Friday, March 12, 2010

‘Music production is a very lucrative business’ – DOKTA FRABZ

Dokta Frabz
Dotka Frabz’s real name is Ayorinde Faboro and he from Ido in Ekiti State. He is presently one of the best music producers in the country but he largely keeps a very low profile. He used to wear his hair long but has now cut it down because of the demanding nature of that style. So, you might never really notice him in a crowd except for his size (he is very well fed) and his wide grin.
Apart from being a producer, Dokta Frabz has also been in the new because of his relationship with Miss Omawunmi Megbele, first runner-up, Idols West Africa, 2007. Unlike most other celebrity relationship, they have been very open with theirs and apart from the musical interests which brought them together, mutual respect for each other and the congeniality of their nature also keeps afloat a relationship with he told Notes and Tones, he would love to take further.
In this interview, Dokta Frabz takes us through the rudiments of music production and various other things that interest him. Enjoy…

How did you come about your name, Dokta Frabz?
Dokta Frabz means Doctor of Flavour, Rhythm and Blues. It came from the fact that I’m a very RnB person. Even though that’s not the only thing I like in music but as a music producer, I decided to call myself the Doctor of Flavour, Rhythm and Blues because as producers, we are actually like doctors.

How did music production start for you?
Music production started properly for me in 2003. I have always had the ideas of putting songs together in my heard since I was a kid; I have been playing the keyboard, the guitar and drums since I was a kid. I have also written songs but I never had the chance to get into the studio to produce a song. I had a lot of songs in my head that I was wishing to bring out before I came across a music software called Fruity Loops. I picked interest and spent a lot of time trying to understand the dynamics of the software. I also got in contact with other softwares and that was how my production really started. I also used to arrange musical sequences on our school keyboard before I got to know that I could make a living out making musical beats. I took myself through a lot of trial and error, crashed my computer more than a couple of times, took some internet lectures and today here I am.

How do you spot a good song?
There are so many songs I could classify as good but not many people would see it the same way with me. Not everyone would love the same genre of songs. A song could be good as song as if doesn’t make me fall asleep I also listen to the instruments in a song, the arrangement and composition, if I am able to make out something sensible and pleasant to my ears then I would assume if it a good song. But again it would take another four to five listenings to decide if I can put it on my playlist or not. Picking out a good song is a gift for everyone.

In another aspect, how do you know the songs you can work on and produce?
I am a very imaginative person. When I listen to song, I start to picture the studio sessions, the kinds instruments that could go with it, the kind of emotions and the mood the song could have. If someone comes to me with ideas, depending on how he delivers it, I would decide if it would be a love song, rock or RnB. I listen to the song and compose a tune or progression that suits whatever the person has and if it sounds cool and blends, then we have a good start, if it doesn’t, then we continue to look for a matching one.

How do you know artistes that you can work with?
I don’t know artistes that I can work with. I only have an idea because a lot of people have hidden talents and you don’t know what they have until they get to the studio or you stumble on it by accident. If an artiste is able to put across the ideas he has in his mind, then I think I can work with him or her. But I am supposed to be able to work with anybody. If doesn’t matter who the artiste is, as long as he is serious and knows what he or she wants, then I can work with the person.

Are there particular genres of music that you prefer to others?
Yes. Like my name represents, there is flavour, rhythm and blues and I am a very RnB person. I like cool calming music, like songs that make one relax and think. Songs that take one’s stress away and make one try to figure out a solution to his or her life. I prefer RnB to a lot of genres. I also like pop and soft rock. I like hip hop and so many other genres of music. But really, there’s a season for every type of music.

What do you think is the music season in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, I have come to discover that a lot of people don’t really want to hear what you are saying, the just want to dance. Beyond that, they also want to hear easy slangs that they use everyday, things that they can use to talk to people. Nigeria is all about groove, African likes to dance, so it is dance season in Nigeria now.

Are there times that you just tell an artiste, “I can’t work with you?”
Yes. That’s after I must have finished trying to work on them. I don’t just dismiss artistes like that telling them that I can’t work with them. I must have tried my best to work with that artiste without any success. A lot of artistes come with a lot of difficulties. Some don’t take professional advice they don’t listen to other people, so you don’t have any choice but to send the person away otherwise the next time you might actually fight with the person.

There’s was this rumour that you actually produced D’Banj ‘Why Me’, that was why you featured in the video and that you weren’t given any credit for it?
I co-produced “Why Me” and I also did a lot of co-productions with Mo Hits that I was never credited with. But you know at that time I was just coming up and most people that are coming up are never credited with anything. Don Jazzy produced “Why Me” but I did a lot of work with them. Don Jazzy is very good at drums and I am very good with the keyboard so that was where most of my contribution came from.

Was it Don Jazzy that brushed you up in music production?
He contributed a lot to my understanding of Nigerian music and production. He is a hitmaker, he understands commercial music. I picked a few things from him about producing and writing commercial music. A lot of people in Nigeria do good but not commercial songs. Don Jazzy has a very broad knowledge of commercial music.

Are there other producers that influenced you?
One can never know everything, so you have to pick something from everybody and I picked from quite a number of people. Cobhams Asuquo is one of them because when it comes to foreign music, ballads and pop, Cobhams is a professional. He doesn’t have any competition as far I am concerned. I have been able to pick form so many people that I can’t even remember all of them. I didn’t learn everything by myself.

How lucrative is music production?
It depends on what you have achieved, your status and your versatility. Music production is very lucrative because everybody wants to sing and people are looking for quality. If you have the quality they are looking for, then you are in business. You will always be busy and being busy means that you are making money. People always look for talent, so I am always busy. It is a very lucrative business and I will encourage anyone that has the talent to take time specialize. It is a good profession and a lot depends on how well you profile yourself. A lot of people that are good don’t even earn as much as I do.

How much do you charge for a beat?
At the moment, I charge N100, 000 to produce. There are other charges for studio time, mixing and mastering and when you add all those, it gets to roughly N150, 000 to completely produce a song in my studio.

What’s the name of your studio?
N’sayne Entertainment Studios.

How did you come up with the name?
All these means have been in my mind for a long time now because I have been planning all this for a long time now. I have the idea that entertainment is supposed to be exciting and very crazy so I came up with the name N’sayne Entertainment. It does not mean made but just crazy and multi-dimensional.

How many songs can you produce in one day?
I have produced three songs in one day before. Recording sometimes take time because the artiste needs a lot of direction and this may slow down production. I am supposed to use like three days to produce a song but sometimes I work fast.

Let’s talk a bit more about N’sayne Entertainment.
N’sayne Entertainment is an outfit that I want use to empower up an upcoming artiste to become a big music star of tomorrow. I am working on a project, sort of a mixtape, which I call Dokta Frabz presents The Next Generation, Volume I. It is an album that would feature a lot of people I feel have the potential to stand out in the future. There is also a beach concert coming up in November. I presently have one artiste on N’sayne Entertainment, Jimmy Flames. We are working on his first album. I am also an artiste on N’sayne Entertainment and my album would also be dropping early next year.

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