Music in Ghana is growing fast even though there some few setbacks here and there… The presence of producers in the music scene plays an important role in the whole process. The producer contributes about 70% in the making of the song…
Itz CJ is a talented and fast rising music producer who is respected for his continuous growth of his production skills. He produced the maiden edition of our recent #Big6Cypher and many other songs you may probably have on your playlist.
We had the opportunity to have a short conversation with him and below is what we talked about….
LSGH: Good evening Itz CJ
ITZ CJ: Goodevening sir
LSGH: Thanks for honouring our request for this interview
Itz CJ: You are welcome
LSGH: Can you tell us your real name and where you come from?
Itz CJ: Abraham Alla Adjetey lomo Is my name And i come from LA Also known as Labadi.
LSGH: Can you tells a bit about yourself? Who you are and how you relate to others. An introvert? Extrovert?
Itz CJ: Am a music producer and a sound engineer… Cj is a hardworking person.. I always like to study ahead of time when its comes my music career. Am an introvert, The shy type, I basically dont know how to socialize and always in my shells… If you don’t know me personally, your perception about me will be he is “TooKnown“…
LSGH: Interesting… So how did the whole music production thing started?
Itz CJ: Music Production was something I had passion for since I was 15yrs. My big brother introduced me to sounds. He was at that time building his own speakers and I used to help. We built speakers till we had a “spinning” set…
I then became a DJ or a “Spinner” as they say it. I Play songs at funerals, weddings, parties and all that. I gradually dropped music and went into video production.. That is when I started using sound effects which introduced me to FL studio a beat making software.
I started this with my friends Remedy and Qhrash way back in SHS 1 (Senior High School 1). We use to do music in our dorms with the aid of a laptop and headset with a goose neck microphone. Basically, That’s where i started this whole music thing.
I met one guy called Senkye Who introduced me well to another software called Cubase. He thought me a lot about auto-tuning and other techniques… This is how I started…
LSGH: Thats awesome! Does your brother still build Speakers?
Itz CJ: He stopped and got into politics… But for me, I still want be in my sound zone…
LSGH: Interesting… Who was the first artist you did a production for?
Itz CJ: Mainstream or underground
LSGH: Both. The first person you did a production for… The first song you produced. If i may say so.
Itz CJ: ( LAUGHS ) The first production I did was The cover of R2bees “I Dey Mad”… I had this Twi rapper called Xray and He was the first I recorded.
LSGH: Did you reproduced the beat or you had the original beat and just had Xray put his verses on it?
Itz CJ: I reproduced the beat. Those times u have to reproduce the beat. I still have my version of that beat
LSGH: We would love to listen to it sometime… But which year was it?
Itz CJ: Somewhere around January 2009
LSGH: Which genre are you specialized in?
Itz CJ: I don’t want to say I do all genre but all I need is a sample of a particular genre and i can work in there. But for now, I’m focused on RnB, Hiphop, Raggae/Dancehall, Ballad, Afropop, Hiplife, Uptempo…
LSGH: If you should choose just one genre, which one would it be?
Itz CJ: Afropop, Afrobeats
LSGH: From all the songs you ever produced, which of them can you say you are very proud of?
Itz CJ: Ennwai – IDoYawa
LSGH: Why is this?
Itz CJ: I didn’t choose that song because its making waves… I’m proud of all my works but more proud of “IDoyawa” because That song was on AmPluzz some days ago for judgment and they barely heard production flaws. The pundits were all bigging me up including Wei y3 Oteng who is one of Ghana’s top producers, was amazed with the work input.
My personal DJ known as DJ buggatti called me and was like itzCJ “the Song dey play waaa”… So that’s why…
LSGH: Well, I believe if any other song you produced should be on Judgment board, it will receive same positive remarks… Or you think you did put in more for “I do Yawa” than any of your previous productions?
Itz CJ: I was learning on some new ways to make my music sound Good. I tried it on i Do Yawa and surprisingly the results were great! Soo any song after i do yawa will receive those positive remarks.
LSGH: That’s great! We look forward to more top-notch productions. So CJ how many mainstream artists have you worked with?
Itz CJ: Errrrm 6… I can’t remember
LSGH: Can you remember some names?
Itz CJ: Yes… Yaa pono, Tic Tac, Samini, Ayigbe Edem, Kofi kinaata, 5five, Ennwai.
LSGH: Those are big names in the music scene… Is it difficult to get artists like these to work with?
Itz CJ: Very difficult getting these mainstream artists. You make a special beat, send to them, and they are also looking elsewhere to work with big or famous producers. Some see it as you want to ride on their fame. That’s Ghana for you. But Blow up today and all those artists will run to you. But only few mainstream artists like to work with up and coming producers
LSGH: If you should point out a mainstream artist to work with, who would it be?
Itz CJ: One main stream
LSGH: Yes… One mainstream artist
Itz CJ: Stonebwoy
LSGH: Any specific reason?
Itz CJ: No reason. I like his kind of music and I can work very well in that genre… I listen to him a lot as well..
LSGH: A fan of Stonebwoy?
Itz CJ: Not really, but I love his songs… Dont really know what it takes to be a fan; but i just like his music… I listen to wide range of music as a producer.
LSGH: Understood! Music production in Ghana… Is it paying well? Or you invest more than you earn?
Itz CJ: Thats it! You invest more than you earn… Music production in Ghana doesn’t pay.
LSGH: Do you have any idea why it’s this way?
Itz CJ: Yes… First of all, mainstream artists don’t pay… Secondly, anyone who fails to go to school jumps into music as an artist or producer. At the end of the day we have so many underground artists asking for free beats because they can’t fund themselves.
Main stream working with upcoming producer is like He is giving you shine so its a barter trade.
LSGH: This must be a tough business… If you should choose Fame, Money, and Respect, which one will you go for?
Itz CJ: (LAUGHS) I will Go for money… With money Respect is earned. Fame comes when money is available. The only true medium of exchange
LSGH: (LAUGHS) Great! Do you have any upcoming projects?
Itz CJ: Errrmm yes… There are Upcoming projects but I would love to keep them away from the public for now. It should be kept secret till they are out.
LSGH: We pray Loud Sound Ghana will be the first to break the news.
Itz CJ: Yes ofcourse
LSGH: Since you have been working with the upcoming artists a lot, do you have any advice for them?
Itz CJ: The only advice i have for them is.. Respect the Producer because working as a producer is not easy… Putting crazy things together to make up a beat for you to use is worth a great respect… And also they should respect all promoters and bloggers because, without these people, your music is stuck in your mind.
LSGH: Well said! Before we round up this interview, can you tell us how people can locate or reach you? And also shouts to few people…
I will like to give shouts to… Kwab Tanson of Raphouse Records. He took me into his house and also gave me a studio to build my career… Shouts to DeepBeats, He made me learn a lot in his studio.
Shouts to Unklebeats He also thought me a lot when no one did… Shouts to klu. He encouraged me to work hard. Shouts to loudsoundGH. They also helped me promote my works. Shouts to Pressurebois and my Boss Tic Tac For putting me on his label.
LSGH: TN records?
Itz CJ: Yes
LSGH: Wow thats great! Good to know!
Itz CJ: The deal about the label will be officially open to the public soon with all paper works.
LSGH: We look forward to that as well… Thanks so much for your time CJ. We hope to have a conversation some other time again
Itz CJ: Thank you too
*******End Of Interview*******