Producer. Herbert Dramuke, alias Herbert Skillz, is one of the celebrated audio music producers, who has worked with Uganda’s biggest artistes. Although seemingly unsung, he is quietly flying the Ugandan music flag high. Nicolas Akasula had a chat with him.
Tell us about Herbert Skills
People call me Herbert Skillz, but my real name is Herbert Dramuke. I am an audio producer, sound engineer and co-owner of Sound Makers Studio.
What inspired you to join this career path?
I come from a musical background, especially from my father’s side. I am also passionate about music. I chose to do something I enjoy.
Which artistes have you worked with?
I have produced songs for both local and international artistes. Within Uganda, I have worked with Bobi Wine, Bebe Cool, Jamal Wasswa, Peter Miles, A Pass, Pallaso.
Internationally, I have worked on music projects with Jade, Jethro Sheeran, Pitbull, Tory lenz, Honorebel, Wayne Wonder, Ed Sheeran, Capleton, Sean Mendes, Sizzla and Kaka, among others.
What is interesting about being a music producer?
The process of creating quality music keeps my brain at work. It challenges me to look out for unique ways of executing my clients’ music projects. This is not a place for passive or lazy people. It calls for creativity at all times.
What stresses you about music production?
It is challenging to work with some artistes who, for instance, want to sound like others. We are all blessed with different talents and vocal prowess. The act of wanting to sound like another artiste is tantamount to mediocrity. Some artistes are impatient with producers. He comes to the studio today and wants the song produced on the same day. Quality production requires time.
Any outstanding songs you have produced?
That is a tough one. Honestly, it is hard to point a finger at one.
Paint a picture of Ugandan music five years from now
Through the years, the music industry has made great strides. The quality of Uganda’s music is certainly improving. For instance, some artistes are improving their lyrics, and many are flying out to shoot better music videos. The future is bright.
What makes a perfect relationship?
Love, mutual respect and a good sense of humour.
When did you last prepare a good meal for your wife?
Well, we cook together. We both enjoy beef stew, rice, and omelette.
Patience is key
Patience is key. Unlike musicians who become famous after releasing one song, music production requires time.
Quality work will create a good name for you. Treat each music project with utmost commitment.