While breaking into the Nigerian music industry is one of the most difficult tasks imaginable, doing it while abroad presents a unique set of challenges, but Beat$byladi is blessed with the positives.
The 22 years old self-taught producer is battling the odds while attempting to break out. As he gradually makes his art visible to the Nigerian (and global) audience, he has collaborated with a number of new and established acts. On a chat with TXT, Beat$byladi bares it all—his dreams, aspirations, and journey.
TXT: Where did you grow up? Did your upbringing inform your career choice?
Beat$byLadi: I was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. I attended nursery school there before relocating to the United Kingdom to attend elementary school for some years. I relocated back to Nigeria to complete my primary and secondary education.
My upbringing slightly influenced my career choice. My dad bought a piano for me when I was 8 years old, and he taught me how to play. Ever since then, my affinity for playing musical instruments has grown. I became so accustomed to playing the piano that I started carrying it with me to the boarding house back in high school. My mom also bought me a violin when I was in high school. I used to know how to play it well, but right now I am rusty at it.
Throughout these years, I never knew I was going to become a music producer. My childhood dream was to become an airline pilot until 2016, when I stumbled upon a software called FL Studio on my friend’s laptop. It was at that point that I decided that I would become a music producer.
TXT: How does being in the diaspora affect your work?When did your music journey begin? Were there initial setbacks?
Beat$byLadi: My music production journey began in 2017 while I was in college. At first, I was trying to learn how to make beats and put sounds together. I was still figuring out a lot of things about what it takes to be a music producer. I didn’t have money to invest in my craft, so I barely had any studio equipment. I only had a laptop with the demo FL Studio software and some wired earphones. I was on and off with learning the craft. At a point, I gave up on learning music production until August 2019, when I made a serious decision to become dedicated to my craft and rise above any challenges that came my way.
I started earning some money and saved it to invest in my craft. Ever since 2019, I have been consistent with getting better as a music producer.
Being in the diaspora has affected my work in a very positive way. I have been privileged to network with a wider range of recording artists and producers. A lot of Nigerian artists travel around the world for shows and tours, so I have been able to network with some of them when I see them. The internet and social media have also been great ways for me to market myself as a producer, so being in the diaspora has not been an issue for me.
TXT: How did you learn about or get into production? Are you self-taught?
Beat$byLadi: I learned music production by watching YouTube tutorials made by my favorite music producers, who I look up to. Watching their tutorials helped me get better at my craft and helped me understand the music business. Asides from YouTube tutorials, I learned from my producer friends back in college.
TXT:Which musicians have you worked?
Beat$byLadi: I have worked with Rebelwav, Famous Bobson, RnB Princess, Muyiwa Frank, DAMY, Ho$ana, and other various upcoming artists.
TXT: Which producer’s work resonates with you the most?
Beat$byLadi: JAE5, Juls, and Sarz are the producers I look up to the most. Their work is exceptional, and their consistency is inspiring. I hope to collaborate and work with them some day.
TXT: Is there an artiste you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity to work with?
Beat$byLadi: I would like to work with Victony. I like his sound and his sonic identity. I feel like his vocals will fit perfectly with the type of sound I produce.
I would also like to work with Burna Boy. He is a very talented and versatile artist that can do justice to any type of instrumental given to him.
TXT: Who did you listen to growing up? Who is your greatest musical influence?
Beat$byLadi: I listened to a lot of rap music while growing up, which made me develop an interest in also producing rap music. J. Cole was one of my early production influences. Apart from being a great rapper, he is also an outstanding producer who has self-produced most of the songs in his discography. Watching videos of the production process was always inspiring to me. Kanye West was also an early production influence. I learned the art of sampling music from watching videos of his production process.
TXT: What inspires your creativity?
Beat$byLadi: I get inspired by anything, depending on the mood, situation, and personal experiences. Sometimes, if I feel energetic and in a great mood, I produce happy, danceable music. If I am in a calm mood or I am feeling emotional about an experience, I produce calm, emotional music.
TXT: What is the process of your production? Is there any ritual you do before you start working or while working?
Beat$byLadi: Most times, I say a quick prayer before production to ask God to expand my creativity skills. I also like producing music either early in the morning or late at night after dinner in an indoor environment.
TXT: The music business can be hectic and chaotic at time, how do you unwind?
Beat$byLadi: In recent years, I have learned the importance of time management and energy management. I have learned how to manage my energy levels so that I will not feel overwhelmed or burned out. I plan and keep a schedule of things I need to do in a day.
If I have a creative block, I suspend doing anything music-related and go have fun outside with friends and family, then return later to it.
TXT: What is the biggest life change since you became a producer? What would you do differently?
Beat$byLadi: Being a producer has helped me become more mature and a better person overall. Apart from being good at my craft, I have become very good at customer service, networking, and building relationships and friendships with artists, A&Rs, DJs, and other producers.
I have understood the importance of having a good attitude and treating people nicely in order to become a successful creative.
TXT: What has your entire experience in the industry taught you?
Beat$byLadi: I still have a lot of work to do in terms of working my way up to being an A-list record producer, but my little experience in the industry has taught me that I should be original and truthful in everything I do. It has also taught me that humility is key.
TXT: As an independent artist, how has the music hustle been in terms of finance? Would you want to be part of a label?
Beat$byLadi: As an independent producer, it is much more hectic to get the work done compared to being part of a label. I have had to handle my business all alone with little to no help.
Recently, I was able to get an upcoming talent manager who now handles some of my business. I am not really hustling to be a part of a label right now, but if the opportunity presents itself to me and it turns out to be a great contract, then I will accept it.
TXT: What’s one trend in music that you wish would die off?
Beat$byLadi: One trend I wish could die off is the 3rd party music websites that buy artists’ music from iTunes and upload it on their websites to allow music fans to download it for free. It robs the creator of the music the opportunity to make a potentially large income from streams.
TXT: Aside from music, what other things are you passionate about?
Beat$byLadi: Apart from music, I am passionate about playing video games, hanging out with friends, watching movies, traveling, and going to the gym.
TXT: Give us some tea, any interesting collaborations we should know about?
Beat$byLadi: I have some collaborations and artist projects that I am working on. My next release as a producer features a Ghanaian-based artist called Izzik.
TXT: What’s the best Nigerian album you’ve heard this year?
Beat$byLadi: In 2022, my favorite Nigerian albums are “Playboy” by Fireboy DML, “Mr. Money with the Vibe” by Asake, and “Love Damini” by Burna Boy. I have been listening to those albums a lot this year.
TXT: What’s next for you?
Beat$byLadi: By God’s grace, I will continue to work on my craft, be consistent, build connections, and do everything I need to do to have a successful, long-lasting career.