Here is a list of 10 Nigerian music producers who have become performing artists. Some of the names on this list are famous producers while others are famous artists who many fans don’t know started out as producers.
It’s only fitting that any Afrobeats roster of music producers-turned-performing artists is headed by perhaps the greatest producer in Afrobeats history Don Jazzy.
During his illustrious career, Don Jazzy has produced for some of the biggest artists in the world and he has also enjoyed success as a recording artist. Don Jazzy has been featured on several Mo-hits and Mavins singles. And he has also featured on songs with Timaya, Olamide, Burna Boy and Wande Coal among many others.
Not many people know this, but Davido started out wanting to be a music producer. While studying at Oakland University, Davido bought some musical gear and started making beats.
Davido is even recognized as the producer of his hit single ‘Return when.’ Davido would eventually quit producing to focus on his music career after meeting Shizzi whose influence set his career on a new path.
Veteran rapper Jesse Jagz is not only a gifted rapper, but he’s also a gifted music producer. Jesse Jagz is the producer behind Ice Prince’s “Everybody Loves the Ice Prince” album which is one of the defining albums of Nigerian hip hop.
Jesse Jagz also produced Brymo’s “Good Morning” as well as nearly every song on his album. ‘Jagz Nation Vol 1.’
Samklef is the producer of Wizkid’s “Superstar” album which launched his career and put him on the path to stardom.
Samklef also explored the other side of his artistry and had a few singles to his name including “Noni” featuring Wizkid, Ice Prince and D Prince.
Superstar rapper Phyno also got his start as a music producer working with artists like Ilbliss, Raw nigga, among others. Phyno would go on to become a recording artist releasing his debut album ‘No risk, no glory’ in 2014 and since then he has never looked back.
Tekno Miles is one of Afrobeats’ most gifted music producers. Tekno is behind Davido ‘IF’ which is one of the greatest Afrobeats songs among countless songs.
As an artist, Tekno has recorded huge success with several hit songs. And he remains one of Afrobeats most respected sound shapers and most trusted hitmakers.
Maleek Berry worked with Assistant, wand Coal, To run Town, and many other superstars. Apart from being a special producer, Maleek Berry is also a recording artist with several notable hits under his belt. His single ‘Control’ established him as a distinct artist and since then he has been delighting fans with his talent.
Extremely gifted music producer Kiddominant has produced hits for Davido and even produced for Beyonce. Kiddominant is also a recording artist whose single ‘Fela in Versace’ featuring AKA was a big hit. He also has an EP he calls “Too late, too enlightened.”
Pheelz has a solid reputation of being one of the best Nigerian producers with whom Olamide, Lil Kesh, fire boy, Teni, Davido, and many other superstars.
Pheelz has also taken the giant leap from producer to artist. His single ‘Delicacy’ with BNXN (Buju) has been widely successful and he is well on his way to excelling as an artist.
“Young Jonn the Wicked Producer” is a tag found in some of Afrobeats’ greatest hits. Young Jonn is a renowned award-winning producer who has worked with the biggest names in Afrobeats.
He recently decided to explore other aspects of his talent and his single ‘Father’ enjoyed wide acceptance and success.
Why do producers become artists?
Music producers are the brains behind a song, so they understand all the elements involved in creating a perfect song. This knowledge gives the confidence and conviction to explore becoming artists.
Moreover, music producers do not enjoy as much recognition and success as artists. The desire for this recognition and this success leads them to become artists, especially since they already have the know-how.
To better understand the reasons for the transition from producer to artist and the likely trend it could become, you can watch the Pulse Fact Only episode which discusses the subject.