Andrevibes and Loudaa reveal what it feels like to make their first hits
Being a lover of sounds out of Africa, I can confidently say that African musicians are on a sporadic run in transforming the face of Afro beats. It’s not just the singers and song writers who are making this interesting genre well known across the world, but a bold pack of musical talents (Including Andrevibes and Loudaa), working tirelessly behind the scenes, and are currently doing an excellent job in making back-to-back hits that notch this music genre to a global sound.
Oftentimes, we applaud these talents who continue to use their voices to ease our minds, calm our souls, and ‘make us gyrate’ as with albums like Made in Lagos, Twice as Tall, and A better time, just to name a few. However, a lot of this credit ought to go to the silent gems behind the production, engineering and mastering of these records which give us so much pride as Africans consuming and enjoying sweet African music.
In this piece, we lead you into the world of two orchestrators of some of the biggest hits to grease your ears in the past couple years.— Andrevibes and Loudaa: Two of Nigeria’s Freshmen producers.
Andrevibes has always loved to make music. Far back as 2015, He had been making beats for emerging artists in the city of Benin, Edo state where he grew up. Born Alexander Uwaifo, Andrevibes tells me over the phone that when it comes to making beats, anything and any sound can kick off a production process. As we begin our conversation for RadrAfrica, he mentions that he can hear the light rain showers and he could hum something to it if he’s in his moment. Andrevibes is one of the producers at Nigeria’s Top music Label – Mavin, and I chat with him on his craft, and on making his first hit record as a prodcuer.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
You’re a producer for Mavin, can you shed some light on how long you’ve been producing and when you joined the music company?
I have been a producer for sixteen years now, since 2015, and I made beats for lots of emerging acts, but I officially joined Mavin in January of 2020, and have been working underground before the songs people got to hear.
For you, how do you summon your chakra to produce, like where do you draw inspiration to make a beat?
I would say it differs for different people, but for me, it depends on what I hear. It can be anything at all. For example, I could hear the sound of rain falling, or maybe a spoon dropped to the floor, but the way I hear that is different from how a regular person would. So, I record that sound on my notepad, or if I’m close to my computer I just start making something out of it. Other times, I just make a beat from scratch and I try to put different sounds together and save. If it doesn’t click at first, it would eventually when I go back to it.
Interesting. So, I discovered you produced one of Omah Lays’ hit songs (Ye ye ye) how did that happen?
Yeah, So it happened in 2019. I was about to quit my job at a radio station and I had a colleague who co-owned the label that houses Omah Lay, So, he asked that I go along with him to see his artist and I agreed. I played some beats, but Omah Lay loved that particular one. I wasn’t even there when he recorded the song, I just got a text one day that he was done and would add it to his project. I didn’t expect feedback from the product because I didn’t dwell on it too much. At the time, It was just another beat I made, but I woke up the day after the project dropped and my mentions were blowing up. I’m grateful for that song because, for me, it was like a rebirth for my production. I had taken a break from music production, but the feedback from that song was a sort of reawakening for me in 2019 and I just knew I had to keep going.
How has being in the Mavin crew been for you as a person and regards your music production?
It’s amazing. It’s a great place to be. Not just for making music, but you get to learn a lot about things you thought you knew, and you discover how they are done or ought to be done. So, being at the Mavin company is a wonderful experience.
Amazing talent company, I agree. You also produced Crayons “Too correct” ft. REMA, what was it like having to make a beat for a song like that?
I would say that was the most stress-free song I’ve made in a while. It was so natural. I had just created the melody. I did it a while back, but that day I played some beats and they heard that one and got stuck on it. They were like, “hold on, play that one again”. So, when I saw they loved that one, I just added the drums and other stuff because I didn’t have all of those on the beat initially. It didn’t even take time at all, it was smooth and seamless.
Let’s talk about your latest produced hit record—Feeling by Ladipoe ft. BUJU. How did you manage to create a beat that would suit both artists?
Yeah, Feeling. Interestingly, it wasn’t planned at all. We knew what we wanted the song to sound like, but Buju came for a different thing that day. He came to record a different song, so we did two songs that day. We had recorded the first song, and we were just chilling and you know, I just played the feeling beat. Ladipoe had already selected that beat some weeks back, and as soon as Buju heard it, he just got up and said he had something, and he sang his hook.
The way it happened, I would say it was fate. I had the beat made and knew how I wanted people to feel when they hear it, but I didn’t even know who I wanted on it, neither did Ladipoe. So, I’m grateful for those two because some people shut things off when they are not prepared, but they came through even when it just happened instantaneously, and we all love the way we’re feeling now.
Nice. For the past few months, your produced record sat at number one in the country, how has that influenced you and your production?
Honestly, I feel good. It makes me feel like everything I’ve been doing over the years counts. The way the feedback has been, made me realize people are loving my sound and I’ve not even been giving the same kind of style. For now, people may not even know my style yet, but over time people would be able to spot my sound from a mile away. So, the feeling makes me want to keep making beats that people will love and also makes me feel like there’s always going to be a reward for hard work. It’s a good feeling.
From a producer’s perspective, what would you say is the biggest challenge in the process of making a hit record?
