikon
    34. Ty mix
    35. Josh beatz
    36. Beats by jay
    37. Microwox
    38. Xblaze
    39. XYZ
    40. Wizboyy
    41. Dekumzy (bracket- yori yori)
    42. J fem production
    43. Tspice
    44. Xela
    45. Puffy t
    46. Dj zeez
    47. Eldee
    48. Kraft but now know as MASTER KRAFT
    49. E kelly
    50. Dj klem

    • nice one bro

    • 9ce 1 guy and dey ar all hits makers#Respect 2 dem

    • Ur head there my guy…u just spoke my mind I like dat,u have finalise everything…Thumbs up Bro

    • I can go on to name more than 100 producers in Nigeria with the hit songs they produced and even most them are not know by people! Artistes go shows for 3m naira per show and mime songs that are produced by the producer and spend the money alone. So this one reason why many producer are singing and rapping!

    • dis shows dat artist ar d real backbone of hit songs.. no any recognised producer who will not do better if u go to dem wit a nice song ..period. no producer who has spend more Dan 6-7 years in d industry that doesn’t have his own hit produced song, dat is y der always love a good Singers… am an artist too

  8. why this question you ought to know that d credit goes to producer dont you know that he is the one that did almost 3/4 work of all hit songs,panning beats,mixing and mastering beats and the recording…..Omo biggest shout out to we

    producers…#jayrock of ages

    • na you answer am

  9. Hey…..b artist 2 na d both oooo…..cos in d creation of beat both artist and producer de always try……d’spat

  10. The Producer, because without the producer beatz the Musician can make a hit with it.. But it is rear to see musician make a hit without a good beat. Just my Opinion.

  11. Producer deserves . most artiste got very bad vocals n their songs arent arranged….. Producer takes all the pain..
    I am music producer #

    Follow @Cripsymixtee. On instagram

  12. Producer deserves . most artiste got very bad vocals n their songs arent arranged….. Producer takes all the pain.. I am music producer #

    @cripsymixtee follow on IG

  13. The producer in some artist

  14. The producer ofcox! Cos good lyrics come when u see a good beat.

  15. Listener

  16. The listener

  17. I think the producers deserve the credits if the beat is
    super good and if the artist can kill the beat he also deserve credits so the credits would be 5/5

  18. As for me is d artist not d producer.if you like create d best beat in d world….if a yeye artist handle d beat it won’t still make brain….buh a comfam artist handle d beat…mehn you go like it like tomoro no dey

  19. Producers have a bigger role to play.

  20. Producers are the life of any song.

  21. Young John I see u, u re d man

  22. It Depends If The Song Is A Freestyle, Or A Ready Made Beat That The Artist Jumps On Then The Credit Goes To The Producer, Whereas If A Good Song With Nice Rhythm And Lyrics, Will Definitely Be A Hit Song.. So The Credit Goes To The Artist That Composed The Song. Peace

  23. Producers do a lot of work in making a
    Song and I think they deserve equal
    Attention as d singer too……but there are scenes where producers are more recognized than the singer, and this is seen in the international electronic dance music scene, where producers lk avicii, david guetta, calvin harris exist. And here this producers are also djs,so they reach out to fans through live dj sets, this can be an equivalent to live performances by singers/artists

  24. I knw one day Don Jazzy the Boss will produce my song@Benniyoung

  25. I knw one day Don Jazzy the Boss will produce my song@Eric Benniyoung

  26. TX, wetin dey sup na… I neva receive ma Giveaway money. Week 8 winner.

  27. For me its the lyrical prowess of the artist that will determine who takes credit, putting away our alternative musicians and those we know can actually write good songs. rappers too can take credit; somes lines are just dope you dont need a beat to connect to the message. But of the popular gbedu songs out there will just make you cry without the beats. Imagine listening to “shake body” or a typical Terry G’s song without the beat… For all these “gbedu” songs, producers should take credit…drops mic!

  28. For me its the lyrical prowess of the artist that will determine who takes credit, putting away our alternative musicians and those we know can actually write good songs. rappers too can take credit; somes lines are just dope you dont need a beat to connect to the message. But of the popular gbedu songs out there will just make you cry without the beats. Imagine listening to “shake body” or a typical Terry G’s song without the beat… For all these “gbedu” songs, producers should take credit…drops mic!

  29. evri one knows its the artiste and his creativity nah,, been able to murder the beat in a beautiful way. Thats just the goal

  30. i think d artiste deserves credit. cos its not easy to compose a song

  31. i think d artiste deserves credit. cos its not easy to compose a song

  32. Guy have u all forgotten fliptyes p square (chop my money)

    • Its not Fliptyce the produce P-Square “chop my money” but Fliptyce is a good producer he did Yemi Alade “KISSING” and so many other hits for May D.

      • buzz me 58A71615

  33. Yung john is the best so far

  34. The Artist make the song look worthy.. You don’t love a beat without its lyrics.. You can’t say you love a beat and hate the song… Both are Essential both the Artist has to make the song look soothing with the BEAT.. What Recognition does Producers need again??? They get PAID before or after production is made that’s a contractual agreement, the reward goes to both parties cause I can hear a beat from a song(without ever knowing the producer) and want to have a similar BEAT(Uhuru)… I might also hear the lyrics and want to Collabo with that musician.. There’s a fair share for both PARTIES

    • guy, go to south africa, those people dance to beats without song. and they prefer that even more in the club…people dance to disco, salsa, and so many other genre without lyrics in it. before you say anything you must know something about that thing. you know nothing about music

  35. in nigeria its the producer. those who know nothing about music will say the artiste..all these nigerian artistes sing rubbish and absolutel nonesense… if you put davido or wizkid in a wack beat, they will flop painfully.. now tell me, if its the artiste that makes a song a hit, why dont they produce their song themselves and then make it a hit. olamide can jump on lil waynes beat but can not entertain american people… 90% of all nigerian artistes are wack, the only % left are the real ones people do not appreciate. Asa for example. Case Closed !

  36. Opakaso okpekete!

  37. well to me its the artiste, without the artiste there would be no hit song to produce

  38. it is the chemistry between the producer and the artist that makes good sound

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  40. crappy article, crappy comments. this is just sad

  41. Can som1 help me for a good producer dat will kill my soon drop hit love song jst orente..plz help me..07080916860…

  42. U guy are hear lamenting abt producers and artists
    Wat about the song writers

  43. okokoko dropping soon by ikBee

  44. Hmmmmm. Mmm

  45. U did not mention legendary beats

  46. Two of them tried but artists wins because in the creation of musics the producer and the artist all create senses to it(i mean the beat) and still the artist will still think what to sing to make it have lyrics,i can learn production within two months but music is talent!!!

  47. u guys should just short up producers ar making use of instrument does instruments ar meant to bring out melodious sound dat is if u no hw to use it ,I bet u wizkid can produce hit song if u give him one year to learn from donjazzy it is not a big deal it is just like maths if u learn u will no it.. but singing, writing a nice hit song depends on someone who is born with d talent, not to talk of the sweet voice yet(2baba) y did u think pple admires artist most, if I want to be a better producer I can b within a twinkle of an eye….

  48. for me it is the artist because with his inneciate of the song he help the producer to produce the beat and after that the make the song and the artist will promote, pay some bloggers like tooxclusive to promote it, then the song will become a hit

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