We’ve all had that moment when we’re listening to a song, and the energy just gets to us. In those moments, it’s easy to give all the credit to the artist who is going off on the beat. However, in order to bring you those crazy tracks which manage to get you hyped every single time, there is usually someone behind a computer putting sounds together. You can call them a mastermind of sorts—or a producer, if you’d prefer.
Today we’re here to talk about Derek Asare Amoah (Drvmroll), a young producer who makes everything from hip-hop beats to Afro beats, and even EDM beats. And get this: Drvmroll, as impressive as his sounds are, doesn’t play a single instrument. He is an entirely self-taught producer, and everything that he makes, he does from behind his computer.
Currently, Drvmroll and Worlasi are gearing up to release the duo’s EP DIOS (translation: DID IT OURSELVES!). The EP celebrates how far both the artist and the producer have come. However, before that, let’s travel back in time—to before Drvmroll was as accomplished as he is, and see how he got to this point.
The Entertainment Prefect And Fruity Loops 8
Derek attended Labone Senior High School. And while he was in school, he served as Entertainment Prefect, which you know usually means that you have a talent or two up your sleeve. And Derek did. He rapped and danced. At the time, he wanted to be a rapper. He would even go to the studio with his friends and record some songs. While he was recording as an artist, Drvmroll discovered that he always had an idea about the production. He knew what he wanted to put where, what to add, what to remove—that sort of thing.
Inevitably, he got his hands on some production software. Before it was re-branded as FL Studio, we had Fruity Loops. And, Derek remembers being unable to sleep when he finally got his hands on the software. He spent the whole night trying to figure it out. Getting used to the interface, he recalls, was the hardest part of it all. But once he had that down, it was easier bringing his ideas to life.
He started producing for himself first. And then he was producing for Haywaya, an artist he considers a brother. Then artists in their circle would hear those songs, and soon everyone wanted something that was produced by Drvmroll. Some of the earlier artists that he produced for are Gidochi and O’Bkay.
@dboiYUNO Goes Mainstream
Some time after Drvmroll started producing for Haywaya, the artist got a deal with One Nation Entertainment. And being Haywaya’s producer, Drvmroll came along. It’s during that time that Derek went through one of the hardest things that any producer could ever go through: he lost his hard drive. At that point, Drvmroll just wanted to call it quits. He had lost all his beats—all of the sounds that he had collected, all the sounds he had made.
In Derek’s own words, “I didn’t want to let Haywaya down.” So despite the loss, he kept producing. He started all over again—collecting sounds and making beats. Also around that time, Derek recalls someone at One Nation Entertainment taking an interest in his productions: Tuoyo Aka Silver. Derek believes Silver really pushed his work.
Soon, Silver had sent a handful of Derek’s beats to the highest himself: Sarkodie. Then, Silver also asked Derek to send some beats to E.L. For that particular beat, Drvmroll remembers spending weeks getting it right. That song turned out to be E.L’s King Without A Crown. And remember those beats that were sent to Obidi? One of them turned out to be Oluwa Is Involved.
When that particular song dropped, Derek was sleeping over at Haywaya’s and Haywaya prompted him to check his Twitter because @dboiYUNO was blowing up. Eventually, Derek would change his handle to what it currently is; Drvmroll.
From there, things picked up pretty naturally. E.L asked for another beat, he met M.anifest and produced seven tracks on the Nowhere Cool album, and he even worked with producer Ill Keyz to produce a song for Ice Prince. Drvmroll has also worked with Jayso and J. Town on their respective projects.
The RJXTS – Producer Collective
In addition to producing for artists, Derek is also a member of a producer collective called The RJXTS (pronounced: Rejects). The group has three members; Drvmroll, Mike Kwa6i and Boaz. The interesting thing about The RJXTS is that each of these producers has a background as an artist. The members of the collective produce and feature on their own projects, and from time to time they also feature some of their artists on those projects.
You Have To Put In The Work For Your Dreams
When it comes to being motivated, it doesn’t come easy for Derek either. But Derek is the first born child of a single mother and he has siblings that came after him. Derek has made sacrifices for his dream. He took a break off university to focus on his craft, and he put in the work to get as good as he is.
And funnily enough, it’s not just with music production. Derek currently works full-time as a graphic designer; of course with enough free time to make some fire bops. He learnt all of these skills on his own. It’s all for a simple reason: he knows that no matter how hard things are, he has to make sure it works out. If you’ve sacrificed things for what you want, you don’t have any other choice than to work hard to see it through.
Drvmroll and Worlasi’s DIOS drops this Friday; 6th November 2020. Get hyped.