Iloyi Oluwole Adebayo, popularly known as Indomix, is chiefly a producer and music engineer who is responsible for the first class mixing and mastering of many songs in Nigeria. Indomix put together the vocals, ad-libs, sequence, progression, after-effects, finishing, and gloss of many songs; without his job, you definitely would have a headache, listening to anything fresh song from the artistes. Indomix have worked with major A-list artistes in the entertainment industry which includes Adewale Ayuba, Reminisce, Faze, D’banj and a host of others. Cornered in his studio, the cool-headed engineer in this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, led us into his work, passion for the industry and why sound engineers must be recognised and other issues.
Like other colleagues of yours who have released mix tapes, any plan on releasing yours too?
I have actually released one but that was like two years ago and my major plan was to shoot a video for the mix tapes but when I schedule a time frame for the shoot it does not usually tally with the artiste schedule too, so I had to lay low on it but I as I speak, plans are in for the release of another shot with the sole aim of recording the audio and video at the sometime. Whenever the artistes come for their part of the audio, my team will take their video cut too since they are usually busy.
What have you been up to?
I have been working, mixing and mastering songs and let me give you an expose: D’banj will be dropping another song titled ‘Superstar’ as mastered by yours truly. I have equally just done a new set of photo-shoots. The ministry is seriously moving, am not relenting, I am doing everything to up my game.
You started out a musician, why the sudden shift into sound engineering?
I think the major reason why I quitted being a musician was the fact that I hate facing the crowd and you know when you are a musician, you must face the crowd whether you like it or not because they are the people you are selling out to.
Was it that the music industry then was not favourable for you enough?
Seriously it was favourable but believe me sincerely, I was not 100 percent serious with the music career thing because while I was doing music, I discovered I could do production and mix maxing and through that everybody want to have something to do with me as a sound engineer. The fact remains that I began to understand that people appreciate me more been a sound engineer than a musician.
Professionally, your sound engineering career started when?
First of all, you will see that all my entire life movement encompasses music in one way or the other. Professionally, I started the sound engineering job in 2005 and since then I have been able to set up with a few equipment.
As a sound engineer, you started out with which artiste’s work?
People began to reckon with my trademark when I did Ole song for Naija Ninja artiste, Sound Sultan. Although I have been doing job as a sound engineer but the major one that had my trademark on it was that of Sultan featuring W4 and 2Face Idibia.
With the buzz your first major job brought for you, how did you feel about it?
I was amazed because I had done several jobs that I did not put my trademark on but when I saw how appreciative the Ole job was, I was excited and ever since I don’t miss putting my mark on every job done because then I was the first sound engineer to include trademark in jobs in the history of Nigerian Entertainment.
So why did it take you so long to be known in the industry considering the good jobs you have done in the past?
It all boils down to the artiste you work for. The way the music industry in Nigeria here is being operated is totally different to what is applicable overseas. Every artiste you have supported while growing up is quick to navigate from you once they become very popular and make in the industry because of the cut you are entitled to when their work begin to enjoy massive buzz. I believe what you do and if you keep doing it well, it will make you a major person one day.
How then did you come about the name Indomix?
First, when people hear about it, they are like ‘this guy really loves taking Indomie noodles’ which is not far from the truth. I was known as Indomie before now when friends will attribute me as somebody who is skinny as Indomie pastas but as time went on, I began to get use to the name. Luckily for me when I met Faze, the first thing he told me was since I mix songs also, why don’t I add the word mix to my Indomie stage name and that was how I came about the name, Indomix.
Has the money started coming in since you ventured into sound engineering?
As you can see, I am living fine and doing quite well as an average Nigerian man who believes the almighty can still do more favourable blessings. If the money is coming in, I will say my business has been moving so well because here in my studio, all my equipment are worth more than millions of naira and all we can only pray for is for enlargement of our coast.
Considering the fact that in the entertainment industry, we have several people in your trade, what makes Indomix unique?
Everything I do is unique because I have my own way of doing things through my professional touches on artistes’ jobs. The fact is people know the kind of songs and beat they want, so when you listen to my jobs, you definitely have an idea that it is coming from my stable. I can’t praise myself; fans can only do while God will crown it all.
Having worked with top A-list artistes in the industry, who are you more comfortable working with?
(Sigh), you want to cause trouble here. I love working with virtually of them because they are cool headed and fun to be with.
In reverse, which of them give you more time in the studio, making one corrections or the other?
This is very serious. With all due respect, I will say Faze. He love his jobs done in an orderly manner because by the time you are done with his job and he listens to the job, there is always one correction or the other to make. But in all he is very amiable and nice brother in the industry. Another person is Olu Maintain. Despite the fact that Faze takes much time.
Pirates are really killing the entertainment industry, are you also affected in this crisis?
