The dominance of the producerS, who led Afropop’s frontline as much as any of its biggest recording artists, have been the one constant in the popular Afrobeats music wave over the past 20 years of the 21st century. Some really excellent producers have undoubtedly existed as they may have also frequently blended into the background as only a name in the credits on the back cover.
Nonetheless, Afrobeats producers have frequently turned into the main act themselves in the 2000s and beyond, defining entire phases of hit songs while consistently becoming recognized personalities in their own capacity. Read on as we highlight – in detail – the greatest producers of the 21st century.
Don Jazzy has a long list of successes under his belt and a big list of accolades for music creation. Remarkably, the magnificent producer has helped a number of songs come into existence over the last 20 years. Here are some noteworthy artists and remarkable works he has been associated with;
Dbanj and Don Jazzy worked amicably together to produce many hits that rocked the Nigerian music scene before their big Mo’Hits Record split. Some of these top hits are: Suddenly, Why Me, Tongolo, Fall in Love, Mo Gbono Feli Feli, Scape Goat, Kimon, Olorun Maje, Mr. Endowed, and Oliver Twist – probably the biggest hit song in their catalogue – amongst so many others.
Wande Coal is also another bright singer who enjoyed Don Jazzy’s elite production skills under the coverage of Mo’Hits Record (and even Mavins Records before he left). See some brilliant songs they created together: Ololufe, Taboo, Go Low, Ten-Ten, Se Na Like This, That’s Wots Up, Rotate, You Bad, Bumper 2 Bumper (probably the defining hit song in Wande Coal’s career), The Kick, and many others.
Another famous act, D’Prince, also enjoyed production collaborations with the iconic Afrobeats producer, Don Jazzy – who is his brother. D’Prince who is now the boss of Jonzing Records was also well affiliated with the producer under the then Mo’hits Records. They still enjoy a good relationship and affiliation, nonetheless, let’s mention some notable songs they worked on together: Oga Titus, Take Banana, Jonzing World, Bestie, Gucci Gang, Goodie Bag, etc.
The stunning singer, Tiwa Savage, is another top artist who worked well with Don Jazzy under Mavin Records as they curated some amazing songs. See some beautiful songs they brilliantly worked on together: Without My Heart, My Darlin, Oh Yeah, Eminado – probably the biggest song they worked on together – and he also primarily produced her “R.E.D” album.
Korede Bello is a bright young act on the list of elite musicians who enjoyed Don Jazzy’s production skills, and he is also considered one of the most successful talents Mavin Records signed. Here are some of the popular songs Don Jazzy produced for Korede Bello: Do Like That, Dorobucci (not exclusive but Korede Bello had a hit verse off the song), God Win – arguably his biggest song to date – and Mungo Park.
Juls is a British-Ghanaian record producer, DJ, and musician who is regarded and famous for being one of the pioneering creators and producers of African music in the international community. One of the most prolific producers of our day and renowned for his wide variety of beats, Juls has made a name for himself as a leading act in the global music scene as a result of the wave of African influence. The Afrobeats producer, Juls, is popular for working with some of the biggest talents in Africa, see some here;
The famous Afrobeats singer, Mr. Eazi, maybe the first act that comes to mind when you hear of Juls’ production credits. Remember that hit song that Mr.Eazi blew off with? Skin Tight! Yes, we know you recognize “Juls Baby” iconic tag when you reminisce on it. The hit song, Skin Tight by Mr. Eazi (produced by Juls), may have been the defining moment in both musicians’ careers.
Wizkid, also referred to as Starboy, is another big act that Juls has expertly provided his production services. The Grammy-nominated album, Made in Lagos Deluxe, featured a collaboration with Afrobeats producer, Juls. The standout song, “True Love“, which was produced by Juls and features Tay Iwar and Projexx, acts as an important moment as the album moves along. Wizkid takes us away for a late-night love affair with his crooning over luscious bass lines, conjuring images of two lovers slow whining to enticing saxophone instrumentals.
Burna Boy of Nigeria and UK-Ghanaian hitmaker Juls collaborated on the incredibly smooth tune “Gwarn“. Burna delivers the song with excellent timing, the dancehall-influenced beat plays like butter, and the song is pretty much perfect. Juls released a clever animated music video for the song “Gwarn”, which features Burna Boy and is a bit chiller than his regular sound. Gully Bop, a popular Jamaican singer, provided the song’s catchy “pussy specialist” hook.
