JAEL MUSUMBA spoke to music producer VINCENT OMONDI about his journey to the top and how he has managed to remain relevant.
How did you get into music and for how long have you been in music production?
My passion for music started way back in primary school and I knew someday I’d be a musician. I used to gather classmates and beatbox for them as they rap. In high school, I got a clear picture of what I wanted to become and that was a music producer.
How did you meet Khaligraph Jones and what made him feel you were the right person to work with?
We met online. I am very vocal online: I have a YouTube channel where I share my stuff, beats for sale, tutorials on how to make beats, beat breakdowns on how I make hits and normal music producer vlogs. He happened to have been browsing the internet and I think my stuff popped up and he liked it. He contacted me and that’s the genesis of our friendship till now.
How did you feel?
Of course I was extremely excited because being the person he is – one of the greatest rappers in Africa - I freaked out for a minute but then I acted normal, especially on phone. I felt success was knocking and that it was my time because I had gone through a lot for many years.
What inspires you and makes you want to keep producing music?
I am self-driven; I get my inspiration from my environment. When I wake up and see people grinding, mama mboga doing her thing, my peers making hits out there, I get ignited, but of course I have a couple of people I look up to. Internationally, I look up to people like Metro Boomin, Lordsky on the Beat and Kyle Beats.
What was the first set of equipment/software you bought?
To anybody who wants to start a career in music production, the first thing I would advise them to have is passion; expect less and put in more work. If you give it your all, you definitely will win. As for equipment, you simply need a computer or a powerful phone, acquire basic production skills, choose and learn your best DAW and you are good to go.
What key lessons have you learnt about producing music that could help aspiring musicians and producers?
I have learnt that music production is a career just like any other. If you brand yourself well and do it professionally, it can turn out to be a full-time job that pays your bills and you can fully depend on. Secondly, don’t run into music production because your producer friend is successful; make the right choice by understanding your passion.
What is the most important skills for a producer?
Passion is key. Find your niche and be the king at it. Identify your uniqueness and embrace it. Put in more hours and you will be successful.
What is the best part of being a producer?
Being a music producer gives me freedom. I love music and it is something I can do all day, all week, all month without rest.
How do you ensure your production comes out with the best quality videos?
I am not yet where I wanna be... I learn new stuff daily and try to implement it in my production. I make sure every single beat or music I produce is unique.
Worst project you have ever handled? What happened?
The worst project I’ve ever handled was for a famous rap group two years ago. I got a call from my friend who had a studio and he wanted me to record his boys. As I was walking heading to the studio in Lucky Summer from Embakasi, there was this bridge that one was required to illegally pay some amount to cross. I paid not knowing the same boys would turn against me. They mishandled me and beat me up, took my hard disk and a few stands and let me go. The place is called GOTTA CITY. Upon reaching the studio as we waited for the artiste, I was shocked that the same boys who beat me up and took my stuff were the same people I was supposed to record. I did it silently and went my way. The song has been a hit to date.
How does a poor or low-quality video happen?
Poor quality writing, you blame the artiste; poor quality audio you blame the producer and the team; poor quality video you blame the video director and the team.
How do you deal with arrogant artistes?
Every person is born different. I have worked with arrogant artistes for the 10 years I have worked as producer. I learnt to treat everyone according to their personality. In my early stages of production, I used to get pissed off but later I learnt how to handle different people.
What are you working on currently?
I am working on my own music. I feel it’s time to share my other side with the public. I’ve also been working on supporting upcoming artistes by doing riddims, rap cyphers, singing challenges, producers online concerts. All these are available on my YouTube channel.