Yes I am also affected big time because aside from the money artistes pay for services rendered, you will also be having percentage on each job you did. Take for instance, when an artiste’s album sells 20 million copies, you are also entitled to the share too since you were part of the album but because piracy is really killing and in a way has taken over most of the credit in the entertainment industry that is no longer visible as artistes these days struggle to make money put into the production. Also, it is important to note that the Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are good platforms but it becomes sickening when a blogger puts an artiste’s complete album on his or site for free download. They can do that on singles and not album.
As an individual, what do you think can be done to stop this act?
Let me say here that an individual cannot do it all alone without the support of the entire entertainers and also there is need for the government to come to our aid in curbing this illicit act. Punishment and proper sanction should be given to whoever is found guilty.
How much does it cost to get your services most especially for up-coming artistes?
Usually for the monetary aspect of it, when they come we discuss on it depending on which of my services they need. Artiste who do not have anything at hand, there are certain criteria they must meet up like, if they understand metronome (Counts), understand keys, then the work is much easier but on monetary terms, as we progress then we discuss on it.
How long did it take you to get acquainted with the magic of mix and maxing?
It was a gradual process; I started with a small radio and computer. While I was working in a computer business center, few clients will come around there and I did their jobs and I got paid for it because then the money was just coming in bit so I could not afford a big studio then. But I can tell you that from that small business center, I made several hit songs for some of the made entertainers now.
With your vast knowledge in sound engineering, did you actually study it professionally?
Funny enough I did not study anything related to sound engineering but the fact is that I picked interest in music at a very tender age because at five, I was a chorister in church and I took the lead most of the time during church service.
Away from music, how was growing up like for you?
The road was very rough but you need to just to stand up tall. It was not easy at all and that is the more reason I help people in the street most especially those that have got some kind of talents that needed to be seen in the outside world. Like seriously, being where I am today is just the grace of God because some memories can never be forgotten so soon.
How did your parents react when you informed them of the kind of job you wanted to venture into?
First my father is late now; he died about 22 years ago and while growing up majorly, we never stayed with our mother but my eldest brother whom we all lived together with was in total support of my career as he paid most of the time for my studio fees while I was still doing music. It got to a point I had to leave the house for the them and I went down to Abeokuta where I had no siblings but once in a while I came home dressed in same shirt and trouser I left home with to say hello to my other siblings and my elder brother will ask how music and life is going with me and I respond that it was fine but he will laugh and in response, he said ‘fine with one shirt and trouser? In all, my siblings supported me likewise my two younger ones.
You talked about appreciation not coming for sound engineers, what do you think can be done to rectify this?
Seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with organisers of awards ceremony. They give credence to artistes alone leaving out those of us who are the brain behind their success. When they have nice beats and they voice on it, people enjoy and want to keep listening to the tracks but when it comes to recognitions, we are majorly left out. Unlike other countries, the sound engineer award category is usually uppermost in their ceremony as they value them so much. I am not lobbying for an award but the fact remains that we need to be recognised and appreciated too. I am sure organisers of awards listening carefully to music and at the tail end they hear the name of the sound engineer too, for instance, Indomix, Sheyman and a host of others. They have several categories of awards and no matter the good quality of the song, it must pass through a sound engineer, so we are making a clarion call to organisers of awards to create platforms for us too.
If you are given a chance to correct one thing in the entertainment industry, what will that be?
That will definitely be sentiment because this is majorly paramount among entertainers; you know the right channel to take when handing issues because of sentiment and issue of clique, and you give it to the wrong hand. If you really want the industry to grow better than what it is not, sentiment and clique should be put aside.
- Reminisce – ‘Book of Rap Stories’ (Album), ‘Local Rappers ft Olamide, Phyno
- Sound Sultan – ‘SS4’, ‘Me, My Mouth & I’ and ‘Back from the future’ (Albums)
- Faze – ‘Originality’ (Album)
- Rugged Man – ‘MMM’ (Album)
- Vector – ‘King Kong’ ( Oringinal & Remix ft Phyno, Reminisce, Uzi, Sarkodie)
- TM Naija – ‘Magawu’
- Terry G – ‘Free Me’ (Album)
- D Banj – ‘Oyato’
- Oristse Femi – ‘Destiny’, ‘Ekele dirig’i, ‘Money’ and ‘Ilaje’.
- Sinzu – ‘Carolina’ ft Davido
- W4 – ‘Kontrol’, ‘Foreign Dance’
- LKT – ‘Alaye’ ft Davido
- Jaywon – ‘Meet Jaywon’ (Album)
- Jabless – ‘Over Ground’ (Album)
- Essence – ‘Facebook Love’
- Goldie – ‘Gold’ (Album)
- D’banj- Emergency
- Excuse my French-Olu Maintain
- Reminisce- Owo re
- Ycee-Su mi
- D’banj- Superstar