DCLeakers highlights the producers that have defined the sound of Afrobeat with their magnificent production skills so far in 2020.
Musicians often get the majority of the glory and buzz, but without the producers behind the scenes crafting the beats, the lyrics would not come to life. Despite the existence of the COVID-19 virus which has affected every sector of business worldwide, the entertainment aspect has received a bit of life as streaming numbers have increased due to the lockdown or stay at home safety protocol.
So far this year, a number of records that have been released has resonated with the public in a big way. They were successful due to not only the artist , the lyrics nor it’s accompanying visual element but the producer listed in the credits.
The production landscape has never been as vast or open as its become in recent years, with a troop of talent infiltrating the game and adding new pointers to the Afrobeat genre. However, after scouring through the liner notes of some of the biggest singles and most acclaimed albums, a few recurring names jumped out that were responsible for the bulk of Afropop/Afrobeat fans are listening to till date.
With the end of the year poking its head, DCLeakers highlights the producers behind the current 2020 Ghanaian hit songs.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.
Kayso , with a production tagline ‘This Be Kayso From Temaland’ is one of the producers who can boast of infiltrating the airwaves with hits so far this year. Currently signed to Ghanadon Music Group/Empire , Kayso played an instrumental role in Kwesi Arthur’s transition from underground to mainstream. He scored multiple tracks on Kwesi Arthur’s ‘Live From Nkrumah 1’ including ‘Grind Day’ , one of the hottest hip-hop songs ever released in the history of Ghana music.
Kayso currently has two popular songs to his credit with the biggest being KiDi’s ‘Say Cheese‘ and the other being Juju by DJ MicSmith which is also performing well on airwaves. Say Cheese is a song off KiDi’s ‘Blue EP‘ released during the lockdown period. The EP has racked in over 2 millions streams on digital music platforms for just the audio and 2.3 million views on Youtube for Say Cheese’ alone. Doubling as a recording music artist , Kayso has new single out titled ‘Take It’ , an authentic Afrosound with potents of earning a position in the list of 2020 Ghanaian hit songs before the year ends.
Bright Kwame Appiah (born March 14, 1992), better known by his stage name Streetbeatz is a Ghanaian record producer and creative director. Streetbeatz is popularly known for Sarkodie’s Adonai which featured Castro. He’s also made magic with Edem, Mugeez of R2Bees, Nuru, Criss Waddle , Kelvyn Boy, Keche, Stonebwoy and a host of others.
Whenever a conversation about producers who have defined the sound of Afrobeat/Afropop this year, Streetbeatz is one of them. His contributions accounted for a mix of chart-toppers, radio smashes, street bangers, and everything in between. Streetbeatz is amongst the producers who worked on two (2) of the most acclaimed Afrobeat/Afropop albums released this year i.e. Anloga Junction by Stonebwoy and Kpanlogo by Darkovibes. He crafted the beats for Stonebwoy’s African Party and Darkovibes’ Inna Song featuring King Promise off these albums. Comparing the performances of both songs on television , radio and online , Inna Song seems to be one enjoying all the fanfare. Having his sonics landed on these projects , it’s a safe bet that this producer’s hot streak is far from over.
Some producers enjoy a short stay atop the charts before fading into obscurity, but Guiltybeatz has proven himself to be anything but a flash in the pan — his dominant run being all the evidence needed. Guiltybeatz has had the opportunity to work with established musicians like Beyonce , Jesse Jagz, Wizkid, Wande Coal, Sarkodie, R2Bees, Efya, DCryme, Atumpan, Stonebwoy, Pappy Kojo, Jeed Rogers, Chase, Mr Eazi, Bisa Kdei , Mr Silva, Sway, Tribal Magz , Moelogo and many more.
