Afrobeats has ridden on the back of great artistes and producers to the heights it has currently attained. These artistes are widely praised for this feat and are constantly in the spotlight, however, the same cannot be said for the producers.
Afrobeats producers can be considered as the main creative force who give life to the genre because sound is the heartbeat of all music, while artistes use their lyrics, style, and persona to give it an attractive exterior.
Considering this particularly important feature about creating music, is it right that Afrobeats producers are largely relegated to the background in the industry?
The untimely death of Dr Frabz makes this question an issue which needs to be widely discussed, and it also prompts another question of why the legacies of producers who have passed on are not as recognized as that of artistes?
Dr Frabz is not a new name to those who cared to recognize the creative mastermind behind some major hits on the Nigerian music scene. He had been on the music scene from as far back as 2006 and had put in work worthy of recognition.
Some early hit songs by artiste’s music fans idolize today are credited to him, and he worked with an array of Nigerian music heavyweights like Dagrin, Wizkid, Eldee, Naeto C, Davido, Shank, Sheyi Shay, Omawumi among others.
Dr Frabz was an award-winning producer who without a doubt can be regarded as part of those producers who contributed to the improved sound that pushed Nigerian music to the next level during a period of much needed growth.
It shocked many of his colleagues in the industry when news of his death spread online, and many of them paid their last respects to him with heartfelt posts on social media.
Surprisingly, the buzz that should surround his popular works to serve as a means of celebrating the creativity he shared with listeners during his lifetime, is sadly missing.
This observation arises because those who remember the reactions from the untimely passing of poplar artistes like Dagrin, and the continued remembrance of his legacy, will notice the difference between both cases.
It is not that their lives or accomplishments are being compared, rather, it is the culture that has made it possible for one half of a coin to be hidden, while the other basks in the light, that is being scrutinized.
Even the remembrance of other legendary music producers who are no more, like OJB Jezreel, does not come close to the likes of Dagrin who spent so little time on the music scene.
Music fans determine how much recognition is received for a song. If an artiste is the only face they can tie to songs they love, then the producer would obviously be left in the shadows.
Such a scenario calls for a reimagination of how music producers can actively share the spotlight with artistes. It should be a major issue for all to think about.
If this reimagination can be achieved, it will ensure that fans get to give the producers their deserved recognition. It will in turn make it easier for the legacy of music producers to take root in the hearts of those who love the songs they have produced.
The legacy of producers taking root in the hearts of fans is bound to happen because songs are tied to memories, and the fans won’t forget these producers if their faces and names are in sync with these songs.
In a nutshell it is important that these music maestros receive all that is due to them in terms of widespread recognition for their work, financial parity with artistes who work on their hit sounds, and above all, genuine love, and appreciation for their art from fans who love their sounds.
It is better they receive these while they are alive and can appreciate it, than giving them their flowers when they are no more. Rest in paradise Ayorinde Faboro, Doctor of Flavour, Rhythm, and Blues.