BNXN fka Buju
Another famous act to enjoy a production service from Juls is Nigerian superstar, BNXN fka Buju. A notable track of such is “Many Ways” where BNXN collaborates with Nigerian sensation Wizkid on the Afropop tune which Juls expertly delivers. The Juls-produced song comes from his latest album, “Bad Since ’97”, which is a follow-up to his EP “Sorry I’m Late”.
Iconic Ghanaian singer, King Promise, has also enjoyed an amazing collaboration with the legendary producer, Juls. They both worked together on the song titled “Your Number”. Juls collaborates on the hit song “Your Number” with the outstanding singer, King Promise, and Mugeez of R2Bees.
Other remarkable and notable acts Juls have been associated with their works are Stormzy, Fireboy, Nonso Amadi, Tay Iwar, etc.
Sarz is a music producer, mixing engineer, and musician from Nigeria. He is famous for including the tag – Sarz On The Beat/”Really” – at the start or finish of every one of his musical creations. Notably, Sarz produced Lord of Ajasa’s “See Drama” for the first time with full credit in 2007. Wizkid, Naeto C, Banky W, Skales, Shank, Reminisce, Goldie Harvey, eLDee, Wande Coal, YQ, Lojay, and Niniola are among the artists he has produced music for. Let’s check out a few of his remarkable and defining associations with top artists in the music industry;
Over the years, Sarz has proven to be a producer with extensive reach. He helped the late rapper establish a place in mainstream music with the song “Kondo” – a highlight single on his critically praised sophomore album, C.E.O. In his day, Dagrin may have appealed more to a specific demographic nonetheless he was rated and respected all over the country. Sarz’s Kondo established the standard for years of bass-driven Hip-hop leaning instrumentals, perfectly complementing Dagrin’s autotuned vocals with strong bass and echoing synths.
Sarz does possess the ears for sounds that elevate otherwise geographically confined artists. His work with Dagrin is evidence of this, and his work with Reminisce, another street rapper, is equally convincing. Sarz’s synth cadence on Kako Bi Chicken, which can be compared to a sonic messiah, can be regarded as the catalyst that ignited Reminisce’s career, along with the rapper’s head-bobbing rhymes, of course.
Another big act that Sarz has worked with and probably the association that solidified his throne in the music industry may be the one with Wizkid. One of the most appropriate song titles to come out of 2012, the year the song was released, would be ‘Beat Of Life‘ to Sarz and Wizkid’s Samba. When Samba was produced by Sarz, Wizkid was known and admired for his freestyle mode, which wasn’t quite as bass-heavy. This song not only showed us a more adventurous side of Wizkid but also gave the pair’s collaboration a seal of approval and desirability.
Wurld is a skilled performer at expressing love via song; he creates words that are like paintings. He admirably complements Sarz’s interminable sonic fields of various attractions. It is the well-known 8-track album I Love Girls With Trobul, a subtly poetic tribute to the allure of unhappy relationships. For his part, Sarz explores many eras and genres for a production that is well-rounded.
Partnerships with Sarz go beyond economic ties. He frequently forms relationships with artists with whom he clicks. One of the highlights of this phenomenon is undeniably his relationship with Niniola and his adventure with Wurld on I Love Girls With Trobul. Sicker is a worthy inclusion in this groundbreaking story with harmonies following each other and simulated lures filling up space between each chord. Together with the self-dubbed “Queen of Afro-House,” he created a sound that fuses the brisk House music of South Africa and the Afrobeat music of Nigeria.
Michael Ovie Hunter, better known by his stage name London, is a Nigerian-British Platinum record producer and DJ who was born on October 21, 1999. He has created music for Selena Gomez, Chris Brown, Rema, Crayon, Ayra Starr, Wizkid, 6lack, Yseult, and Ladipoe. After signing a contract with Blowtime Entertainment in 2019, he became famous. Currently, Sony Music Publishing France and Bluesky Music Publishing have a publishing agreement with him. Let’s check out some of his biggest hits produced;
One of London’s biggest feats as a producer should be co-producing Wizkid’s album, Made In Lagos. The song, “Gyrate”, from the Grammy-nominated album, Made in Lagos, by Wizkid was expertly done and produced by the young producer, London. Notably, they had both worked on “Electric” on the “SoundMan Vol. 1” EP by Wizkid.
