Producer Speak: Chopstix On His Wizard Machine
Ms. Anyiko Owoko | NEWS | 30 December, 2015
The acclaimed Nigerian producer Chopstix returned to Coke Studio Africa for the second time this year, producing mash ups between his long-term collaborator Nigerian rapper Ice Prince and Mozambican rap goddess Dama Do Bling.
Amidst his busy schedule, I caught up with him in Lagos Island. He is ecstatic about his involvement in the third season. He still hasn’t watched his own Coke Studio Africa showcase.
“All my life, I’ve only watched myself on TV only three times,” he notes, before sharing his showcase on his Twitter and Instagram page, adding, “The showcase segment honestly gave producers a platform to show what they are worth. I am actually watching myself and I love it!”
Chopstix is happy that season III producers have more power and spotlight. They have singlehandedly picked music from artiste duos and made mash ups that the Coke Studio Africa house band, and musicians would later perform.
Chopstix is one of the few producers of the season who was already playing with the new mash up format.
“I have been mashing up songs I love and uploading them on Soundcloud for a long time. When I was called by Coke Studio Africa I thought it was a wonderful match because this is what I always wanted to showcase. This was actually the first time I performed my mash up on any platform.”
On working with Ice and Dama, he says: “I love experimenting and I don’t like to categorize myself on a particular genre. I just love to mix. I Ioved the fact it was challenging—I can break Ice’s sound into pieces. [However], I needed to listen and understand Dama’s songs and find a common ground to fuse it with Ice’s.”
Chopstix is extremely happy with how the Coke Studio Africa house band interpreted his mash ups.
“Guys at Coke Studio are actually professionals, they go through your sound once and they grab and understand it. They made my job a lot easier.”
You must have seen Chopstix playing a cool instrument on his showcase. “The MPC Drum machine is a drum machine used in live performance and production. One of my biggest role models is USA Hip-Hop producer DJ Premiere – that’s where I got it from, and even my name. He was the god of Hip-Hop production; I would follow his style so my friends called me the Chopper, before Chopstix. I would chop beats with the MPC Run just like him. I’ve been chopping up samples and assigning them to cue into making music since. There is a new MPC Drum that I wanna buy but its so… expensive! But it’s worth it – I am gonna get it.”
Chopstix is already producing a Dama Do Bling song, and has started working on his collaboration album with another top Nigerian producer – set for release in 2016.
“I am spreading out my wings,” is his parting shot.
Ms. Anyiko Owoko
Anyiko Owoko is a Media Personality. TV Host, Grapevine (KBC TV)/ Freelance Writer/Editor & Sauti Sol Band Publicist/ PR Agent.