Sarz and Lojay perfected the formula for an African Hit Song
When you hear the distinctive producer tag ‘Really‘ at the beginning of a song, you know you are about to embark on a musical rollercoaster that will undoubtedly be the best three minutes of your life. Nigerian record producer and musician popularly known as Sarz has produced anthems with some of the world’s biggest names in music, including Niniola, Drake, Skepta, and Beyonce. From his first single, ‘Beat Of Life (Samba)‘, which featured Nigerian superstar Wizkid, to ‘Mad‘, which featured Atlanta-based Nigerian singer Wurld, and countless more production credits to his name, Sarz has created cultural reset moments that pushed the bounds of Afro-fusion sounds.
Despite being a new face, Lojay is no stranger to the game. His earlier releases, ‘Ariel‘ in 2019 and ‘Ogogoro‘ in 2020, reflect his Yoruba heritage in his musical style. His sound is a perfect mixture of seductive melodies and vocals that leave the listener craving for more. He has mastered the art of expressing genuine everyday feelings by using catchy phrases and concepts that strike a chord with his audience. Sarz’s signature production meshes contemporary Afrobeats with Hip-Hop and sultry R&B elements on the ‘LV N ATTN‘ EP, which features Lojay’s exquisite vocals. It was fascinating to discover that what started as a meeting between the two acts to collaborate on a single song, morphed into a three-month boot camp in Lagos, where the explosive single ‘Tonongo’ and the entire body of work were born.
Last year’s lockdown provided the duo the with the opportunity to develop fresh ideas, leading to the creation of a sultry 5-track EP that draws you in from the first song through to the last, ‘Monalisa’. The steamy title track, ‘LV N ATTN’, features vocals from Grammy Award-winning Starboy, Wizkid, while my current fave ‘Panty’, is the ultimate Afro-fusion strip song. Lojay revealed that the project would take listeners on a sonic voyage highlighting feelings that effortlessly transition from love to lust. A testament to his determination to persevere through his own difficult times during the beginnings of the pandemic last year.
We had a fun chat with superstar Lojay:
A little background, who is Lojay?
Lojay is an Afro-fusion artist from Lagos, Nigeria, with a unique tone and an immense love for his art.
You define your sound as afrobeats with a unique vibe. What is that “unique vibe”?
The unique vibe is me; my touch, experiences, influences, and a sprinkle of Lojay, which I bring to every song.
I think you are a superstar! Your Yoruba heritage and experiences play a significant role in your sonic style, and I loveee it! But that’s me. Why should other people pay attention?
Cause I’m taking Afrobeats to places it’s never been before, and it’s going to be a beautiful journey to watch!
What drew you to Sarz as a collaborator for this project: ‘LV N ATTN’?
Sarz always understands the assignment, lol. He’s the greatest Afrobeats producer of our generation, so it was a very easy yes when the chance came.
What is the most fun you have had making the songs for this project? Which song was the most challenging to write?
The most fun was probably ‘Park x3’ – I literally intended to have fun with it and not overthink, and that’s exactly what happened. ‘Monalisa’ took the longest to finish, so I guess we can classify that as most challenging, I guess.
This EP FEATURES collaboratIONS with some of the biggest names in music. Were you at any point intimated by how much of a big deal THAT is? AND What has been the highest point of your journey as a musician so far?
The first few days of working with Sarz had me nervous, lol. I guess I was just overwhelmed initially, then I got comfortable and the hits just started rolling in. The highest point so far was probably the Wiz session. He’s someone I respect a lot so being in the same studio as him and cutting up records was an absolute blessing.
I love your earlier singles ‘ArieL’ and ‘Ogogoro’. Did those songs in any way shape your creative direction for this project? AND What collaborations should we be excited about next?
I believe my previous songs sort of show an intentional progression in my craft. Every song was like a stepping stone to where I am now. I prefer to surprise people with collaborations, lol.
We’d love some insight into your hit-making formula; can you break down the songwriting / creative process? Where do you get your ideas? Any tips?
I honestly just feel and sing. Wherever my head is when I hear the beat, is what the song will most likely be about.
This question is a 3-in-1; what is your most significant career goal? Dream stage to perform on? Dream collaboration?
Career goal – To play a 50k capacity (stadium) show in a country Afrobeats hasn’t covered yet. Like Japan or Russia.
Dream Stage – Madison Square Garden
Dream Collab – Drake
What three hacks would you give to other creatives starting in music?
Learn how to produce. It improves productivity. Speak your truth, and take your time on each song.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt this year?
The biggest lesson has been Intention.
Talking or texting?
You have a weekend free; how does Lojay relax?
Pancakes in the morning, movies in the afternoon, clubbing at night, lol.
What’s your favourite word? Least favourite?
Yes and No, respectively.
What’s the last thing you watched, and why did you choose to watch it?
A Quiet Place 2. I had no choice, lol, but I enjoyed it though
Stream LV N ATTN here: