INTERVIEW: Donnyace: Nigeria’s new Afrobeats star

Donny Ace
Donny Ace

By Preye Campbell

You have heard names like Sarz, Don Jazzy, Pheelz, Legendury Beats, and a host of Nigeria’s finest music producers. It shouldn’t come as much surprise to add a budding explosive music producer on that rich list. This is the story of Nigerian music producer, Taiwo Ogunsanya, popularly known as Donnyace, set for the rise and ready to fill our ears in the coming years with his brand.

In this exclusive, no-holds-barred interview with Preye Campbell, Donnyace takes us through his world and what we are set to expect. Enjoy excerpts:

Who is Donnyace?

My name is Taiwo Adebiyi Joseph Ogunsanya, professionally known as Donny Ace. I am a twin. Donny Ace is a Nigerian music producer born in Lagos and based in Georgia. I was born on July 12. Just like many other similar stories, I found myself loving music and forging my career at a young age. I was just 16, and at age 17, I was already playing  the drums, then I learnt how to play the talking drum. I am also skilled at videography and film making.

Why did you choose music production as your pique of interest?

I believe it is just me deriving this unexplainable joy and feeling when I make beats or do music generally.

Why have you decided to delve into music production?

My passion started from playing drums in church. I used to have a rapper friend whom I got good vibes from. With him on board and with my experience of playing drums, we tried to create nice sounds with some mobile apps.

Then, when I got back from school, I met with my cousin, who linked me up with his friend that makes beats, who then taught me the basic things on FL Studio. I started learning things myself, practicing, having a lot of sleepless nights till date. That was how I found my passion.

How would you describe your sound?

I consider myself an afrobeat producer, although, I am open to other genres. Most times, I get inspired by music around me, whether it’s the background music in movies, or people singing on the streets. I usually create beats without the artiste’s melody because they are input. I also tap into the sounds of Nigerian producers like Sarz, I.D. Cabasa, Kiddominant, Jaychords, Pheelz. I also consider the artistes; artistes like DaGrin, D’Banj, Olamide, Davido.

How do you plan to forge an excellent career for yourself in perhaps, Nigeria’s biggest and most talented industry?

I have been dropping free beats online for next-generation artistes and I have a project on the works where I will feature some of these next-generation artistes and maybe some known artistes. I am trying to create a network among fast and rising artistes, so I can put my work out there and also, so they can be heard as well. Certainly, it is a process I believe in.

How long have you been abroad and does that in any way affect your sound?

I have been abroad for 5 years now and sure, that has somehow affected my sound because I always add some foreign melodies to my Afrobeats.

Having tasted both sounds then, what are your comparisons?

Afrobeat is getting diverse these days so you cannot really say one is better than the other. But, I can tell you that Nigerian producers are really doing an amazing job coming up with unique sounds. Trust me, it is not easy to develop a consistent brand.

Do you have any worries or anxiety?

Yes, I do and it is simply about getting famous without having money. Of course, I want my name to be out there, I want my craft to be used everywhere, I’m definitely willing to tale things step by step but the industry has a lot of people who like free stuffs. They use your beats, but they don’t pay you or they pay peanuts while they get a lot of royalties from it. Most times, the producers are always left out but I believe with constant hard work and God’s grace, doors will open.

Do you get any pressure from artistes, especially if they are unsure as to what you can offer?

Yes. Most times, they ask who I have worked with. The thing is that next-gen artistes want to work with famous producers they cannot afford. In the process, they ignore the talented producers that will give them a unique sound.

How do you then turn their attention to you or should I say, next-gen producers as well?

Well, I can only speak for myself. As much as I also aspire to work with the big artistes, I think I can channel most of my energy on next-generation artistes because the famous ones all started from somewhere. I can imagine two talented heads working together with the same goals.

What do you do asides your entertainment quality?

I am a Medical student. I also do graphic design. I have a joint company with my twin, where we work with software applications like  Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and others to help professionals and Fresh idea starters build an audience and get more Digital showcase.

What goals have you set for yourself?

I want to be successful in my medical career and also be a successful record producer.

Who inspires you to be Donnyace?

People around me. From close friends to my parents and my spiritual fathers like Pastor Folabi Solomons, Pastor Sam Adeyemi. I always follow Pastor Adeyemi’s online seminars. My biggest motivational speaker is Dr. Israel Ogundairo.

In the music industry. The likes of Don Jazzy, Adekunle Gold, 9ice, Psquare, Sarz, have all inspired me. Then there is PartyNextDoor from the United States of America.

When a song becomes a hit, it becomes the norm for people not to pay attention to the producer. Does that mean anything to you as a producer?

Yes. That is why most times, I do not joke with references on any project I work on. Not giving credit to me as a producer will not kill my motivation so it won’t stop on a one-hit track, I will continue to work till my brand is well recognized.

What will Donnyace be in the next five years?
A: In five years’ time, I should be done with Medical School by God’s grace and I should have achieved more than half of my goals.

You can follow Donnyace on social media;

TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Listen to Donnyace’s latest release BORN TO LOVE on major platforms;

Fanlink, Google, and YouTube.