After producing the beat to hit songs such as ‘Jealous’ by Fireboy, ‘Sope’ by Mayorkun, ‘Pa won’ by Olamide, ‘Dangerous love’ by Tiwa Savage, ‘Azaman’ by Slimcase, Cracker Mallo is regarded as one of the best in music production on the continent. The award-winning producer, singer and songwriter, born Ayodeji Olowu, speaks with SEGUN ADEBAYO on his rise to stardom, his experience working with music stars and his personal music project, among other issues. Excerpts:
How did the journey into music generally start for you?
I started as a disc jockey in secondary school, just for fun. It was not in a professional capacity. I dabbled into production out of curiosity and then I got hooked. This happened in the summer of 2012. When I started producing, I was clueless on how to navigate the software. It took me a while to figure out the controls. It was difficult but exciting. I was relentless with it and didn’t stop trying. Eventually, I got my big break with ‘Issa Banger’ by D’banj featuring Slim case and Mr Real.
You’ve gone on to produce for Olamide, D’banj, Tiwa Savage, and the rest. How has it been being in the limelight?
It has been an amazing ride so far for me. There have been a lot of unpredicted opportunities and blessings. I’ve worked with these amazing people who let me express my sound comfortably and made me feel appreciated.
As a producer, do you have a favourite genre?
It is no other than Afrobeats.
You produced one of the biggest singles in 2019, ‘Jealous’ for Fireboy. How was the experience?
It was really rewarding for me to know that people actually felt the same way I’ve always felt about my music. Also, I felt some sort of relief and confidence with my team that we could do even better. It was incredible. Although the attention makes me feel a little awkward sometimes, I’m getting used to it.
Having worked with a lot of artistes in the past 2 years, which project has been the most challenging for you?
That would be ‘Feel’ for Fireboy DML. That’s just because mentally we had a particular type of emotion we were looking to achieve with the track.
You seem to have a strong relationship with Fireboy DML. Could you shed more light on the camaraderie between you two?
We met at a recording camp for Ric Hassani. The next time we met was the day we made ‘Jealous’. We really just wanted to create good music with no specific goal in mind. He has a genuine love for the craft. He has a calm and humble personality so it is good vibes whenever we link up, even with the rest of our team.
You have the credit for Tiwa Savage’s ‘Dangerous love’. How was the experience working with her?
We were at the camp for her album. I got there that night unprepared with the saund. Once I settled in I started creating the saund. She came through after a while and she totally loved what I created.
You have a new single out with Fireboy DML “Wickedest Whyne”. Tell us about it.
I made the song about a year ago, on the same night we made ‘Pa won’ for Olamide. It had always been one of our favourite songs and recently we decided to put it out.
What should fans expect from you soon?
Apart from the EP, ‘A friendly Introduction to SAUND’ which is loading, they should also expect more collaborations. An album might even come after the EP.
Out of the songs you have produced, do you have a favourite?
Yes. I happen to have one, ‘In a jiffy’ by Cracker Mallo, because it’s my story.
How did you come by your moniker, Cracker Mallo?
The name was derived from two separate names ‘CrackerJack’ which means excellent and ‘Mallo’ a Hawaiian name which means victorious.
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