Turning limitations into snowballs of success, Duktor Sett, the Nigerian producer, has continued his impressive run in the music landscape. From a humble beginning in Jos to becoming a production maestro in Lagos and working with big names in the music industry, Sett’s rise to stardom is symptomatic of the popular saying: “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. In this interview with TheCable Lifestyle, the music producer, born Saviour Ezeoke, speaks on producing ‘Yabasi’ (2020) and Horoscopes (2022) for Basketmouth, the comedian-cum-singer. He also reflects on how the global fame enjoyed by Afrobeats has brought a sense of worth to producers in the industry.
TheCable Lifestyle: Can you share with us your background?
Duktor Sett: I’m a musician first and I was born in a musical home. I started playing musical instruments when I was a kid. So, music has been all I have known all my life.
I went to a federal government college high school, and I also studied Economics at the University of Jos.
And still, after that, I still realised that music is all I have known and I needed to invest my time in it.
When I finished secondary school, I went to learn how to produce and from there I started my company, and I’m still here producing music.
TheCable Lifestyle: Do you have plans to go back into singing?
Duktor Sett: For many years, I have been a music director, coordinator, and music producer.
So, singing for me is just a part of my career. I don’t necessarily need to sing because it’s not like I’m a singer but if need be for me to sing in a song that I’m creating or producing, I will.
Sometimes, I might take a hook, or a line, or take a backup, depending on how it comes when I’m producing.
TheCable Lifestyle: Did your relationship with your parents influence or serve as a limitation to your musical career?
Duktor Sett: My parents didn’t allow me to go out to play too much but the instruments I had were my toys and I wasn’t restricted from using them. So, I used that to have something I could do as a kid.
And all that led me to the things I’m doing today.
TheCable Lifestyle: Now that there is growing recognition for producers in the industry, what makes you unique?
Duktor Sett: Aside from just producing music, I’m also a sound designer. And sound designing is different from production – it’s you allotting sound to where they need to be and sound the way they need to sound.
For me, sound designing is actually what makes me stand out as much as I know there are other producers, I’m adding sound designing to my craft and this gives me an edge.
TheCable Lifestyle: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
Duktor Sett: For me, I think this is the journey I have chosen and whatever comes I’d take it.
I keep going regardless of wherever I am. I know I’m going to get better. Basically for me, it’s the journey that matters, so wherever I get to I’d appreciate it. So, wherever I get to, I’d just keep moving.
TheCable Lifestyle: Which artiste do you love working with in the Nigerian industry?
Duktor Sett: I like Wande Coal. He is like a powerhouse of melody. And he has that vocal, that one thing that is rare among artistes and Wande Coal has that.
Working with him, aside from producing for him, you will enjoy it because he’d give you the vibe that you need to make the music much better.
TheCable Lifestyle: How was it producing two albums for Basketmouth?
Duktor Sett: Producing that kind of work for someone who is not an active musician is work on its own. For Basketmouth, it’s something I made another work to actually deal with and it came out well.
It was all I had at the time and I had to give it my all.
He is creative, not just a comedian, regardless and I’m also creative, so working with him, I had to meet him at a certain place [level]. It was easier for us to work because we share some similarities. He believed in what I was doing and I was focused too.
TheCable Lifestyle: There is a saying that producers are not given enough credit, what is your opinion?
Duktor Sett: Afrobeats wasn’t winning like this before, so it used to be the artistes carrying it with their image and selling it outside the world.
So, they recognised they were the ones doing it and had to take the glory but now that the sound produced by Nigerian producers for the artistes are the ones selling, producers are now coming out to say it’s not the artistes alone that push the song, as a producer I also contributed in my own right, I should be recognised for the music.
So, producers now understand that they should also be earning from the sound that the whole world has now recognised.
TheCable Lifestyle: What’s your advice for up-and-coming producers?
Duktor Sett: This is the time for people to hear what you have and just so you need to improve, you can.
Just so you need to see opportunities, you can see opportunities. Producers should find ways for their sounds to come out so that they can make use of the advantages that come with the movement.
We don’t know when Afrobeats will have this air again. So producers who know what they are doing should take the opportunity for their sounds to be heard.
You studied Economics, are you still ever planning on dropping your career in music to start afresh in that field?
Obviously, I’m not going back to Economics.
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