Meet Vtek: Nigerian producer, musician changing the African music game with amazing productions/mixes
From getting a nomination alongside Angelique Kidjo for the 2022 Grammys Award for Best Global Album, to being the mixing/mastering brains behind countless Nigerian hit songs and albums, such as Kizz Daniel – Barnabas EP including Lie, Pour Me Water etc, Buju’s Sorry I’m Late EP, Adekunle Gold ft Davido – High, Wizkid, Adekunle Gold, Omah Lay, DJ Tunez – Pami – amongst many amazing projects, Victor Kpoudosu, better known as VTEK became the standard for making great music and guaranteed hit songs both in Nigeria and outside the shores of Africa. In this interview, VTEK talks about his music and more…
With a robust career pedigree of this nature, how would you describe your successes so far? My successes are a gift, an opportunity to be a valuable member of my community, in the arts and in life. I am happy with how far I have been able to come and the near and far future looks way more amazing.
Would you say your parent’s had a major influence on your career path? If yes, how?
The only contribution I can think about from my parents was that I grew up in a house where music flowed. I had access to all types of music and that allowed the fire to grow, and then, they let me do it when I started the journey. Of course, there was the initial resistance to the idea but very quickly, they could see that music was my calling.
Before shooting to limelight in 2013 with the production of P-Square’s hit song, ‘Personally’, what would you say was responsible for the delay?
By delay, you must mean the time it took for me to be noticed. Well, I was bubbling under for a long time. I was known as the young producer guy who was so amazing. In 2012, I met with P-Square and as you know, that is a huge platform to project me to the world. Funny enough ‘Personally’ announced me but the actual entry into the limelight came later.
You have worked with quite a number of African Legends (Non Nigerians). Can you describe your experience working with the likes of Angelique Kidjo & Awilo Longomba? Working with Awilo was so awesome. Unlike my work with Anqelique, I got to meet and relate with Awilo in person and it was game-changing for me. His humility in greatness rubbed off on me because here’s a man that you could call Africa’s Michael Jackson in my house in Iju (that year) just so we could work. Working with Angelique was phenomenal because it was the music that joined us rather than the face-to-face interaction. Nevertheless, I bagged my first Grammys nomination from it.
How did you eventually venture into movie production?
In the past, I had worked on a short film directed by Clarence Peters called ‘HEX’. I had always wanted to do movie soundtracks and score work so after that project, my big brother Capital Femi linked me to a movie director called Seyi Babatope, (Fine Wine, Mama Drama, Mamba’s Diamond) and we clicked instantly and the rest. Well, has been history. Right now, I have over 4 movies topping charts on Netflix and in the cinema.
Rumour has it that you’re working on your own musical project, would you like to shed light on this?
Most people who knew me from 2012 and further back knew me as Vtek Alhaji Chukwudi, then young dude on a song with DJ Vinnie, MODE 9 and Eedris Abdulkareem, called Bad guy Baller. Also, the guy on Eedris’s controversial song, ‘I Go Whooz You’, a song I featured in, produced, mixed and mastered. Most knew me as an artiste that could produce but I had to put that to the side for a few years to build on one aspect of me. Now that I have balanced in the industry, I am going to be bringing back VTEK the artist because that side was what got me here in the first place. I owe it to me.
So far, what are the career challenges you have had to grapple with & how did you overcome them? Number one challenge I faced was getting seen without having to compromise my core values. Then, it became a matter of transitioning from survival to thriving and now, I’m good.
What’s your philosophy about Life?
My philosophy is there is a God and there is a grand scheme within which all things we do unravels so I live in the present, learn from the past and build the future I want. No limitation is a limitation enough to stop me from thriving and having a great time at it. Family is important to me so I always find time in the busy schedule to chill and reminisce. Then, I am pro-lift others up. We must look past our own desires and see that our every action and inaction directly affects lives.
When do you plan to retire from making music? This one is simple. I can’t retire from breathing until God calls me back to home base and so, music is going to be my thing fi life. I am a child of the arts. I am for all things art and so, we out here for the long run.
What are your happiest, saddest moments in life?
Happiest moment in my life, between realising that God loves me (for real, for real) and marrying my better half, it’s a close contest. My Saddest moment was when my mum passed on over ten years ago. By far, the worst thing that has happened to me but God has replaced that grief with so many happy moments; I can’t even feel the pain of the loss.