Calm Down by Rema, the second Nigerian song to top the India IMI International chart and reach the third spot on the Billboard Hot 100, has been praised for being produced in London. Remarkably, London produced 14 of the album’s 16 songs while serving as executive producer for Rema’s first studio album, Rave & Roses.
Tiwa Savage is yet another elite Afrobeats musician who has the iconic producer, London, magical production skills all over her melodious tune. The special song they worked on together is “Koroba”. “Koroba” which was majestically delivered by Tiwa Savage served as another hit at the time of release! Known for her magnificence and hit records, this time Tiwa Savage teamed up with producer, London, to provide this beautiful song.
London’s burgeoning resume includes collaborations with Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Rema, and even Ayra Starr. The young producer appeared to be just getting started as he worked on three songs from Ayra Starr’s debut album, 19 & Dangerous, including “Bloody Samaritan,” “Fashion Killa,” and “Snitch.” All of the songs showcase his production skills.
Another brilliant act that London has worked with to release a piece of thrilling music is Mavin star, Crayon. Remember Crayon’s banging hit song in 2022? On Code! Yeah right, the exciting song by Crayon was explicitly produced by London. The two musicians perfectly complemented each other as London provided a beautiful Afrobeats rhythm that Crayon sang melodiously to.
Telz is a record producer and composer from Nigeria. He started his recording career in 2011 and put out a couple of singles in 2014 and 2015. Telz is also recognized for using the popular sound brand “Funkula”, which is popular in the Nigerian mainstream music business. Let’s check out some of his amazing collaborations in the music scene.
Telz served as the primary producer and P Diddy as the executive producer of Burna Boy’s Twice As Tall album in 2020. The album included works from Timbaland as well, which went on to win the 63rd Grammy Awards for Best Global Music Album.
Telz is also known for producing some remarkable songs for Patoranking’s delightful creativity. The commercially successful hit song “Abule” by Patoranking from 2020 was primarily produced by a Nigerian record producer.
Other remarkable artists whom Telz has been credited with production services on their songs are; Mayorkun, Wurld, Laycon, Nissi Fireboy, Blaqbonez, Lojay, etc.
Tempoe, is a Nigerian record producer, DJ, and songwriter, and He is considered to be one of the leading producers in Nigeria’s developing wave of diversified Afrobeats music. Notably, Tempoe is popularly known for the tag “MÄD!”. We can confidently assert that the future of Afrobeat music creation is secure thanks to talents like Tempoe. Tempoe met then-afrobeats producer CKay by chance while learning the fundamentals of music production using the Fruity Loops app and creating songs for free. This encounter led to Tempoe producing CKay’s debut official single, “Nkechi Turnup,” in 2016. He continued to make music, including the Chocolate City-signed artists CKay’s Container and Blaqbonez’s Play. He enrolled at Sarz’s Production Academy in an effort to hone his production talents. Let’s check out some of the iconic productions by Tempoe;
Notably, one of the biggest Nigerian songs ever produced, the afro-fusion track Love Nwantiti, was produced by Tempoe and performed by CKay in 2019. The song has received double platinum certification in the US and the Netherlands, as well as platinum certification in France and the UK.
In November 2020, Tempoe and vocalist Omah Lay collaborated to create the hit tune, Godly, which amassed over 100 million cumulative streams across all music-sharing platforms and peaked at positions 5 and 15 in the top 100 tracks on iTunes for Ghana and Kenya, respectively. Tempoe still went on to produce quite a number of hit songs for the Nigerian superstar, Omah Lay. We are quite certain you are familiar with the tag “MAD!” when you think about it now.
From Joeboy’s debut album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic, Tempoe also created the song, “Alcohol” and “Door”, which achieved 50 million streams in the first four weeks of its release.
His first official release as a performing artist was the lead track from Victony’s Outlaw EP, Soweto, which he produced and performed in. In October 2022, Tempoe released the video for Soweto. Jyde Ajala directed the video, which received over 8 million YouTube views in just four weeks. The song was listed as the fifteenth best Afropop song of 2022 in Rolling Stone magazine.
