Prince Ombeni is the resident producer at Solace Studios, a part of the Solace Ministries in Kacyiru. A singer himself, Ombeni has worked with musical names like Intore and Jules Masamba, as well a host of up-and-coming artistes. Moses Opobo tracked the beat maker down for a chat …
Briefly tell us your journey into music production
I grew up in Bukavu in the DRC, and that’s where I learnt everything about music, because I’m also a singer. In Bukavu, I enrolled at Kitumaini College, where I studied music and electronics.
In 1998, I returned home to Rwanda with the rest of my family. However, in 2002, I returned to Bukavu, because I did not know my mother language, Kinyarwanda, which made life difficult for me. Also, in Bukavu I had started making some money from singing. I returned to Bukavu, but my parents later convinced me to return home.
I have been the in-house music producer at Solace Studios for the last four years. However, I have been working with Solace Ministries for the last six years, having joined as an instrumentalist. When the studio came, I was put in charge. This is the only live session recording studio in town, to the best of my knowledge. We record live or digital, depending on a client’s needs and means.
What does a music producer do, and what makes one a good producer?
Many people think that a piano and computer are all that one needs to produce music. A good producer is a musician, and without that, he can’t mix melody and voice and instruments to make good music. Actually, most producers I know are not musicians. They can’t even play a musical instrument, so they instead turn to producing music using a mouse.