GuiltyBeatz has production credits for three songs on Beyoncé’s album The Lion King: The Gift in 2019. In the month of May this year , he produced King Promise’s 2020 debut song titled ‘Sisa‘ which is currently one of the chart toppers not just in Ghana. Four (4) months in 2020 , he released his debut EP titled ‘Different’ which he enlists Nonso Amadi , J.Derobie , Mr. Eazi , Cina Soul , Joey B , Joeboy , Falz, Poison Ivy and Moonchild Sanelly for vocal assistance. He also produced ‘Baby I’m Jealous‘ by Mr. Eazi featuring King Promise off the album ‘One Day You Will Understand’.
Having stayed in Uganda and Zambia , Nicholas Edem Coffie popularly known as Yung D3mz in the entertainment space is known for his unique production style, which features playful melodies and tones alongside bouncy African and hip hop drums. His love for R&B inspires his alté/alternative sound. He is also known for his speed, versatility, and ability to fuse genres. He states that his musical mind is “a combination of all the cultures his been immersed with.” He is an artist’s producer, and he is very hands-on and collaborative.
Teaming up with Kwesi Arthur once again this year, Yung Demz cranked out yet another fan-favorite in “Turn On The Light”. Yung Demz is amongst the bevy of new producers on their A-GAME.
Samsney is currently one of Ghana’s most sought after producers. Previously under Highly Spiritual owned by ace Ghanaian producer – Kaywa , Samsney crept into the upper echelon of producers with his unique productions . He’s amongst the few producers in Ghana who can mix and master songs properly to bring out the magic in it.
Samsney saved the night for Mr. Drew with his current popular song titled ‘Later’ featuring Kelvynboy after his remake of Rotimi’s ‘Love Riddim’ was taken down for copyright infringement. Few days after the incident , he unlocked this song which submerged the whole song theft allegation. Samsney is said to have also mixed and mastered 90% of the songs on Darkovibes’ Kpanlogo album.
M.O.G. Beatz’ musical style consists of a fusion of the well known, popular sound of Afrobeats with pop & soul giving his beats that vintage sweet sounds that we all know today. An M.O.G. Beatz’ production is a production not to be missed – inspired by Fela Kuti’s style of Afrobeats, M.O.G Beatz’ style of drums down to the voice tones, baseline and melody of the beat alone will take you away.
Just before the lockdown due to the coronavirus , KiDi’s first official 2020 single titled ‘Enjoyment’ was the official party rocker jam. Wondering who crafted the beat? M.O.G Baby. It’s not easy being or staying consistent with the music production craft in Ghana but MOG Baby over the years has defied the odds with back to back banger productions for Kwesi Arthur , Sarkodie , KiDi and others. We are yet to listen to the rest of the gems in the coffers of MOG Beatz set to be released later this year.
Benjamin Garzy Mensah, professionally known as Mix Master Garzy, is a Ghanaian record producer, sound engineer, disc jockey and singer.
Mix Master Garzy commenced his career in beat making, mixing and mastering right from senior high school. After production work began he surfaced with his pro name Mix Master Garzy, an identity referring to the mixing and mastering side of studio work.
His major productions include “Pull Up” by Stonebwoy, “My Baby” by Stay Jay ft. R2Bees, “Boom boom tag” by Mista Silva, GH UK based “Enemies” by Jupitar featuring Sarkodie in 2014, “Iskoki” by Samini, “KoKo Sakora” by Dr Cryme featuring Sarkodie, “Alhaji” by VVIP featuring Patoranking, “Hookah” by Danagog featuring Davido, “Love You Die” by Patoranking featuring Diamond Platnumz, “Na Wash” by Becca, and “Obia Agye Obi Girl” by Captain Planet of 4×4 and more.
Stonebwoy released his 4th studio album earlier this year dubbed ‘Anloga Junction’. Mix Master Garzy is amongst the tall list of producers who worked on the highly acclaimed body of work. One of his productions off the album titled ‘Le Gba Gbe’ is currently one of the songs performing so well on radio, television and online. Master Garzy has an impressive resume of other bops to his name released in other African countries this year.