Derek Daniel, popularly known as Dekumzy is not a new name when it comes to music production in the industry. He produced Bracket’s hit single, Yori Yori and a couple of hit songs that have continued to enjoy massive airplay in the country till date. In this interview, Dekumzy opens up on his rise to stardom, challenges and his plans for the industry.
You are a music producer, song writer and an artist, how do you juggle all these together?
IT all started in 2006 when I produced my first hit Chinweke by Resonance. The song was a hit when it was dropped and it enjoyed a massive air play. The success the song recorded that year gave me the assurance that I was going to come out good. I have always been a keyboardist for my church and I did that for four years before I decided to delve into the art of music production. The decision to cross was not easy but because I was convinced that my passion would make a head way for me in the industry.
What has happened to Resonance, not much has been heard from her since she released Chinweke?
She is doing very fine. She travelled out for sometime because she got married and gave birth to a son. I can tell you that she’s planning a big comeback. She’s in Lagos presently working on her new album.
How easy was it delving into a terrain you barely know little about?
It was not an easy decision to take considering many factors. The situation then was very different because I had series of things holding me back. But I stood my ground and today that decision has paid off tremendously. The music industry is big and very complex for a new comer, but if you have what it takes to excel, don’t stop. Keep pushing very hard; it will only take a while before you begin to reap the hard work.
You have been in the industry for quite a long time, how close are you to actualising your dreams?
My brother, success is relative in life. We live in a world where you have to put in a lot of efforts to get to the top and when you finally get there, you have to continue working to uphold the position. I have set many goals, and the fact that I sleep and wake up to see the beauty of another morning is a success because it enables me keep believing that things can only get better.
If you have been around for seven years and you have not been able to conveniently make a mark in the industry, don’t you think there something you are not getting right?
I don’t understand what you mean by making a mark in the industry. This industry is big and I don’t believe I don’t have to blow my trumpet out of proportion. The works I have done over the years, despite my few years in the industry are still there for people to see and watch over and over again. I take blame if you say my name is not known, my name is known in the industry because I have worked with great musicians in the industry. I agree with you, if you say the name is not so powerful like others, but believe me, I’m like a gentle lion waiting patiently for the right time to strike.
You talked about great musicians that you have worked with, could you mention few?
I have worked with a whole lot of them, I really don’t like to mention names but to answer your question, I would mention few of them, Bracket, flavour, 2face, kelly handsome ,P Square, Charlyboy, Ursla Ice, Stormrex, Nani boi, Mr raw, Desperate, Chiks, Soul e, Black face, Jay Oliver and many others.
What kind of work did you do for them, do you write their songs for them or what?
Like I said earlier, I’m a song writer and a music producer. I have produced and written songs for a whole lot of them. Let’s just leave it like that for now.
What does it take to work with these big guys, how do you manage their egos?
First of all, I’m not their manager, I don’t manage them. I’m a professional music producer who has distinguished himself as one that could be reckoned with anytime. To be sincere, I have seen the good and the bad sides of these guys but I had always held on to the belief that something good would come out of working with them. I've been hated, mocked and praised for my works, but in all, it has helped me get to where I am today. Working with them is very easy, I tell them what I want and how I want things to be done, if you don’t like it, you can leave. Let me tell you, if you form big boy for me, I will work out on you. All the guys that I have worked with know what they want from me, so they have no reason for unnecessary or over bloated ego.
You produced Bracket’s Yori Yori, what has been happening to you guys, is it true that you guys are no more together?
I am still working with Bracket till date. They are good guys who will continue to rule the industry for a long time. I love their concept and style of music. I know it was God that connected us together. I never stopped working with them. We have done a whole lot of stuffs together and things have not changed.
What of P Square?
P Square only featured Bracket in their album and that was when we worked together.
Is it true that P Square is the richest in the industry?
I can't say if they are the richest in the industry but I know they are rich and very comfortable.
I have seen you on many occasions with Charly boy, are you planning anything together?
Yes that is very correct. Charlyboy is like my father and friend. What I do for him is more than been a father of friend. He has been one big part of my life for a very long time and he has influenced my life and career immensely. He has done what anybody in the industry can do for me as far as my career is concerned, so I owe him a lot.
You recently relocated to Lagos from Abuja, what brought you to Lagos?
I just decided to relocate to Lagos because I felt the need for a change of environment. My time was up in Abuja and I decided to come down to Lagos. You never know until you have a feel of what Lagos is all about, the industry is big here and you have to be very serious to compete with what you have met on ground. I’m just here to see what Lagos has to offer.
Lagos is a different terrain, how sure are you that you have taken the right decision?
I am not new in the industry. I have been in the industry for over a decade. I know how things work here. There is always a new thing to work on in Lagos and it won’t affect me in any way. It is just a change of environment not a change of career. I have a lot of friends here and have been for some time now, so things are gradually taking the right shape for me and my career.
What is your strongest point?
When life knocks you down and you have no place to go. You are left with two options; going up or remaining at the point you are. When I started in the industry, I did Chinweike, it was crazy because I was poor and I kept going on. Even when I lost my dad, I thought my end has come; I was as broke as hell. Today, I am a very big boy doing my thing. All I’m praying for is that God should give me more; so that I can help my brothers get to the top.
Your comment on Nigeria’s music industry?
We’ve come a long way, and we’ve done well for ourselves. Good songs, great productions and wonderful videos have become the hallmark of Nigerian music to the extent that we now have international recognition and label signings. It is plain to see that there have been changes in the industry. You can also be sure that things will get better if the government lives up to its promise of paying more attention to the entertainment industry. Many have said it could be bigger than oil if well harnessed, and can create more jobs for many youths. But I will say we are not there yet, we are only on the way to the summit.
culled from www.tribune.com.ng