Image courtesy of the artist.
Interview: Type A Is Nigerian Music’s Secret Weapon
We talk to the producer behind some of Nigeria’s best afrobeats hits, including tracks from Fireboy DML, Joeboy, Blaqbonez, CKay and more.
Kelenna Agada, better known by the name of Type A, is a 26-year-old music producer from Imo State, Nigeria.
Currently based in Lagos, Type A isn’t a name that immediately ring bells as far as the Nigerian music industry is concerned, but it’s an entirely different story for the songs that he’s responsible for creating. Type A has been producing music professionally since 2020, and over the brief span of his career he has crafted music for some of Nigeria’s best talents including the likes of Fireboy DML, Blaqbonez, Aramide, Simi, Joeboy, and several others.
Type A is the producer behind Joeboy's “Cubana" and "Celebration," rapper Blaqbonez' Bling," “Haba” and "Commander," and “Sare” by Nigeria’s beloved songbird Simi. However, his strongest collaborator so far has been Fireboy DML, the Nigerian singer and songwriter who officially debuted in 2019 and since then has quickly become one of afrobeats’ biggest stars. Type A crafted the production for a reasonable chunk of the hitmaker’s discography, including “Tattoo”, “New York City Girl,” “Shade,” “Go Away,” and “Airplane Mode” from his critically acclaimed sophomore album APOLLO, as well as “Glory,” the pop-rock inclined outro to his most recent studio album, Playboy.
The Type A and Fireboy DML have an undeniable chemistry. The duo’s creations are marked by pristine production, compelling songwriting, and pop sensibilities that result in an urban, story-led blend of contemporary afropop that has become Fireboy’s calling card.
“Fireboy is a very amazing songwriter,” Type A explains to OkayAfrica. “He's up there when it comes to songwriting. Fireboy can literally sing about anything. I didn't know that when we met at first. We met when 'Jealous' was just popping, so I used to just think he was just an afrobeats guy. But when we started working on APOLLO, it was different. I got to see another side of Fireboy. It was really amazing, trust me.” From a producer’s perspective, those poetry-like lines, verses, and ideas wield additional benefits.
According to Type A, Fireboy’s creative abilities have a direct impact on his production. The producer feeds off the singer’s creative juices as they work together, receiving inspiration and even incidental direction from observing his creative process while he synchronously works his own magic behind the production boards. This fuels not just the creation of the lyrics but the entire soundscape as well, resulting in a fluid composition by two integrated minds: a musical symbiosis. “I feel like I can describe it as different peaks of how far we connected,” Type A says in an effort to describe this intricate process.
Honestly, his story checks out. Type A’s productions aren’t your typical run-of-the-mill afrobeats compositions. Featuring billowy guitar riffs, a robust bass line, and a compact epistle of Fireboy’s come-up, “Glory” is an urban pop-rock fusion, a satisfying deviation from the typical soundscape of an afrobeats act. “We made glory immediately after APOLLO,” Type A explains. “Basically, I met him at the hotel, we were recording and the song came up. The thing with Fireboy is, he's always trying to pick into the deepest parts of your mind. So working with him on that song, I had to go to different ideas, and he's like, 'Oh, I need something really unique, something really different.' So I came up with the idea, and the moment he heard the sound, he just went 100% on the song.”
Despite what the majority of his production credits might indicate, Type A’s aspirations aren’t limited to Nigerian music. He has lofty dreams, and as far as his long-term goals go, Type A is most interested in two things: improving his craft and landing global placements. “I want to see myself doing global music,” he earnestly expressed. “I would like to work with Masego, with H.E.R., with Kendrick Lamar, just really enjoying myself and making the best music that I can.” With the kind of skill that Type A has exhibited so far, those goals are not too far off for him to achieve. He may not be a household name just yet, but with his craft he has already laid out a legacy ahead of him. It’s only a matter of time before Type A's popularity and everything else catches up to it.
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