By Benjamin Njoku
Irewole Samuel Oni is an accomplished music producer, synthesizer and programmer who has distinguished himself in the Nigerian music terrain. He started playing musical instrument at the tender age of seven. He later graduated as an organist in his father’s church in Akure, Ondo State. Today, he has become a force to reckon with, in music Nigeria.
My journey into the world of music production
So far, so good, I wouldn’t say I have not experienced some challenges. But of course, by God’s grace, I have been able to pull through. I have achieved a lot in the industry, working with a lot of international and Nigerian artistes.
To the glory of God. Today I’m prospering in whatever I’m doing. I have been in music for over 25 years producing songs for artistes. I have been playing the keyboard for years. I remember the bass guitar was my first instrument, but later I started playing the keyboard.
Music has been part of my upbringing. My father used to play organ while my mother was a singer in the church choir. So, music was part of us. In fact, what actually inspired me to go into music production was the need to sanitize the industry. After listening to the songs most of our artistes play, I decided to bring out the best in their talent by producing quality music for them. I have brought sanity into the industry, now we can boast of talented artistes with good music, and we owe it to good music production.
I got trained on how to play music in our church. I learnt how to compose music and all that. But my parents were concerned about my education. They insisted I must go to school in the first place.
Why I choose to be a producer!
If what you mean is to be a singer, I also sing. But it is not professional at level. I don’t sing like every other person is doing. I’m good at playing instruments. But my major goal is to help young talents to become great stars; to make nobody to become somebody. That’s my first priority.
Playing instruments are quite different from music production. You have to combine them in order to produce a song worth listening to. In fact, whenever I handle an instrument, you’ll think a full music band is at work. I have mastered different instruments with their original sounds.
How did I discovered Marvelous
Well, I have known Marvelous for a while, he came to my studio one day to record his song which he titled Naija. When he entered my studio early this year(April), I looked at him for a while and inquired to know if he was signed under any label. Then, he was working with some group of musicians.
But the treatment I gave him on that day made him to show more interest in working with me. I said okay let’ s talk about it later and see how we can work together. That’s how we started. Apparently before I met Marvelous, he has been working with other people. I wouldn’t say I discovered him.
Apart from grooming Marvelous, I have also produced the likes of Jumoke who is coming out strongly. Amaka is another singer I brought to the limelight. She is from the eastern part of the country, and her kind of music is what they call “Aba music.”I just finished producing J’odie’s African Woman. I derive joy in making stars.
Am I into hip hop
It’s not as if I’m focusing on one particular genre of music . I do anything music, though I have bias for gospel music because of my desire to work for God. Besides, I do anything that is inspirational and soul-winning. I don’t do anything that is less of qua;ity.
What set me apart from other producers
I always put in my best in whatever I’m doing. Excellent is my watchword. I am not somebody who is always in a hurry because I want to attend to other enagements. I take my time to do any job that I’m handling. For me, the detailing that I put into my work set me apart from other producers. I’m very fulfilled because music production has been my dream career. I don’t have any other business aside the music production because I have so much passion for it. And I appreciate God for what I’ve achieved so far
For me, a good producer must possess a humble spirit. You also need a good sense of music, melody and rhythm. You must be listening to different kinds of music to enable you distinguish between good and bad music.
Why I am behind the scene
My first priority as a producer is to make stars. I call myself a star maker. It’s just as you take the raw potentials and create them. When I mention the names of artistes that I have helped to shape their future, you will be like wow you made these people?
Unfortunately, producers are not celebrated in this part of the world like the artistes.
Any thing prepared me for what are doing today
While I was growing up, I used to play percussion. I started playing it at the tender age of four. Then, I used to listen to different genres of music. Soon, I started playing the instruments. All of these things I got used to them and before I knew it, I started doing music. I began to reflect on those music and they are now the basic foundation of my music.
What life has taught me
From my exposure, having travelled far and wide places, I think it is humility. Even the so called international artistes, humble themselves. I did not believe that highly respected international artistes could condescend to the level of mingling with people of low class. When I see the way they treat people with respect, I would be like wow.
My activities in international scene
At the moment, am on the verge of getting the Universal Record to be able to export Nigerian music not only to other African countries but also, to Europe, Asia and America. It is a very large experience that am hoping to get into very soon, so that I can distribute music all over the world.