Female Afrobeat producer Dunnie, rules
- Power Female producer challenges industry patriarchy
- Breakthrough after shortlisted as an alumni of The Sarz Academy
- Collabs with Focalistic, Yemi Alade, Niniola, Busiswa, Rowlene, Becca, Gemini Major and Cassper Nyovest
- Big brands Ciroc, Oppo, Kotex, and Keystone bank love her
- The future is female
Female Nigerian producer, Dunnie, is smashing gender-industry stereotypes and through a sheer force of will, raw talent and tenacity, is beating a path for other women in the industry.
It’s no secret that the music industry is a tightly controlled boys’ game where competition is rife and access is pretty much on lock down, with gate keepers deciding who breaks through to work with whom in exercising their talent. Dunnie is proving to be the exception.
Who is Dunnie?
Oladunni Lawal, aka Dunnie, is a Nigerian female artist, songwriter, and record producer who promotes her music independently. Born in Abuja in 1992, Dunnie began singing solos and lead vocals in her local church when she was 12 years old, later learning to play guitar, piano and drums. Having since gone on to perform and compose, her Debut Song, ‘E go Beta’, released in 2012 was number 1 on the Top 10 countdown on Cool Fm Abuja for three consecutive weeks.
2018 though proved to be a breakthrough with Dunnie shortlisted as an alumni of The Sarz Academy alongside then-budding producers like P.Priime and Tempoe. “That opportunity was the beginning of some really amazing moments in my career, and I don’t take it for granted”, she said. Later that year she would release her debut project “Seven” featuring Ric Hassani and Fiokee.
Dunnie has proven to be prolific in lending her production skills to numerous collaborations with artists including Focalistic, Yemi Alade, Niniola, Busiswa, Rowlene, Becca, Gemini Major, and Cassper Nyovest. It’s a who’s who list of African talent, all with bankable cultural relevance and some – like Focalistic – on the way to attaining global recognition. Big brands too have come calling for Dunnie’s magic touch. She has garnered a reputation for delivering excellence in soundtracking campaigns for multinationals including Ciroc, Oppo, Kotex, and Keystone bank.
The realities of a women in the music industry.
For the many positives, accomplishments, and recognition, being a working woman in the music industry is not easy. From being profiled by Global Citizen as one of the kick-ass women in Nigerian music, Dunnie has noted that sometimes she is the only female in the studio and her (male) colleagues expect her to serve them food. The sexism extends to a darker side with her saying she sometimes does not feel safe at late-night sessions in a room filled with men.
The future is female.
“My position in the Nigerian music industry is peculiar, as more women can see it’s possible to be producers, DJs, sound engineers…. That’s why we, sometimes, partner with high schools because the goal is to catch them young,” said Dunnie, when speaking of her philanthropic goals. Paving the way for others and changing the status quo for women involves her partnership with Audio Girl Africa. This NGO that fosters the inclusivity of women in the music industry, provides training and support and identifies & nurtures talent with a view to opening up the industry.
C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.
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