Music producers are the unseen force behind every great song, the yin to a song’s yang.
8 of Kenya's most elite music producers
Meet the iconic beat creators at Decimal Records, Pacho Entertainment, Black Market Records, Main Switch and Blue Ink Studios.
Hits are born from hours outpoured by talented producers in the studio, fine-tuning the beat, the melody, the vocals, the arrangements which all need creativity and technique as well as a good understanding of music genres.
Although they are rarely the face of many accolades, without them there would be no music. They ensure production runs seamlessly and the end product is perfect.
Here are seven crème de la crème producers who have been at the top of their game through generations of Kenyan music.
He is a veteran producer with more than 20 years of success in the music industry. Musyoka owns Decimal Records recording studio which rose to repute for working with Kenya's biggest talents.
The record label notably produced 'Drinx Na Mayenx' by Decimal Records artistes (DCMTRS) - Masta Ajab, Bon'eye, KonKodi and Brian Nadra. He also worked on Morgan Heritage’s 2019 album Loyalty.
He started producing music in 1997 at the popular Sync Studio, under the guidance of Muhammud Omar, Ambrose Mandugu, and Tedd Josiah.
As the Head Producer at Homeboyz Entertainment, he worked with artistes such as Prezzo, TID, Sema, Mr Lenny, Bamzigi, Nameless, AY, Wyre, Peter Miles, Nikki and Nonini.
Musyoka is feted for producing major hits such as 'Punchline Kibao' by Ukoo Flani, Nonini’s 'Keroro', 'Hii Ngoma' by Nikki, 'Kare' by P-Unit, 'Ha-He' by Just a Band and 'You Guy' by P-Unit.
The prolific producer said in a past interview that his greatest achievement is knowing that he has been a source of inspiration.
He is hands-down one of the best producers. Cedo is a producer with Pacho Entertainment and has cemented his name in history as the producer behind major singles like 'Mungu Pekee' and 'Malaika' by Nyashinski, 'El-Shaddai' by H_art the Band and 'Dandia' by Kristoff.
Cedo has also worked with the boyband Sauti Sol as well as collaborated with Sol Generation artistes on projects. He continues to be a skillful producer behind tracks.
Josiah is a legend with an almost godfather status in Kenyan music. He owns the Blue Zebra Records formed in 1999 which was originally called Audio Vault Studios before being renamed in 2002.
He is Wyre’s former boss and most of the artist’s hard-hitting songs were recorded in the Blue Zebra studio.
Josiah produced the iconic compilation albums titled 'Kenyan, The First Chapter' and 'Kenyan, The Second Chapter'. The two albums featured Hardstone, Kalamashaka, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji, Necessary Noize, In-Tu, Jimmy Gathu, Maina Kageni, Pete Odera, Ndarling P and Ugandan musician Kawesa.
Having sustained a career spanning decades, Tedd advises Kenyan musicians: "A lot of artists don't understand Kenyan sounds from the past and only look to what they hear now, so their musical research is based on Kiss radio's playlist which is honestly all of five songs most of which are Nigerian."
He is famously known as Philo. The talented producer is the man behind Jaguar’s hit songs such as 'Kipepeo', 'Huu Mwaka' and 'Kioo'. He is the Director at Main Switch Record Label.
Philo has also worked with Daddy Owen, Papa Dennis, Vivian, Kendi, Zikki and Elani.
Motif Di Don
You might have heard award-winning hip-hop artist Khaligraph Jones mention him in his songs.
Motif is the producer at Blue Ink Studios owned by Papa Jones. He is the person behind the dope banger released by the acclaimed hip-hop star. He is a self-made brand when it comes to music producers in Kenya.
He is one of the most controversial yet reputable producers. Magix calls himself the Beat King and arguably he is a genius.
Enga has worked with many upcoming artists like Alvindo, Boondocks Gang amongst many others. Some hits by Timmy Tdat, Otile Brown have been produced by his magical hands.
Mavo on the Beat
He is a top-rated producer and owner of Marvine Music Studio. Mavo has worked with artists like Vivian, Sudi Boy, Kansoul, Gwaash, Mbogi Genje, Sailors, Jua Cali and Maddox.
The beatmaker is on the rise due to his craftsmanship which is appreciated by artistes.
Black Market Records producer Victor Amani 'Vic West' has made a name for himself not only as one of the most prolific Gengetone producers but also as a talented artist and songwriter, given his 2022 hit 'Kuna Kuna'.
Vic West has produced ‘Dai Dai’ by Fathermoh Ft. Shekina Karen, ‘Sababisha’ by Rico Gang, 'Manzi Wa Donholm’ by Chan Chan $ Blacowp, ‘Soko’ by Mbuzi Gang ft Harry Craze, Unspoken Salaton and 'Chunli' by Fathermoh, Khaligraph Jones, Smady & Boutross.
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