After signing a publishing agreement with American indie record label APG in 2022, Tempoe was chosen to co-write and produce Robinson and Jason Derulo’s song Ayo Girl, which also features Rema, another Nigerian afrobeat artist. Other notable Afrobeats artist that Tempoe have worked with includes; Wurld, Zlatan, Blaqbonez, Reminisce, Teni, Bad Boy Timz, Mayorkun, etc.
Record producer, DJ, band leader, pianist, and songwriter Masterkraft is from Nigeria. His professional music career began with Kennis Music. Remarkably, Masterkraft came in at number eight on Leadership newspaper’s 2014 ranking of the Top 10 Music Producers in Nigeria. On its list of the Top 7 Biggest Music Producers in Nigeria Right Now, published in August 2015, Nigeria Entertainment Today rated him seventh. He was also listed as one of the Top 10 Music Producers in Nigeria by the Thisday newspaper. Let’s see some of Masterkraft’s notable collaborations;
Adekunle Gold, a recording artist from Nigeria, released his debut studio album, Gold, on July 28, 2016, through YBNL Nation. Masterkraft has been credited as one of the primary producers of the album that peaked at position #7 on Billboard’s World Album Charts for the week ending August 13, 2016. Additionally, the 2017 Nigeria Entertainment Awards’ Album of the Year category included Gold. At The Headies 2018, it was also a contender for Album of the Year and Best R&B/Pop Album.
Nigerian musician Flavour’s third studio album is titled Blessed. On October 18, 2012, 2nite Entertainment published it. Wizboyy and Fally Ipupa make cameo appearances on the album. Masterkraft handled its production while collaborating with a few other producers on the album.
Notably, one of his most recent biggest hits has to be “Hallelu” where he featured superstars, Zlatan & Bella Shmurda, on the iconic Afrobeats hit.
Remarkably, Masterkraft has collaborated with a variety of musicians over the years, including Flavour N’abania, Bracket, Banky W., Sound Sultan, Timaya, Lynxxx, M.I., J. Martins, Wizkid, Phyno, Kizz Daniel, Tekno, 2face, Yemi Alade, Adekunle Gold, Bella Shmurda, Zlatan Mayorkun, Mr. Eazi, Vector, etc.
Nigerian singer-songwriter-record producer Pheelz has remarkably collaborated with a number of singers and acts, including Davido, Usher, Olamide, Wizkid, Fireboy DML, Wale Turner, Teni, Vector, Adekunle Gold, Tiwa Savage, etc. Remarkably, Pheelz was included in NotJustOk’s list of the “Top 10 Hottest Producers in Nigeria” in 2013. On Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth album, he produced all but one track. This approach helped him advance in the Nigerian music scene and earned him a nomination for The Headies in 2013. He received nominations in 2014 for both the Nigeria Entertainment Awards and The Headies in the category of Producer of the Year. At the 2020 The Headies Awards, Pheelz was nominated for and won the “Producer of the Year” award. Let’s see some amazing and notable works and artists Pheelz has worked with;
We can say Olamide enjoyed the services of Pheelz’s explicit production services the most as the former YBNL record producer created some amazing tunes for the Nigerian rapper and songwriter alongside some of the label mates. On Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth album, all but one song are credited to Pheelz as the producer. Notably, Pheelz’s career as a music producer took off in 2012 when he worked on Olamide’s chart-topping singles “First of All” and “Fucking with the Devil” from his YBNL album.
While he was part of the elite YBNL Records, Lil Kesh also enjoyed the special talents of Pheelz productions. His admirable hit song, Shoki, which introduced him to the Nigerian music scene is credited to Pheelz as the producer.
Later, Pheelz produced well-known songs and albums like The Chairman by M.I., Ghetto University by Runtown, and Seyi or Shay by Seyi Shay, for which he was given credit. Pheelz and COPILOT Music and Sound worked together in 2014 to create a cover of Carlinhos Brown’s “Maria Caipirnha (Samba da Bahia)”. For Visa’s “Samba of the World” digital ad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the arrangement represented the musical instruments and styles of Nigeria.
Shortly after his single “Finesse” achieved international success and earned him his first career entry on the Billboard Global 200 at number 131, the TurnTable Top 50 at number 1, the World Digital Song Sales at number 10, the UK Afrobeats Singles Chart at number 1, and the UK Singles Chart at number 52, he signed a record deal with Warner UK on March 15, 2022.
Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer Young Jonn is now associated with Chocolate City Music. His top singles, Dada and the remix with Davido, are also well known. He was a member of the YBNL mafia family and had music production credits on popular 2010s songs. He later rose to the position of #3 on The NET’s list of “Nigeria’s Top 7 Biggest Music Producers” and received nominations for “Producer of The Year” at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and The Headies.
Olamide originally mentored producers like Young Jonn and Pheelz, and like the other musicians signed to the company, they have achieved great success. Young Jonn is currently one of the most popular musicians in Nigeria. Notably, he was known as “Young Jonn the Wicked Producer” – the mind behind some of Olamide’s biggest songs, before he made the 360-degree pivot, though. Young Jonn produced some of Olamide’s biggest hit songs such as Bobo (His work on Olamide’s critically acclaimed song “Bobo” earned him a nomination for “Producer of The Year” at the 2015 The Headies), Story for the gods, Wo!, Science Student, Pepper Dem Gang, Falila Ketan, amongst so many others.
With the luxury of being a part of YBNL’s famous feat and run of hits, Lil Kesh also enjoyed some of the remarkable productions by Young Jonn. Songs like “Gbese” and “Efejoku” by Lil Kesh were produced by Jonn.
Other notable acts that Young Jonn has been credited with working with include; Kiss Daniel, Flavour, Davido, Davolee, and himself as he has become a worthy performing artist now. Notably, with the release of “Dada” from his first extended play, Love Is Not Enough (Vol. 1), on April 1, 2022, Young Jonn signed a deal with Chocolate City in 2022. Young Jonn published “Love is Not Enough” (Vol. 2) on October 21st, 2022.
Record producer, singer, and songwriter Kelp P is from Nigeria and is best known for his signature It’s Kel-P Vibes. He met Sarz in 2016, and as a result, Sarz assisted in the composition of the song he was working on at the time. Sarz assisted him in coming up with the phrase “It’s Kel-P Vibes” as well. After contributing to the single “Eleganza” by Solid Star, he became well-known in 2018. He has collaborated with a number of musicians, including Wizkid, Diamond Platnumz, Burna Boy, Rema, and Niniola.
Following an alliance between The Aristokrat Group, the parent company of Aristokrat Records, and Universal Music France, a division of the Universal Music Group, Kel-P was signed to Universal Music France in 2020 and entered into a distribution agreement with Caroline France. According to OkayAfrica, Kel-P is one of the crucial figures who helped elevate Afrobeats. He collaborated on the production of Wizkid’s Made in Lagos (Deluxe version), which was nominated for a Grammy, and Angélique Kidjo’s Mother Nature, which won the Grammy for Best Global Music Album.
With his association with Aristokrat Records, you’d simply expect to see Burna Boy on his list of applaudable records. Kel P is credited for producing Burna Boy’s hit single, Dangote, and also primarily producing his Grammy-nominated album, African Giant – which fired Burna Boy into his unrelenting glory.
Soon after his work with Burna Boy, Kel-P moved on to work with Wizkid on “Ease Your Mind” and “Mine” from the most recent SoundMan Vol. 1EP, smoothly incorporating more diverse musical influences including jazz and reggae. While Kel P is also credited on SoundMan Vol 1. EP by Starboy – WIzkid – where he produced three songs for the project the Nigerian producer also went on to collaborate with Wizkid on the Grammy-nominated album, Made in Lagos Deluxe as he was enlisted among the producers as he helped curate the tune of “Ginger”.
In the same category, “Best Global Music Album”, Kel P also received his first Grammy for Angélique Kidjo‘s sixteenth studio album, Mother Nature, as he was honored for co-producing the high-flying album by the iconic musician.
Other remarkable and famous acts Kelp P has been opportune to work with include; Buju, Oxlade, Black Sherif, Wande Coal, Adekunle Gold, Mr. Eazi, Seyi Shay, Diamond Plantinumz, and Fireboy.