Born Appiah Dankwa, Appietus is a Ghanaian music producer and sound engineer known for his popular signature “Appietus in the mix”. He’s produced several hits songs since the 90s some of which are “Akwadaa Kitiwaa Hwe Ataade3 a Wahy3” by Omanhene Pozo, “Tinana Pampana” by Barima Sydney, “Scenti no”, “Balls Balls” by NFL, and several others
He started music production training with Fredima Studios where he served as a trainee for 4 years then to Kay’s Frequency where he spent another 4 years. From Kay’s Frequency, he underwent 4 more years of training with Kamsite and finally established his own studio, Creative Studios where he’s been churning out hits upon hits.
Appietus sat with Urban Culture Gh to take us through his music journey.
UC: What was the first commercial song you ever produced?
Appietus: That was at Kay’s Frequency. It was a song by Nananom. My boss had produced a part of it and I also produced a part of it, so it was co-produced.
UC: What are your top 5 biggest songs you’ve produced?
Appietus: Chale I’ve done so many songs. From “Apuskeleke”, to “Tuobodom”, to Kwaadee’s “Ka Wo Nan To So”, To 4×4’s “Yese Yese”, “African Girls” by Five Five, to “Muje Baya”, to Sarkodie’s “Azonto Fiesta”, chale endless [laughs]. I can’t mention all. If you ask me how many hits I’ve made, I’m sure the DJs will be the ones to tell.
UC: What is your creative process like?
Appietus: There’s nothing like doing what you love. You never get tired of it. If you do what you love and it moves from just a hobby to money making business, it’s happy time. I love what I did so much that if I tell you most of the big hits I made, I didn’t make one pesewa from it, you won’t believe it. Because I was just into it. I didn’t know I was popular until I started receiving awards.
UC: What do you do to get into a creative mood?
Appietus: I’m always in a creative mood. If you’re close to me, and I’m sitting somewhere and music is playing, anybody who knows me knows that Appiah is planning his beats on that beat. I’m always like the kick could have been like this, I think this element could have been that tone or that, you know, I’ll be creating something in my head. Usually before I make a beat, when you start singing, I start creating the beat within me. I imagine the beat in the club, so,Ebony can dance to it this way… or the way you’re singing, the beat could be mid tempo or high tempo. You know, before you sing and get to your first verse or second verse, I know what will make it bump.
UC: How do you know when a beat is done?
Appietus: It’s when you have mixed, mastered and given it to the artiste, then you know that you’re satisfied. When I’m producing a song for an artiste, I have to be satisfied within me because I’m doing 50% of the job and the artiste is doing 50% of the job. I’m creating the rhythm that will drive his lyrics and composition and most of the time, I’m even composing the song. If that’s the case, if I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, then I don’t want it out there. Because obviously, everyone would be like Appietus did that yawa song and I don’t want that. So at the end of the day, if I’m not feeling that song, the song is not coming out. If I can’t, then I have to pay you back your money.
UC: Is there a song you produced that was just okay for you, but the public reception blew your mind?
Appietus: You can never determine how the public would take what you’re bringing out. You can only hope. You can be feeling some beat and they don’t like it. On Ofori Amponsah’s album, I remember, Otoo Lege, even the name put us off. I did the song, I thought other songs would be a banger, but that song was a banger. People loved it. So really, you can only do the best in the studio, but Ghanaians would choose what they want. Sometimes it’s not even the beat, it’s something that was said in the song that goes viral and people go crazy over it.
UC: Which musician or producer, living or dead, would you love to meet?
Appietus: In the Ghanaian music industry, I’ve met almost everybody. I like Dr Dre, his thinking, when it comes to creation I like how he thinks. I’ll like to meet him and talk to him, maybe Swiss Beats, I like what they do.
UC: What challenges do you face when you’re creating beats?
Appietus: When ECG is not in a good mood [laughs] …then you have to go and find generator. The generator makes noise, when you put it anywhere you can hear it. And then you record the vocals and if you don’t take care, the next thing you hear is generator noise in the background.
UC: Is there any beats you’ve created in the past that you would love to improve?
Appietus: If you give me any beats I created years back, I will make it better.
UC: What would you want to accomplish with your art?
Appietus: To be able to impart my knowledge to the youth. I had the opportunity to come from the analogue days to the digital age. I’m a bridge of that. Most of the guys only know computer so they don’t really understand the job and that’s why w3 have so much bad sound quality. Music is packaged in sound.
UC: If you’re given the exclusive power to change 2 things in the Ghana Music scene, what would you change?
Appietus: The content we play here should be 80%. There should be a law that states categorically that 80% Ghana Music. That’s one thing I’ll change. Secondly, I’ll try and create avenues where musicians can sell their music and make money, so that they don’t have to put all their price on shows. If a musician doesn’t have a hit, he doesn’t have to struggle. Michael Jackson is dead and is receiving over 4million USD worth of royalties. If any Ghanaian was receiving that amount and had only 2 hits, they would just relax.
Check out full interview here: