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“Spotlight” is a series that focuses on young Nigerian creatives and the amazing things that they’re doing in their various fields. It was started because we wanted to share their stories and individual journeys on the path to success.

This week we’re featuring music producer and live sound engineer, Siji Ewedemi. Siji is passionate about music production and you can tell that from his interview. You know when people say someone is “called” to do a particular thing in life? Well, Siji was called to be a music producer. He knows his work and he does it well.

In his interview, he tells us about his music background, how he got into music production, and, what music production entails.

siji Ewedemi Producer

What’s your working style?

I begin my work process by visualizing how I want a project to turn out. I more or less complete the workflow in my head before I start physically putting the pieces together. I like to get different ideas and approaches from other people as well before and during the process.

What’s your musical background?

I was classically trained. I was born into a musical family, parents, cousins, aunts and uncle all had the musical gene. My dad used to be the conductor of a Baptist Choir decades ago in Lagos Nigeria, so at a very young age, I started learning the fundamentals of music and built from there. Fortunately for me, my secondary school had a strong musical emphasis with a  full orchestra and choir. I learned to play the trumpet there, before moving on to all other brass instruments. 

How did you get into music production? 

I’d have to take you back to my 3rd year of secondary school. A few of us in the choir came together to work on a project. The music teacher booked a studio session bu the studio engineer didn’t really know much music, so I had to do both playing and programming, while he just navigated the application (FL Studio). Me, being into technology, was fascinated by the process and immediately got to researching how to use it. In university, I was once again placed in the midst of musically minded people who had experience with FL Studio and that’s how I began doing a lot more in production. 

Who have you been listening to recently?

Haha, interesting question. Recently, it’s been Jacob Collier. He’s just one amazing musical genius! Then there’s this other guy, Michael Olatuja. Heard one of his songs randomly one day on the radio, and I fell in love with his sound. On the Nigerian scene, it’s Bez Idakula, The Cavemen, and Brymo.

Are you affiliated with a label?

No. Not yet. 

What is the one thing every song must have for it to be solid?

A story/soul behind it 100%. That being said, solid is relative. Other people might have different opinions


What does music production entail? 

Music production entails overseeing the entire project from beginning to end. This is one aspect that I think a lot of ‘producers’ fail to realize. Many people are ‘beatmakers’, but not producers. Personally, I ensure I have something to say about the songwriting, the style, what the artiste wants, and why they want what they want. If you listen to a song, and you think it’s not good enough, the first thing you might think of, is who produced it. It really doesn’t count to say “the music is good, but the lyrics or vocals are not”. That’s like saying the stew is sweet, but the rice is not. A song is everything in its entirety, you should not separate one from the other. So, if you’re a music producer, then you must oversee everything that happens with a record you produce, and hope that the artiste trusts your judgment well enough.


How do you approach the sensitive task of discussing changes and rearrangements with artists?

Sensitive, yes! Very sensitive task. I try to show them all the different options available, and why each of those options exist. Then sometimes, just before the project is concluded, you find out that something could be done differently and you want to make changes, it becomes more sensitive, depending on who the artiste is. Like I said earlier, the artiste has the final say, but if I’m not comfortable with the preferred option (musically, I’d make it clear as to why you should trust me, and if your reason for insisting is logical enough, then we’d go with it. I just see it as both the producer and the artiste have one common goal, which is to release a great song, and whatever it takes to get that done must be done, with the resources available. You don’t want to have a song out that you’re ashamed of or that you regret making.

What is the first thing you listen for when listening to a new recording?

The story

What Nigerian and International music producers do you look up to? 

Nigerian producers I look up to – Cobhams Asuquo, Rotimi Akinfenwa, Mikky Me Joses, Emmanuel Uzozie, Godwin Hilary, Tiwezi.
International producers – Jamel Kimbrough, Jacob Collier, Hans Zimmer, Humberto Gatica, Danny Duncan.
Siji Ewedemi

What Nigerian artistes would you like to work with? 

Timi Dakolo, Cobhams, Asa, the Cavemen, Bez, Adekunle Gold, Simi – these are the people who do the kind of music I appreciate.

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a young music producer? 

I think the biggest challenge for me so far is trying to make the best out of the resources available and within the budget of the artiste. There are some projects I work on, and I know that if there’s just a bit more cash flow, we could create a bigger sound. I see it as a challenge when we have to settle with something that can be better because we don’t have access to a high level of resources.

Asides music production, do you do anything else? 

Yes I do. I have a company based in the UK, Tuneup Productions Ltd. It is an event technology, music, and media company. I also do a bit of graphic design, and currently working on getting back into Information Security. I have an MSc in InfoSec, and would definitely look to practicing it fully within the next year.

If you’d like to keep up with Siji, you can find him on Instagram and Twitter .

By: Dammy Eneli

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