Leriq – The Sound Engineer
Music is undoubtedly the soundtrack to our lives. Although we are often more familiar with the artists who deliver the performance and give the music its personality, we can’t forget to credit the groundwork and skill of the composers, the songwriters and of course the producers. While overall performance is key, the composition of sound and melody is the first step to creating music, without it music is just words.
Eric Isaac Utere also known as LeriQ describes himself as a “music producer and sound engineer”. Although he has always been signed to Aristocrat records, LeriQ also signed a deal with Sony Music West Africa in July 2015.
His work first hit mainstream when he produced Burna Boy’s Like to Party in 2012. In his most recent album Lost for Words he worked with the likes of Wizkid, Dammy Krane, 2face Idibia, and Wande Coal to mention a few.
Recently, LeriQ is tapping into his talent not only as a producer but taking on singing full time. Guardian Life had a short chat with the promising producer on his upcoming album as well as his transition from producing to singing.
How did you initially become interested in music? Was this the career path you planned?
My interest in music started off with me downloading music making software when the Internet was relatively new to me. I downloaded the software, explored the different sound kits it came with and not too long after, I started making music. As time went on, I realised it was something I really enjoyed and made me happy so I decided to make a career out of it. Originally, I wanted to play basketball but here we are.
Give us a slight breakdown of your thought process when you come up with new music?
Tough question! I usually start by playing any melody that comes to mind with the goal of creating a new and fresh sound while maintaining my signature element. I take all of this into consideration as I develop that melody. I keep building on that melody until I feel it’s ready to be heard.
What has been your unforgettable musical memory so far?
As a music producer, it was certainly at the start of my career on one of the occasions where I played a new instrumental I had just worked on for my friends in a car and it did not sound too great. Ha-ha! I felt so bad about that.
Do your life experiences or background have anything to do with your work?
A simple answer is yes. For me music is an expression of feelings and my life experiences certainly affects those feelings, and how I channel these expressions through music is key.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
So far, I’ve worked with very talented artists that I have enjoyed the music making process with them. In the future I’d like to work with Rihanna, Jay Z and J Cole. I feel like we’ll have great chemistry in the studio and put together great music projects.
What should your fans look forward to this year…any exciting stuff coming up?
It’s going to be a good year for my fans. I have an E.P in the works and I’ll soon start putting out singles from my sophomore album and yes, there will be more of LeriQ singing on the next album as demanded by my fans.
What prompted the transition from producing to singing?
It is really not a transition for me because I’ve been singing for quite a while now, I just want my fans to get to know another side of me.
Will you be producing your music as well? Or working with other producers?
Yes I will be producing my own music of course as (I only work with the best), but I’ll definitely feature on tracks produced by other producers.
What are the challenges faced being an artist versus a producer?
I think one of my major challenges is being comfortable with how my voice sounds. It’s kind of weird but I’m just beginning to get comfortable with it.
Interesting facts about yourself, especially relating to your work?
I spend a lot of my time in the studio. I usually don’t stop playing the first loop when I’m working on an instrumental until I’m done building on it… at least for that day.