With three albums and a lifetime of collaborations, Wizkid is Africa’s most celebrated pop artist at the moment. And one man that understands him is producer Sarz who has been instrumental in crafting big records for him.
Sarz, who is one of Africa’s best hitmakers, has helmed some of Wizkid’s biggest songs spanning two albums, (“Joy (Ayo)” and “Sounds From The Other Side”.) His production credits stretch as far as Wizzy’s collaborations with Drake. He is the solo producer of the smash hit, ‘Come closer.’
The producer was a guest on an episode of Pulse’s “Loose Talk” podcast, and he shared some interesting stories about Wizkid’s work process, and how he loves to arrange the music. Turns out he has had fights with Wizkid over the arrangement of the music.
We have edited and condensed parts of the interview below.
How They Met
We have had too many fights. For example there was a song on “Ayo” album called Kilofe. When I made that track in 2012, he recorded it. Maleek Berry added some strings. But I wanted to do it myself and Wizkid agreed. I got the vocals and got creative, and I almost changed the beat entirely. Wizkid heard it and said he doesn’t like it. He said he wanted the old version. I didn’t want to change it, and so we had an argument, and he was said if I wasn’t changing it, he wasn’t doing it. He was so attached to that song, and we stopped talking.
‘Beat Of Life’
With ‘Beat Of Life’, we also had issues.
I made the song, and played it to many people. At that time no one was fusing House and African music. I played it to many people, and they don’t know what’s going on. Wizkid was the only person that heard it and said he was going to do it. At that point he wanted the song, and I also wanted the song, and he was like ‘cool, when are you going to release it?
Fast-forward to when I was ready to mix it. First, there are two versions of the song. There’s a version where it just starts with Wizkid, and the version that had ‘Sarz on the beat’. The former was how Wizkid recorded it. Then I arranged it and put that ‘Sarz on the beat’ tag in fornt, and made it sound like a DJ song.
I arranged that and played it to Wizkid. He said he didn’t like it, that it takes everything away from the song, it makes it sound like a DJ song. At this point, if it wans’t for eLDee, I would have gone with Wizkid. I was willing to give it up because I didn’t want a situation where the song comes out and he doesn’t want to associate with it. But eLDee advised me, and told me that it was the only way I was going to cement my name. That’s why we released that one as the official one. But for some reason, the other version got leaked before the official one came out. Because of that we also stopped talking for a bit.
But now we have been through so much that there’s really nothing that can make us stop talking. We understand each other. He also says that when I make my music, he never questions what I do. If he likes it, he likes it for what I do. He also said, anytime he does stuff, doesn’t it work at the end of the day? So why are you questioning me?