'I don’t have a good voice to sing'.........Foster
Whenever the story of artistes like Psquare, Idris Abudukarem, 2face, Ruggedman and Weird Mc is written, one person whose name would feature prominently is Ewomazeeno Foster, popularly known as Zeeno Foster.
As the CEO of ZANE Studio, a subsidiary of ZANE Entertainment, in Ikeja, Lagos he worked with these musicians and contributed to their success.
Currently, Foster is working on the new album of 2Face entitled Originality, which is yet to be released into the market.
This talented audio engineer and music producer talked about his 11 years of experience in the profession, among others.
It has being my dream to be an audio engineer in the entertainment industry. It started actualising when I was in secondary school, then I was a member of my school's choir. I was playing instrument in the choir. After my secondary education and tertiary education, my elder brother, Joe Ojas, popularly known as Papa Joe, introduced me into the profession, in 1994, by training me with the assistance of one of Nigeria's famous audio engineers, legendary Nelson Brown. I'm very proud of them because they made me the Zeeno Foster of the industry.
Life as an audio engineer and music producer
Eventually, I spend all my time in the studio. I hardly had time for myself. Sometime people ask if we live a normal life, like other Nigerians, because we spend most of our time working all night while others are sleeping. In fact, the studio has been my second bedroom and it has been part of me. I can't imagine myself going to bed when I had to concentrate on how to get an artiste's work well done. Though, it is not an easy task, I find it quite interesting because it is something I love doing.
My interest for audio engineering and love for music really inspired me to go into the profession. I love music so much and since I can't sing because I don't have the voice, I decided to go into the engineering aspect of music.
Artistes I have produced
I have produced tracks for many of our artistes. I have also co-produced tracks for Psquare, Ruggedman. I have worked with many artistes mixing and mastering of their songs. They include 9ice, 2Face, Weird Mc and many others. I see every artiste I have worked with as my friends and colleagues in the industry. I must say that they are very special people and our relationship is cordial. Members of Psquare are my friends as well as neighbours at Omole Estate resident before they ventured into the music industry. We have always seen ourselves as brothers, so I don't find it difficult rendering any services if it is within my limit. During their making of their videos I had to travel with them to South Africa to shoot “Do Me” and More Than a Friend” videos, which I was a part of. The professionals we brought from South Africa shot the other video in Nigeria.
First work recorded
My first recorded work was a track I did for the Plantaun Boyz; then I was working with Nelson Brown. He was the producer while I was the audio engineer. It was my first recording project and the work brought me into limelight.
Currently, I'm working on 2Face album entitled Originality and there are many other works lined up for me. I am also working on an album by an upcoming artiste as well as the producer Chika. Very soon his album will be in the market.
Though, I'm always afraid about the unknown, I take life the way it goes. I believe that the challenges we face in any area of our endeavour make us human. As human beings, we don't have to expect every thing to always turn out rosy. The biggest challenge I'm facing in the industry is working with artistes who do not know what they want. They might have dreams but they don't know how to go about it. They believe that when they work with me in the studio I will repackage their work. I think that is the challenge I always face as an audio and music producer working with artistes, who can't sing on key, base and can't even write their songs. Trying to educate them before they start the studio work is not making my work easy.
I'm not yet married, but I\m planning to settle down soon. Marriage is not something you talk about, for it is the Lord's doing. If God has not destined it, it wouldn't come to fulfillment. I strongly believe that the union with my heartthrob is made in heaven and soon I will take her to the altar.
Advice to upcoming artistes
They should attend music schools. There is no short cut to becoming a super star in the entertainment industry. If you want to be an artiste, learn it professionally by going to study music and if you want to be an audio engineer or music producer go to production school or meet the professionals in the industry to be trained.