Barely a few months ago, during the Detty December, the yearly showbiz extravaganza across the country’s entertainment hotspots, two songs held the entire Nigerian showbiz scene down: Portable Omolami’s Zazoo (Zehh) and Reekado Banks’ Ozumba Mbadiwe. At the forefront of these moment-defining jams was the 20-year-old wunderkind, Peace Emmanuel Aderogba, better known as P.Priime.
While the young music maverick continues to soar as one of the country’s youngest and most sought-after music producers, one thing remains shocking about P.Priime’s radical artistry; with the music whiz, easy lies the head that wears the crown.
P.Priime rose through the ranks between the past five years, having waved his musical midas touch over some of the most impactful projects in the Nigerian music scene; from Olamide’s Carpe Diem, to Fireboy’s Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps, to Reekado Banks’ Off The Record Vol 2., to Wizkid’s Grammy-nominated Made In Lagos, Teni’s Wondaland, Zlatan’s Resan, among many others.
From a humble teenager with a mind full of ideas to a young adult with his eyes set for the world, P.Priime’s artistry has definitely been one marked with the most remarkable growth for decades.
Earlier this year, P.Priime added one more historic feat to his name; he produced a core of the veteran Asa’s latest studio album dubbed, V. And, for the first time, in her career the ‘Queen of Soul’ tapped into a more contemporary alternative sound style, allowing P.Priime to finesse her vintage voice with a new modern and alternative appeal.
With several more accolades down to his name, P.Priime continues to remain a beacon of hope for young Nigerian music producers. And in this chat with Guardian Music, he chronicles some of his biggest landmark moments, detailing the adventures behind them, as well as shedding light on his creative process, and many more.
You have had an impressive career. How does it feel seeing it all come full-circle?
WHAT I actually feel is gratitude, in all honesty. I know how long it took to get to where I am right now. It is really crazy.
Do you consider Asa’s new album to be the biggest project you have ever worked on?
I feel like all the projects I have actually worked on are all big in their own lane; so in that lane, it is. Other projects I have worked on are all big in their own lanes. It is not a political answer; it is the truth.
How did you start working with her?
I met Asa on a day I had a session with her and Fireboy. So, we went there together and I forgot my MIDI piano at her place. Then, her manager reached out to me and invited me over for another session, and also retrieved my MIDI piano. According to her, Asa was worried as to how I was going to produce and work without it. So, we had a session and ever since then we clicked.
So, you have produced for most of the biggest names in the industry, and you seem to be very versatile. How do you do it?
I grew up in the church, and I am still a musical instrumentalist. At the church, we learned to play different genres of music, because whenever you are singing praise and worship, you have to play normal ballads for worship, then switch to other melodies like funk and jazz and all of those. So, all of that built up in me and has helped me get to where I am in this present day. Music making comes easy to me, because I have had experience in that light.
You also had some form of training with Sarz. Did that help you build that range as well?
I have actually always been this versatile, in all honesty. Sarz Academy also did its bit, but I have always been this versatile.
Portable’s Zazoo (Zeh) record was the anthem of the whole Detty December. How did it come about?
So, Olamide hit me up on a Saturday night, sometime around 1 am. He was having a show in another state and he told me that I needed to link up with him as soon as possible. So, he was going to come pick me up from the airport and we would go get a place to work. Then, after I landed at where he was the next day, we met up. We started working on different songs.
He told me someone was coming. The next thing is I see them calling Poco Lee, asking about the guy. Then, Poco Lee arrived with Portable Omolami, and in my mind I was like ‘Oh my God. I hope this guy doesn’t have a song.’ The guy just couldn’t calm down. He was too excited to see Olamide, and he just kept on praising Olamide. He kept singing and trying to impress Olamide with his freestyle.
Then, Olamide asked him to sing the song that made them invite him over to the studio. So, he sang it. Olamide asked me if I could create a beat for it. Then, I built the beat from scratch. And in no time, we got Portable to record. And after that, Olamide did his verse. We made the song the next day and I think it dropped that night or the next night. Everything happened in three days.
So, was it spontaneous?
Yes, it happened ASAP! It was really great!
How did you feel working with Portable? Is he the most intense person you have ever worked with?
I mean, I was reluctant at first working with Portable that Sunday afternoon. Portable isn’t someone that if he reaches out to me personally, I would even answer him. However, while he was freestyling for Olamide, I heard some potential in his voice. I was even imagining him on something else other than what we were working on.
His voice is so powerful and commanding, and I feel with the right guidance, we could make magic out of it. So, I was reluctant at first, but I obviously could not say no to Olamide. So, we did that and it was all-good.
What’s your creative process like?
There is no one way to make melodies, to be very honest. I can either dream it or I can just randomly play it. I can get inspired by anything else; I could also sample.
Some producers prefer solitude. Some like crowds around them while working. What’s your own style?
I love women. Just have one beautiful woman around and I am good. My own life is not that hard.
What is the most challenging record you have ever had to create?
Hmmm, I really don’t know. I don’t know if I have had troubles with any song; I have enjoyed the process of making music. For me, music is not something that I can force. If I don’t feel it, I am not going to kill myself. All of the music I have ever worked on, I never found any of them difficult.
You are quite very young. Do you feel any pressure with being this young and highly sought after?
I am starting to feel it, but I have this belief that God would not actually give you something that you cannot handle. So, trust me, I am doing very well. There is a balance to everything.
Currently, who are your major influences in the industry?
Sarz, Diplo, Skrillex, and Jon Bellion.
So, Afrobeats is getting a lot of major traction right now. As one of the drivers of the sound, what do you think we can do to sustain this growth?
To be very honest, let them just keep growing at this pace. Whatever it is that is making them grow like this, they should keep doing it. They should keep putting out good music and being the good ambassadors of Afrobeats that they are.
Finally, tell us two things that people don’t really know about you…
I don’t think I am actually that complex. I think people don’t know that I love women. So, I am putting it out there now that I actually do. Then, I love playing table tennis as w