DJ Lil a.k.a Ludovicko is an up-and-coming producer, with such local hits as Serious, by Sergeant Robert, and Funga Boot, by Jay Polly to his credit, among others. He shared his thoughts about music production and Rwandan music with Moses Opobo…
My musical journey begun in Church (True Vine Ministries, Giporoso), where I started as a keyboardist. That is where I later picked interest in commercial music production because I realised I could arrange songs. After I learnt to play the keyboard well, I learnt to play the piano.
After gaining confidence in my skills, I started to look for work in a music studio. My first stop was F2K Studios in Nyamirambo, from where I produced my first song titled Ekigabo. I left F2K and went to Pro Studios Umutoza, where I stayed briefly before I was called to Morex Music Studios in Butare. From here I again moved to Step Up Records in Remera. All the time I moved, I was looking for better equipment and better pay for my skills. Luckily for me, each studio I went to was different in terms of equipment and standards.
This experience also taught me that the most important thing to have in a studio is a good producer. The equipment only compliments a producer’s efforts. Otherwise it is not the expensive equipment which makes a song a hit. A hit is a combination of good composition by an artiste and a good ear by the producer.
I also learnt that working with upcoming artistes is the best way for a producer to develop his production skills because the big artistes usually come with their own ideas which they only want you to implement. On the contrary, a young artiste will come knowing that it is the producer who will make or break him.
TRYING IT ON HIS OWN
Setting up Step Up Records was a way of realising a dream I had nurtured since childhood. I draw a lot of inspiration from producer JP of Hope Street Studios in Kichukiro.
Generally, the music industry in Rwanda is growing. Before, artistes could not live off their music, but now things are changing. Also, the public is beginning to value local talent more.
Rwandan music has a unique identity compared to music from other East African countries. Whenever a Rwandan artiste features on a song by another East African artiste, their vocals stand out. The other countries have many artistes who do music similar to that of Jamaicans.