It is often easy to overlook the role that the producer plays in the making of a hit record, after all, they are usually the unseen guys, hence the adulation goes mainly to the artists.
But in a year where rhythm and sonically pleasing music trumps every other element in creating music and becoming hit anthems, the producer’s role is ever so crucial, and a few have successfully stood out from the pack all year long.
The works of these producers have served as the foundation for some of the biggest records that have emanated this year making them worthy of getting recognition.
Here are the ten Nigerian producers whose works lit 2018 the best
10. Mikkyme Joses
Just like Oscar Heman- Ackah whose rein to working majorly with Simi has kept his brilliance largely under the radar, Brymo’s producer Mikkyme Joses is hardly getting the mention he deserves when the top producers are mentioned.
The beatmaker whose instrumentation on Brymo’s 2016 album, ‘’Klitoris’’ inflated his profile exponentially provided the singer yet again with soulful and timeless beats on his last album ‘’Oso’’, which is one of the stand-out projects this year.
The YBNL affiliated beatmaker is one who had a fairly quiet year compared to what he has achieved in the past.
2018 has seen Pheelz take a more experimental route as he seeks to redefine his sound, but with the few works he blessed, it is clear he hasn’t missed a beat and he closes the year strongly by contributing to some notable cuts that made the mainstream.
Olamide’s ‘Criteria’ and ‘Bugle’, his collaboration with Phyno ‘Onyeoma’ and a number of songs on Adekunle Gold’s ‘’About 30’’ album like ‘Ire’ and ‘Money’ all bear the imprint of the award-winning producer’s keys.
If there is one producer whose profile gets strengthened with every passing year, then it has to be Spax, the man credited with fine-tuning the Palmwine sound.
In 2017, he delivered one of the strongest projects for the year in ”Palmwine Music EP 1”, and followed it up strongly this year with the progressive sound of ”Palmwine Music 2”.
Add this to his production cuts on The Collectiv3’s ”Live, create, repeat”, Ajebutter and BOJ‘s ”Make E No Cause Fight” and Funbi‘s debut EP ”The Serenade.”
Phantom’s notable works this year may be few but they are quite heavy.
The soft spoken beatmaker comes loud based on his contribution to arguably the biggest record of the year in Burna Boy‘s ‘Ye’ and also working on Wizkid‘s ‘Master Groove’.
It was a not the typical hectic year [in comparison to his output in past years] for the iconic producer who has long cemented his place as one of the best in the land.
However, he was still able to deliver some chart-topping joints with ‘Energy’ by Skepta and Wizkid, DJ Enimoney‘s ‘Diet’, the street anthem ‘Lakukulala’ by Oladips and Niniola‘s ‘Bana’, including working on his individual project that saw the release of the viral song ‘Balenciaga.’
Benjamin Obaze, also known as Spellz is another one that stood out yet again this year. Spellz was first introduced to the music audience in 2009 when he produced the hit song, ‘Champion’ by General Pype and since then, his consistency and evolution has been quite remarkable.
The previous years has seen him deliver anthems like ‘Iskaba’ and ‘Malo’ but in 2018, Spellz is responsible for a number of popular records like Tiwa Savage‘s ‘Lova Lova’ and ‘Tiwa’s Vibe’, ‘Askamaya’ by Teni and Mu4ty‘s ‘Commando’ ft Wizkid and Ceeza.
The producer who made the move from Abuja down to Lagos has seen his credit list grow more quickly within the year.
His upbeat efforts have propelled his name to instant recognition blessing a number of DMW affiliated records like Davido’s ‘Assurance’, Dremo’s ‘Kpa’ and co-producing ‘Nwa Baby’, but perhaps his most acclaimed contribution to the year will be 2face’s ‘Amaka’ featuring Peruzzi, where over distinct strings and keys, he fully earned his stripes as one to watch out for.
3. Fresh VDM
A fair majority of the songs that were released from the hit factory known as DMW this year has the approval stamp of Togolese born producer, Fresh VDM.
The producer who said his career changed when he produced Davido’s 2017 monster single, ‘FIA’ is the man responsible for slap-heavy records like DJ ECool‘s ‘Ada’, DMW‘s ‘Mind’ and ‘Aje’, the power collaboration between Davido and Duncan Mighty ‘Aza’, all bangers this year.
Fresh picked up the award for the ‘Producer of the year’ at the recently held AFRIMA awards in Ghana.
There is no question that Northboi is one of the breakout producers for 2018.
His catalogue may not be as extensive as others, but when your name is attached to two of the biggest songs released in the year, then you have done enough to deserve worthy recognition.
His work on the Starboy all-star record ‘Soco’ spawned attention in his direction and he is also the man behind a number of other mega tunes in Wizkid’s ‘Gucci Snake’, Mayorkun‘s ‘Posh’ and also co-produced Wizkid’s ‘Fever’.
Killertunes is one of most sought-after producers this year and his status in the game changed completely following the release of Wizkid and Duncan Mighty’s heavy tune, ‘Fake Love’ in May.
With his signature tag of ‘shabalistical’, the young producer owned 2018 and cemented his place in the history books.
His list of works in the calendar year contains monster records like ‘Fake Love’ by Duncan Mighty and Wizkid, DJ Spinall and Kizz Daniel‘s ‘Baba’, DJ Spinall and Wizkid’s ‘Nowo’, Olamide‘s ‘Motigbana’ and ‘Logba Logba’, Dice Ailes ‘Mr Biggs’, and co-produced ‘Bobo’ by Mayorkun and Davido just to mention a few.