With corona virus stay home rule around the world, I had the privilege of staying home and doing nothing apart from listening to great afropop records. Today I bumped into a mix tape made by www.boomplay.com music app of two of Nigerian’s best producers. These guys are like the footballing duo of Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who have been doing great things over the past years. Sarz and Shizi just like the above named duo have produced at least twenty to thirty percent of the mega hit songs that the Nigerian music industries have exported in the past twelve years. They are living legends and while they are still in their prime, they have groomed some very good producers that have been doing great things. Like Ronaldo and Messi who are judged to be hard working and talented respectively, Sarz and Shizzi have something in common. They are both talented and have been on each other’s production neck these year.
Sarz, whose birth name is Osabuohien Osaretin was given birth to in Benin City in the south southern state of Edo. He got his early gigs with some Nigerian music veterans like Lord of Ajasa, Dagrin and Rugged Man. On the other hand, Shizzi whose birth name is Oluwaseyi Akerele was given birth to in the south Western part of Nigeria and got his early gigs from veterans like Sasha Bee and Wande Coal. However these two Nigerian music production heavy weight artist got their major hits when they got associated with Wizkid and Davido who are adjudged as the Ronaldo and Messi of Nigerian Music. Sarz and Shizzi started their own rilvary without anyone taking note. Unlike the musicians, Sarz and Shizzi have made some killer tunes in these past years. X-raying their musical journey, one can pick out why they have remained relevant to musician and fans over the years. Below we have explained a few.
Fusion of Fuji and Afrobeats into RnB.
What we call Afropop today is a musical mixture of African sound with western RnB sounds and production styles. When Don Jazzy and OJB Jezreel where making beats in early 2000s, they used to mix fuji and Afro juju elements to digital beat making software and created Afropop sounds that blew the world. When Sarz and Shizzi came into the scene they exploited these production secrets and made mad hits from it. For example “Love my Baby” and “Duro” by Wizkid and Davido was made by Shizzi using this principle. Till the evolution of Nigerian songs to Ponpon sounds, Sarz and Shizzi made songs with high fuji and Fela’s Afrobeats music influence. One can listen to songs produced by these two maestros and trace Sir Shina Peters and Fela sounds in them. There was clear indications in their production styles and south western Nigerian Influence.
A symbiotic growth with Nigerian Super Stars.
Sarz and Shizzi blew to the world just as Wizkid and Davido were exploding to the world musical scene. They built their carriers by tapping into the blessings of the above named artist. They did not just produce beats but associated and built their brands in same direction with the Stars they got connected to. For example Sarz found his groove with Wizkid and together they have grown from making songs for themselves to creating hits with Beyoncé and Canadian music pop star: Drake. On the other hand, Shizzi found a life with Davido and they have grown from making Duro to making “Blow my Mind” with American pop Star: Chris Brown. They understood the musical chemistry and synergy between them and their musicians and milked it very well.
Feeding of the Energy of each other.
A healthy rivalry is a rivalry that allows an artist to bring his/her A-game anytime any day. Having each other and other dope producers to war against musically helped their carriers. In as much as Sarz has produced more hit than Shizzi, one cannot help but see the quality in every song released by Shizzi. They have made a quiet but musically bloody rivalry with entertaining sounds in the background.