Interviews

Published on December 1st, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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Meet SARZ One of Nigeria’s Most Prolific Beat Magicians

Photo credit Manny Jefferson

SARZ is one of Nigeria’s most prolific producers with credits that include mixes with Chris Brown, Drake, Wale and more.  The official line on this rising global powerhouse is that innovative producer Sarz has solidified his spot in the history books as one of the most prominent musical talents to come out of Africa. The Nigerian has provided career-changing songs for the likes of Wizkid, Niniola, Reminisce… to mention a few.

sarz - Photo credit (Manny Jefferson)

Sarz (Photo credit Manny Jefferson)

Born Osaretin Osabuohien, Sarz’s love for music began in his childhood with the influence of legendary American producer Timberland. He sold his first beat at just fifteen years old and was catapulted into the mainstream after his production for Lord of Ajasa’s “See Drama”. Producing “Kako bi Chicken” for Reminisce saw a turning point in his career when the song became one of the biggest African street songs of 2011. 

The following year, record label giants EME chose Beats By Sarz as the producer of their compilation album “Empire State Of Mind”, where he made “Get Down Tonight”, “Ko Mo Le”, “Dance For Me” and “My Baby”.

Sarz’s unique and inventive way of beat making has allowed him to work with some of the most accomplished musicians in the world including Drake, Banky W Chris Brown and Beenie Man. 

Declining to be boxed into genre-specific beats, his distinctive methodology of producing has allowed him to break new talent, notably nineteen-year-old singer Flash with the contemporary dance infused Afropop song “Get Up”. 

His musical career is a storybook in and of itself. In 2010 Sarz, produced the hit single “Jor Oh” and the Remix for Jahbless which featured Durella, RuggedMan, Reminisce, Ice Prince and eLDee. The song won “Best Street Hop” award and was nominated for “Best Collaboration” at The Headies. in 2011, he went on to produce Shank’s “Salute”, eLDee’s “Today Today” & “Wash Wash”, Skales “Mukulu”, Goldie Harvey’s “Don’t Touch my Body” and Reminisce “Kako Bi Chicken”. “Kako Bi Chicken” was nominated for “Best Street Hop” at The Headies, 2012. Later that year, he solely produced eLDee’s “Undeniable” album (except “We Made It”).

Sarz was nominated for Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2012 “Producer Of The Year” award alongside Don Jazzy, although Don Jazzy won the award Don Jazzy ended up giving the award to Sarz. He won the “Best New Producer” award at the 2012 Dynamix Awards. He went on to release his first single “Beat Of Life (Samba)” featuring Nigerian Artiste, Wizkid off his coming album.

In 2013, he produced 2 songs off Wizkid’s Ayo Album, “Jaiye Jaiye” featuring Femi Kuti and “Kilofe“.  He was mentioned as one of the five new music producers giving Don Jazzy a run for his money by the Premium Times Nigeria. Sarz was reported to have signed an endorsement deal with Nike later that Year. Sarz was the executive producer for the official Hennessy Artistry 2014 theme song titled “Dance Go (Eau de Vie)” which featured Wizkid and 2Face Idibia.

Not shy about sharing his knowledge and experience The Sarz Academy (TSA) was created in June 2015. Hundreds of young budding producers submitted beats and after personally hand picking his favourites, Sarz opened the doors to his classes teaching both the creative and business side of the industry. In 2017, Sarz started a 3day production camp called The Sarz Production Camp for amateurs and experts. The second edition of The Sarz Academy returned in 2018.

The Hype Magazine got Sarz to weigh in on a few things!

Sarz (Photo credit Manny Jefferson)

Sarz (Photo credit Manny Jefferson)

What inspired you to get into music, production specifically?

I was inspired by my love for sounds from producers like Timbaland, Pharell, Dr. Dre. I was always looking forward to the next song produced by these legends. I didn’t really care (at that time) for lyrics, just amazing beats.

How did you start on your path to being a super producer?

I started with a demo version of FL Studio ( FL 4) in my room, a Pentium 1 pc, and a hi-fi sound system lol. I would make beats then export as wav because I couldn’t save on a demo version. I remember making some beats over and over again cos the artist wanted me to make edits on them. 

What is your process in making a song?

I’m very flexible. My process depends on who I’m working with. Most times, I create ideas that are decent enough for the artists to write to and when the writing is done I can make decisions that fit the song best.

Beyond making the beat, are you in the studio directing the songs as well?

Yes, I am. I always give my 2 cents every chance I get.

What is your favorite part of making music?

Making the beat and writing. I don’t like recording lol. That back and forth process make me dizzy.

When you are creating a joint do you hear a specific artist in your mind?

Yes I do and most times you feel the artist in question will kill it but when they hear it, they say NEXT lol.

Besides those stars you’ve already helped gain global attention, who are you working with that we should be on the lookout for?

Definitely Wurld! He’s amazing and we just put out a joint project called I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL.

Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Lol, nothing comes to mind at this moment. Don’t believe the “hype” maybe? Haha

 

We said prolific at the beginning of this piece…below please find some of his work

 

DISCOGRAPHY

2007

  1. Ruggedman: Banging
  2. Lord Of Ajasa: See drama

2008

  1. Shank:King Kong

2009

  1. YQ: I Like Girls
  2. Dagrin: Kondo

2010

  1. Goldie: Don’t Touch
  2. Iceberg Slim feat. Da Grin: I Made It
  3. Jahbless: Jor oh! Remix Feat Ice Prince, Reminisce, Durella, Ruggedman, Eldee

2011

  1. Skales: Keresimesi
  2. Shank: Salute
  3. Shank: Ghetto
  4. Sarz: Badman feat Wizkid
  5. Skales: Mukulu
  6. Banky W: Lowkey
  7. Michael Word: Pop Sugar feat Muna
  8. Naeto C: Super C Season
  9. Reminisce: Kako bi chicken
  10. Minjin: So beautiful

2012

  1. Skales: Ko Mo Le
  2. Wizkid: Dance For Me
  3. Sarz: Beat of Life (Samba) feat Wizkid
  4. Skales: My baby
  5. Eldee ft K9 and Sojay: Higher
  6. Eldee: Been There Done That
  7. Eldee: Today Today
  8. Eldee: Always
  9. Eldee ft Banky W: Run Down
  10. Eldee: Category
  11. Eldee: Wash Wash
  12. Eldee ft Wizkid: Never let you go
  13. Eldee ft K9 and Sojay: Zombie
  14. EME: Get Down Tonight

2013

  1. XP: Calabar Remix Feat Reminisce, Skales, Olamide
  2. Reminisce: Ni’gboro
  3. L.O.S: Wish you could stay
  4. Omawumi ft Wizkid: Warn Yourself
  5. DJ Neptune ft Phyno, Ruggedman, Pope, Reminisce, Uzi & Dagrin – Emi Ni Oba (The King)
  6. Lynxxx ft Ikechukwu, Illbliss and Phyno: Eziokwu
  7. Wizkid ft Femi Kuti: Jaiye Jaiye
  8. Lynxxx: Mr Sexy
  9. Reminisce: Fantasi
  10. Illrymz ft Reminisce: Get the Club Started
  11. El’vee ft Don Jazzy: Oga Pata Pata
  12. Addiction: Show Your Talent
  13. Wizkid, Iyanya, Praiz, Kcee: MTN iPulse

2014

  1. M.I: Shekpe Feat Reminisce
  2. M.I: Rich Feat. Koker
  3. M.I: Wheel Barrow Feat. Beenie Man & Emmy Ace
  4. Reminisce: Eleniyan Feat Wizkid
  5. Sarz: Ise Yen Feat. Reminisce
  6. Sarz: Shoknorris Feat. Burna Boy
  7. Wizkid: Sound It
  8. Niniola: Ibadi
  9. Tekno: Anything
  10. 2face Idibia & Wizkid: Dance Go Eau de Vie
  11. Kach: Get up
  12. Reminisce: Fantasi
  13. Samad: Low waist
  14. K9: Care about us Feat, Sound Sultan
  15. Sarz: Celebration Feat. K9
  16. Wizkid: Kilofe

2015

  1. Burna Boy: Trance
  2. Reminisce: Skilashi
  3. Wande Coal: Ashimapeyin
  4. Wande Coal: Adura
  5. Wande Coal: Wanted Remix

2016

  1. 2Baba: Coded Tinz Feat. Phyno
  2. Reminisce: Asalamalekun
  3. Reminisce: Asalamalekun [Remix] ft. Wale
  4. Hennessy Artistry: No be Water ft. Praiz, Burna Boy & Vector
  5. Reminisce: If E Nobi God ft. Mr. Eazi

2017

  1. Wizkid: Come Closer ft. Drake
  2. Wizkid: Sweet Love
  3. Niniola: Maradona
  4. Niniola: Sicker
  5. Wizkid: African Bad Girl ft. Chris Brown
  6. Sarz: Get up ft. Flash
  7. Niniola: Saro
  8. Niniola: Magun
  9. Mr Eazi: Accra To Lagos

2018

  1. Dj Enimoney: Diet ft. Reminisce, Slimcase & Tiwa Savage
  2. Wurld x Sarz: Trobül
  3. Skepta: Bad Energy ft. Wizkid
  4. Niniola x DJ Snake: Maradona Riddim
  5. Flash: Balanciego
  6. Niniola x Busiswa: Magun Remix
  7. Sarz: Hello Africa Riddim ft. Dr. Alban
  8. Mr. Eazi: Ogede
  9. Niniola: Bana

2019

  1. Sarz: Legwork Riddim
  2. Sarz: Good Morning Riddim
  3. Sarz: Inbox Riddim
  4. Sarz: Spiritual Riddim
  5. Sarz: Celetronic Riddim
  6. SeyiShay: Gimmie Love ft Runtown
  7. Reminisce: Oja
  8. Niniola: Designer ft. Sarz
  9. Sarz & Wurld: Ego
  10. 19 Seyi Shay Ft Teyana Taylor “Gimme Love” remix

 

 


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Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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