Young Ghanaian sound engineer, Mix Masta Garzy, talks to Maame Yaa Tutu on career, and what he’s done with his beat-making life so far.
Q. How did your job as a sound engineer start?
I came across music in church when I was growing up; I used to sing and play instruments and was also a choir master until I got into Senior Secondary school. I started rapping and recording myself and I used to play all the instruments live and record them and lay my vocals and that’s how I realized I could do more with this thing music. Later, I found out there was a programme I could use to record the music more easily and that’s how I found myself producing now. Because of my background, I am a hit maker. It doesn’t matter the genre. We make hits.
Q. What is the difference between working with an established artiste and an upcoming one?
There is no difference in having a big artiste or a new comer in the studio. The aim of both artistes is to make nothing but a hit and so you don’t have to treat any of them special. They come with the same target and I try to hit as many of targets as I can. But it’s more fulfilling to break a new artiste and make a hit with them because you are introducing a new voice and face to the industry and you will forever hold that achievement no matter how successful the artiste become in the future.
When the artiste is already a regular hit maker and walks in, then you wouldn’t be under too much pressure because they have a fan base already waiting for the music you are about to produce and just putting a little effort will can produce an instant hit. But with a new artiste, you are supposed to win hearts and sustain these hearts so they accept the rest of the music coming. But I enjoy working with both top and underground artistes.
Q. How do you come about an instrumentation for a song?
Most often a kick or a riddim just drops in my head and that’s it, I am on my way to making another big record. But sometimes you have to create the beat and find a perfect artiste who will complement the beat to get the hit you want. Sometimes when the artiste is in the studio doing the chorus’ you get a fine idea and you and other artist run with it.
Q. You’ve been around for sometime now, and achieved some fame. What are you doing to help the young producers out there?
I am trying to get something like a Young Producers Association together to give the upcoming producers directions on how to navigate this slippery industry, most of them have great ideas and beat producing skills but lack direction. I am happy for them and look forward to their coming.
Q. Does it pay to be a sound engineer?
Well giving free beats away to potential hit makers can earn you something. I gave a lot of my beats to Dr. Cryme and when he made a hit everyone was looking for Mix Masta Garzy. First thing you have to do is to create a hit track and business will start flowing in. Everyone knows you have the recipe and can make them a hit and that’s how you make some money.
Q. There is always this case of established artiste hijacking songs, how true is that?
Many at times the artistes hijacks these songs when it’s sent to them to lay their verses on for feature reasons but they hijack the songs and release it as their own. While some also come to the studio, hear the record and goes to another studio to record the same thing.
But some also are sheer coincidence, you can have an idea running around in your head and someone will also have something similar going on, so when they drop the record before you, it just sometimes baffles you but it happens a lot. Many at times we all might be going through the same thing and will have the same motivation and that’s how ideas might become similar.
Q. What is your take on the current music scene in Ghana?
Ghana is one of the best African countries when it comes to producing good songs I won’t lie to you.
But I am not really happy with the industry; it still needs a lot of adjustment here and there. We are already in there and the best to do now is stay in there and work on it to be better for the generation coming. I am okay with it. We are sorting out the problems and hope it gets better.
Q. Which artistes are you very close with?
I am close to Dr Cryme and we go for shows and I’m his hype man most often. We are still working hard on some records and pushing music outside of Ghana. He and Fuse ODG did a record and it’s big in the UK, he will be touring the UK very soon and I am sure we will work hard in getting something for the home fans.
People say D Cryme has not made a hit in a while but truth be told we have broken the ice here with “Kill Me Shy” and can always make another big song for the home fans but we have to reach out to more people on the outside too. That’s why we did that record with Fuse ODG and it is banging in UK. He will be back to drop another smash hit for the home fans very soon. We are working on it.
Q. People have complained about Ghanaians not giving songs chance to grow worldwide, and that just when a song is about to cross over, we tag it as an old song. Do you feel same?
Oh yes! Last time I was listening to this song and it was still fresh but someone requested if I could skip the song and play them a fresh tune. Meanwhile the song had been released not long ago. Ghanaians love new things and when they find the new sound, they don’t want to have anything to do with the old sounds again.
Out there, because the radio stations pay a lot to put new music on their playlist and so they prefer to keep the songs on their playlist on rotation for a long time, but here the music is free for everyone and so the moment a new song comes, they can afford to change their playlist as often as they want.
With the royalty system, the more artistes and songs you put on the playlist, the more you pay, so they will try and cut cost by playing the records they have for some time before changing. This will keep the same song on rotation for a year and over and people will still enjoy it.
Q. You are launching a new website we have heard. True?
People have heard of me and want to buy and work with me so I will like to put all my songs up on it. MixMastaGarzy.com will make the world out of Ghana reach me and sample the beats and buy from me.
By: MaameYaa Tutu /enewsgh.com
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