In the beginning, my biggest challenge like every other producer was breaking out. I started in Benin City and I wasn’t in Lagos, So, I kept making beats, but nobody was getting to hear it. Subsequently, the issue of funds for promotion was another issue because most of the people I made beats for didn’t have the necessary funds to push their music and people need to hear what you create for them to recognize you. I was working, but I wasn’t mainstream. A lot of credit wasn’t given as well and even when they were, nobody took note of me because those songs weren’t mainstream.
Do you have any thoughts on ways the industry can make it easier for producers to thrive?
The thing is, as producers you will have to make a lot of sacrifices, but you need to make sacrifices that will also get you paid and recognized. Most of the music we make as producers rely on promotions as well from the artists for those records to be heard. Generally, if producers are well paid, they could reinvest the funds into promoting their projects and getting the recognition they deserve. The industry is what it is, timing is key. Sometimes, you may have a great beat, but the artists you have access to would take a long time to do anything on it. Maybe it’s too complex or they don’t want to mess up the sound. I feel producers should also try to put out their projects and push them. I have projects I intend to put out soon and can’t wait for the world to hear a beat and know, “That’s Andrevibes”.
This is the name behind most of the records from Mavin’s youngest rising star, Arya Starr. if you’re familiar with the songs – Away, DITR and Memories from her debut EP, then you’ll find it interesting to know that Loudaa produced those amazing songs. Having Joined Mavin in 2019 as a sound engineer, he quickly connected with the artistes and procured a solid stand among the production team.
In a conversation with RadrAfrica, Loudaa shares his story as a producer and on making his first hit record. Read on.
Let’s begin with a little intro, what’s your name and where you from?
My name is Alabi Kehinde Olasunkanmi, I’m from Ekiti state, but I was born in Lagos and I grew up in Lagos. I schooled in Akure (Futa) and I stayed there for a while. That was where I started production and sound engineering professionally. I moved to PH after school for my NYSC. It was at PH that I learnt about live sound and more of sound engineering, before relocating back to Lagos after a year.
You’re a producer with Mavin, can you shed some light on how long you’ve been producing and when you joined the Marvins?
I was hired as a sound engineer at Mavin in December 2019. I started producing when some of the artists would share their song ideas with me while we are recording.
When it comes to music production, where and/or how do you draw inspiration to make a beat?
I would say the source of my inspiration varies, but most of the time, it depends on my mood. Music is the only way I can express my emotions the way I want to. So if I’m sad, I make a sad beat, if I’m happy, I make a happy beat. That’s how it is for me.
So, I first discovered you on Arya Starrs’s debut EP where you produced 3 songs, Away, DITR, and Memories. What was that experience like?
I made music at a time when I wasn’t sure of my ability as a producer. I already gave up on production. I was a full time recording engineer at that time, just recording Ayra and the other artists at Mavin. When I didn’t have a recording session, I’d stay back at the studio to make beats that I knew I would never play out loud for anyone to listen to, because they weren’t making much sense to me. Jazzy came into the studio one day when I was making a beat, and he asked me to record Ayra on that beat, she did and the song came out well. Since that day, my level of confidence increased, I made more beats for her, and the rest is history.
Let’s talk about your first hit record as a producer. What song would that be and how did it come to light?
Away by Ayra Starr. Love that one. Ayra called me in the middle of the night to share the idea of the song with me and she asked me to make a beat for it. I started working on it immediately. Before morning, I made two versions of the beat. She picked the second one, we recorded that same morning and it came out well. It took us roughly two days to finish recording the song. I kinda knew it was going to blow because of the comments we got from the team when we finished the song.
How would you say working with Mavins has impacted you as an individual and regards your music production?
Like I mentioned earlier, I had already given up on music production at the time. I just made beats because I knew how to, not because I thought anyone would want to listen to what I made. So, being in the Mavin space made me learn a lot in such a short time. Don Jazzy is a gift to the music scene. Since the day he trusted me to deliver on a song, my confidence grew. That reinstated my belief in myself and my production, and it is quite evident that there’s growth. So, it has been very impactful, to say the least.
From a producer’s perspective, what has been your biggest challenge to making a hit record and being recognized?
Firstly, to be honest, you don’t even know which song would be a hit, we just create. One of the challenges I face would be knowing the type of beat to play or send to an artist because you can’t know what they want in totality. They may have an idea of what they want to sound like, but you as the producer are faced with the challenge of bringing those pieces of ideas to life. As regards recognition, your work will always speak for you, although you may need to be in the right place at the right time.
Do you have any thoughts or recommendations on ways the industry can make it easier for producers to thrive?
The truth is, Producers need to be valued. One way to do that is to give them credit for their job and pay them what they deserve. Nothing less.
Lastly, are there any forthcoming projects from Loudaa to look forward to soon, or what are your plans for the near future?
Yes, expect more production from me before the end of the year by God’s grace. There will be more to come.
It is always interesting to discover new music talents that are eager to create music and are not in it for the fame or money, but for the passion that drives their creative minds. For Andrevibes and Loudaa, making their first hit record(s) is just a step in the right direction.