Ghanaian Record producer Kayso in 2020 produced the biggest song that year, his collaboration with KiDi on ‘Say Cheese’ debuted on the UK’s Official Afrobeats Chart. The remix of “Say Cheese” also featured American singer-songwriter Teddy Riley.
Born Sony Kwame Owusu, known professionally as Kayso (styled as KaySo, From Tema or Beat Nyame), is a Ghanaian record producer, and recording artist from Ashanti Region. KaySo has produced singles for a number of well-known artists in diverse genres, ranging from Hip Hop, Afrobeats, R&B, Afroswing, Hiplife, and Highlife making him the most sort after producer in the Ghanaian Music Industry.
KaySo has worked with a wide range of artists from Ghana and Nigeria including Becca, Kwesi Arthur, KiDi, Sarkodie, Medikal, Ice Prince, Darkovibes, $pacely, Kofi Mole, Dj Mic Smith, Kirani Ayat, Wiyaala, Stonebwoy, Blaqbonez, Pappy Kojo, Cina Soul, Mugeez, Offei, and Magnom.
In 2016 and 2017, KaySo broke into the Ghanaian music industry with his production for Kirani Ayat “I Don’t Know You” and Kwesi Arthur’s “Live From Nkrumah Krom, Vol I” respectively. The biggest song became “Grind Day” which became Kwesi Arthur’s breakthrough single.
Grind Day gave KaySo the opportunity to work with Sarkodie and this gave him the confidence to take on the music production by the head. The remix featuring Medikal and Sarkodie won “Hip-hop Song Of The Year” award at the 2018 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
KaySo has been very instrumental in producing the best of beats in the last 7 years, in 2021 Kayso added to the numerous beats produced when he produced Sarkodie’s ‘Rollies and Cigars” of Sarkodie’s “No Pressure” album.
Rollies and Cigars has become a fan favorite after fans have questioned if the “Rollies and Cigars” will replace their favorite “Original”.
We had an interview with KaySo about his life as a producer, beats and beat producers that have inspired him and his work with Sarkodie’s latest hit single “Rollies And Cigars”
Growing up which songs were you introduced to?
I grew up hearing a lot of Christian music at home cos my mother used to distribute cassettes and CDs of Christian music and my father sang at church, he also played the guitar which made me experience the music creation process first hand.
Kayso, tell us about the time you made your first beat?
The first beat I ever made was a cover for ‘Pigaro’ by Asem.
I recall making it on a friend’s computer in 2007 cos I didn’t have one at the time.
It took me hours to figure out how to make the first 3 seconds of that song and when I did, I had to leave cos it was getting late and I couldn’t wait to loop that 3 seconds into a 2 minute mp3 to show my family that I can make beats.
Which artists or producers inspired you to start making Beatz?
When I started paying close attention to beats, I was inspired by songs produced by Timbaland & Pharrell before I even knew they were behind those songs, their beats sounded like perfection to me.
I fell in love with making beats when Hammer was making the beats for Kwaw Kesse, Tinny, Okra David etc… you know. I loved the “last two compilation” so much that I started playing his beats on tables in school and I became known in junior high school for playing beats on the table. Big respect to Hammer of the last two.
Oh, and the artists from Skillion records were super dope to me too. Every single one of them made beats (I think) which sounded so fresh to me and that made me a huge fan.
I knew it was time for me to learn how to turn my own musical ideas into beats hearing when Richie started blowing up with all his productions with Asem, Okyeame Kwame, Irene & Jane (runaway). Hearing those beats at that time was so inspiring to me and I knew in my mind that I can do that too, I have not looked back since.
From 2016 when you dropped “I Don’t Know You” with Ayat to 2021. What has been your fondest memory in beat production?
My fondest memory in beat production is my performance at Cina Soul’s ‘Metanoia’ concert.
On my set, I played a live beat and performed my single ‘Your Type No Dey’. The first 2 minutes were a glitch but the fans were patient and it turned out to be fantastic.
Looking through your catalog this looks like your first production for a Sarkodie-only song. What was it like when Sarkodie hit you up?
I was stoked. I was in a session with Twitch in May this year when I got a call from Sarkodie’s USA manager, he said Sarkodie was working on a feature with Lil Durk and Durk’s manager had mentioned that the beat has to come from me (I was moved cos that’s huge and I appreciate everyone who was involved in this project for making it possible). I didn’t know where to start so for three days I only listened to Sarkodie and Lil Durk’s music to be sure I create the right energy which will bring out the best of ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Best African Rapper’.
Taking us through the creative process for Rollies and Cigar?
I started the beat with the piano (one of my favorite instruments) accompanied by royal Ghanaian rhythms played by the talking drum (an hour-glass shaped drum whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone of human speech) and ‘Kologo’ (a two-stringed lute made from a calabash gourd, wooden neck, animal skin, and fishing line).
The idea is to grow and sustain African culture through the beats.
How long did it take to make the beat for Rollies and Cigar?
It took me three days of strategic planning and about an hour of production skills to make the beat.
When you heard the finished version of Rollies and Cigar, what did you make of it?
When I heard the first version of Rollies and Cigars, I knew Sarkodie understood the assignment and he not only delivered on time, he killed it.
Do you have other songs and projects with Sarkodie?
I have collaborated with Sarkodie earlier on but this is the first song that is out
What has been your favorite song to produce?
My favorite song to produce will be ‘Reveal’ by La Meme Gang, because we had so much fun in Takoradi oil city while making the song, I like to play hard whenever I work hard.
What should fans expect from Kayso “the producer”?
I am currently going through so many changes as a producer as I am trying to find out myself, so I don’t know what to expect myself but I will say they should expect more of the best of me.
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