Producer Speak: Sketchy Bongo on how to pimp your career

“I am not the best producer in Africa, it’s just that I am one of the best marketed producers,” says top South African music producer Sketchy Bongo, who has got a new album out titled “Unmasked”. Sketchy says that for the rest of the year he is working on shooting the album’s music videos and touring across several countries including Botswana and Nigeria.

“I would also love to have shows in Nairobi – I love this place.”

Speaking on his independent and DJ Khaleed-esque brand, Sketchy asserts that he will continue to grow his career to higher scales. He says: “What I am doing – a producer to become his own artist - is not normal even in South Africa. I copied what the producers in the US are doing. So I make sure I put my tag in the beginning of a track and then I work on relationships with artists so I can as well call them up to feature in my track and own album.”

In 2017, Skecthy Bongo makes his debut on Coke Studio Africa to produce several artist pairings. They include Olamide (Nigeria) with AKA (South Africa), Lydia Jazmine (Uganda) with Liloca (Mozambique) and Nyashinski (Kenya) and Mafikizolo (South Africa). On the collaborations, Sketchy reveals the following about the AKA and Olamide original song he produced: “It’s very different and it’s got a vibe! It’s a really cool Afro Beats and Rap/Hip-Hop/Trap song,” adding, “the Lydia Jazmine and Liloca song was more of an Afro Beats, Pop song with a little bit of House.”

Sketchy Bongo has previously produced artists on Coke Studio South Africa. He says on his experience on Coke Studio Africa: “It’s been really cool to be part. It’s been really great just working with artists from different countries and hearing different sounds from Africa, and being exposed to music and working across borders with different languages. Language is not a barrier but it brings us together because music is a language on it’s own.”

So how can a dope African producer pimp his career to a level of having his own music album? Sketchy advices: “You must market yourself as brand and as an artist. Have your proper images everywhere and have your tag at the beginning of the song. Create relationships and have good PR and marketing. Do a lot of interviews because there is a lot of marketing involved.”

He confirms that after Coke Studio this year, he will be collaborating more with the artists he has worked with on the show.

“I will definitely be working with Olamide, AKA, Liloca and Lydia Jamzine,” adding, “something great about Coke Studio is it brings artists together and going forward we all work together.”