A standout track from Wale’s SHINE album is, “Fine Girl,” which serves as a nice surprise from Wale. He’s worked with Afrobeats artists before, but never at this level. This time around he features Davido and Olamide on a song that actually makes it onto the album. On “Fine Girl” Wale meshes afrobeats and hip-hop in a genuine way. Wale doesn’t pander or change his flow to sound more like an “African artist” and inserts witty lines like “Ni**as pick me beef, we beef, they want suya” that only WE could understand. Above all, Olamide and Davido are as razz as possible and thankfully did not change their respective sounds to cater to American listeners. To an avid afrobeats listener, you can probably tell that it doesn’t sound quite like an authentic afrobeats production but it still works great for Wale. We reached out to “Fine Girl”‘s 29-year-old producer, Marcè Reazon, from Long Beach, California, to see how this track came about. He’s worked with artists like John Legend, Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, and Wale of course. Read below!
How did you get into producing?
I’ve been producing since 2009. The first song I co-produced on was “Manic” for Kid Cudi’s Man On The Moon 2 album with Anthony Kilhoffer and Mike Dean.
How did you first link up with Wale?
At the time I linked up with Wale, he was looking for an engineer in 2013/2014. We were introduced through Mike Dean who personally called Wale while he was teaching me about Ableton and producing in Ableton. Soon after, I became Wale’s engineer for The Album About Nothing. Wale and his team are like my big bros so I love working with them.
How was the album making process when creating SHINE? Were you there from the beginning?
For SHINE, I wasn’t there through the entire process. But back in 2014/2015, Wale and I had recorded a reference hook for “Fashion Week” (“NYFW” was the name of the record at the time).
Did he come to you looking for an “Afrobeats” sound or did you already have it made?
Actually, Wale’s cousin Sem asked me to make an Afrobeats type record for another artist he was working with at the time. They just so happened to be back in NYC and I played it in the studio one night and the next day I got a text from Wale to send the beat over. I was glad to hear he liked it and had an idea for it!
The production differs a lot from what you’ve done in the past, what inspired you?
I wanted to make something with a good vibe to it. Something that you could hear everywhere and it feels good. I aim to make more music like that, but definitely in a different lane from my norm (I have more beats like “Fine Girl” because of it).
Were you familiar with Davido and Olamide before the track was completed?
Honestly, no. I had no clue who Davido or Olamide were until Wale mentioned them to me. I knew who WizKid was because we all hung out together during the recording of Wale’s Album About Nothing.
How have the responses that you’ve received regarding “Fine Girl” been so far?
Nothing but love and good vibes from everyone that’s listened to the record and the album. I’m really happy to see people enjoying both Fine Girl and SHINE.
Do you see yourself continuing in this lane?
Yes, of course! I definitely have more Afrobeats type records on my hard drive I would love to see who I can work with next in this lane!!
What are your thoughts on non-African artists contributing to the current sound of Afrobeats?