The world of music production, talent development and global entertainment is one of constant and never-ending evolution; With every new generation of creatives, performers and executives comes a sweeping wave of challenges and opportunities.

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For award winning music producer and serial entrepreneur Djibril Gibson Kagni the secret to success lies in being honest with yourself, practicing discipline and remaining loyal to your roots and your culture as you navigate the ever changing landscape of an industry which is in a state of perpetual transformation. 

After attaining multiple accolades in America and overseas, Kagni has categorically stated his intention to focus on bringing his proven skillset and strategic understanding of the business and creative landscape to the development and advancement of the genre that has recently experienced a renaissance around the world, and one that is intrinsically intertwined with his own cultural background: Afrobeat.


Afrobeat is a musical genre that originated in Nigeria in the 1970s. It is a fusion of traditional Nigerian music, jazz, and West African highlife, and is characterized by its heavy use of percussion and polyrhythmic melodies. 

Afrobeat has had a profound impact on the music world, influencing many other genres and artists. The genre has been embraced by musicians all over the world and has been adapted and integrated into a wide range of musical styles. Today, Afrobeat continues to thrive and evolve, with many artists continuing to push the boundaries of the genre, creating new and exciting music which has taken over the mainstream thanks to the increased reach and connectivity that technology has provided which in turn, has allowed more artists to break through the barriers of traditional exposure, becoming popular across the world and conquering multiple musical markets that seemed impossible to access until recently.

The genre has gained widespread popularity, with artists such as Wizkid, Davido, Rema and Burna Boy achieving massive worldwide success; Another important development has been the increasing use of technology and social media. In the past, many African musicians relied on traditional methods of distribution, such as word of mouth and live performances, to reach audiences. However, with the rise of social media and streaming platforms, African artists are now able to reach a global audience more easily than ever before. This has led to the rise of many new, up-and-coming African artists who are able to build a following and gain recognition on a global scale.

For Gibson Kagni recognizing and nurturing talent is a natural skill, and one which he has polished and refined throughout his illustrious career – from the early years of Konvict Muzik, Akon´s label which became a reference point for a new generation of artists and producers – to the many awards he has received for his work with national and international artists, Gibson is a successful brand builder and strategist who has utilized his position and skills to launch and scale the careers of multiple artists, while also developing and consolidating different ventures and businesses across the fashion and luxury automotive segments, to name a few.

One of the key factors in Gibson´s success has been his ability to identify artists who incorporate elements of Afrobeat, hip hop, and electronic music into their work, creating a unique and exciting sound that has gained a dedicated following around the world. In addition to promoting African music, GProduction is also known for its work as a philanthropic organization. The label has developed programs that are geared towards social and economic development in West Africa, primarily in Senegal – the nation that Kagni calls his homeland.

Today GProduction, Konvict Muzik and BuVision continue to be at the forefront of the music scene. With their unique perspective and dedication to promoting African music and artists, they are helping to shape the future of the Afrobeat genre and bring it to a global audience, actively expanding the reach and impact of this cultural movement.

Gibson recently granted The Source an exclusive interview in which he discussed his vision, shared valuable advice for up-and-coming artists and provided key insights into what the future holds for the Afrobeat scene. Here is what he told us:

1 – You have been a successful music producer and executive for many years, in this time you have mastered the art of creating hit singles, developing the careers of promising new artists and negotiating multi-million dollar deals. What has been your secret to success and remaining at the top of one of the most difficult industries in the world?

When we talk about success it depends on what we define by success; When someone says you have been a very successful music producer and executive for many years and even that I have mastered the craft of music, to me personally I don’t feel like we can ever master something. I’m thinking there’s always more to learn, no matter how much you know about something, especially in the music industry the phases change, the new generations come in, the technology changes; Therefore you still have to adapt to be able to be a part of this new wave because the way people were doing music back in the 70s, 60s and 50s was very different and with the way that technology has evolved you have to pay close attention. 

Today your kids can even teach you more, so therefore I could say that I’m blessed to be able to follow up and stay relevant but as far as mastery, the secret is very simple: stay alert and pay attention to everything that comes out because no matter who you are, there will always be a youngin looking to replace you, no matter how much you fight, he’s gonna come after you and sooner or later he’s gonna take your spot.

2 – As a producer and talent executive you have been known to spot trends early. You did this in Europe where you went on to win multiple platinum records and awards for your work with many artists and also in America. What do you look for in the artists you sign?

As far as signing artists, I think the most important thing that we gotta look at of course is the talent, the creativity, diversity, being able to be versatile; But to me what comes first on the list is the discipline of the artist. Discipline to me is everything in life because I’m a very disciplined human being and I feel like it doesn’t matter how much money you can make, if discipline doesn´t follow, it’s not gonna last.

Discipline is a big part of everything that you do in life, from waking up in the morning in your bed, the five minutes that you´re like “Oh man I don’t feel like doing it” says a lot about you and I teach my younger son this every day. 

That’s what I’m looking for in artists, not only the talent, it´s a full package; Work ethic, you know, being able to work without people telling you, it’s like having two kids: one comes home, grabs a snack and goes to do his homework; The other one comes home grabs a snack, sits and starts watching TV and you have to yell at him to do his homework. I’m gonna be worried more about him than the other one; So, it’s the same thing if artists have work ethic and you don’t have to worry about them, you’re going to want to work with them, you’re going to want to sign them, you’re going to want to push them as hard as possible.

3 –  Afrobeat and the Afro music movement has become stronger than ever in recent years, dominating charts around the world. We know you were one of the first people involved in this movement along with some of your close associates and family members, what do you predict for this genre in the coming months and years?

With this question I gotta laugh! I gotta laugh because I remember back in the days in 2004, 2005 we had a show in Nigeria and I saw these two guys perform, twin brothers PSquare: Peter and Paul…man I was so impressed I pulled them by the hand and brought them to Akon´s suite and said these two people are going to be big, they’re going to be the future of Africa man you know, and you can ask them, they’ll tell you Gibson said this so it’s funny how when I was with Akon at that time Konvict Muzik was the biggest label working with some of the biggest talents and we had everybody looking up to us just because we were African and due to the fact that we were African, we opened the doors for many artists to dream bigger, making people believe that even if you´re in Africa your music can cross over because there’s no borders for music there’s no language for music.

It’s like there’s no limit to what we can do and recently I had to travel to Nigeria with Bu, who’s the Executive Vice President of Columbia Records, because we needed to go back to the roots; And going back to the roots is reconnecting with your own people because to me personally, it’s hard to let other people empower themselves off my culture while I’m watching, it’s just how I feel, it’s nothing personal but I don’t want to be colonized again just because now Afrobeat is trending, everybody with money wants to go and scrap. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the music industry; It’s the nature of any business, you know? Money, power, respect; But I feel like there’s other things besides money like understanding the culture and trying to figure out the roots of all this music. This is not only Nigeria; You have Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, South Africa…so yes, I was one of the first pioneers that really believed in this, but I also got to give it to Akon who kind of paved the way for the young generation that was coming up to believe that they can also make it and any African artist that denies that, guess what? God bless you. It takes a person to lead for you guys to believe.

4 – What would you say are the characteristics that differentiate people who become truly successful in the business world and in the music business from those that quickly burn out or fade away?

That´s a very tricky question especially for entertainers and athletes if God has blessed you with such a great talent and the opportunity to be successful, I really think that it’s very important that we learn how to manage everything that we do because success also is a discipline. The way you spend your money is discipline. I made those mistakes, but you learn from it to build stronger and stronger. Every time I make a mistake it makes my foundation even stronger so therefore, the ones that stayed relevant for the rest of their life it’s because they knew how to basically stabilize the lifestyle with work ethic, investments, knowing that this cannot last forever because nothing lasts forever.

5 –  Are there any new projects you are currently working on that you would like to share with our readers, as we know that after launching your fashion brand which became one of the most successful labels in urban couture and also creating a luxury vehicle customization company and a creative lab space for artists in Atlanta you are returning to music in a major way. What can you tell us about that, Gibson?

Yes, many new projects. Not only am I working with my cousin Bu as I mentioned before on a few Afrobeat projects, but also as far as your question, yes, I’m deep into cars, I’m deep into fashion. My brand is expanding and we´re looking to globalize it after the success we´ve had in the US market, it´s just a matter of putting together the right team of investors who can help take it to the next level. Regarding cars, yes, I’m a big fan of Brabus; I customized 3 for myself also sold them for my friends and that was the start of another one of my brands which is focused on high end vehicle customization.

So yes, I have a lot of exciting projects. I’m trying to put a lot into Afrobeat artists, I’m really trying to help my culture and I’m happy that we are helping some of the artists that are from my own country, Senegal. When Bu and I joined forces to finally start pushing as many African artists as possible we knew we had been dealing with so many R&B and pop culture American artists, but we still have so much talent in the motherland. I have my own project with Zeeval from Cameroon, a very talented guy. We´re dropping his single December 16th mixed by Selebobo, one of the biggest mixing and mastering engineers from Nigeria who is not only a music producer but also an artist who recently dropped his new single called “Myself”.

I’m at a level right now where I just want to focus on developing artists that I believe in for my own label and partnering up with people that have the same belief and the same agenda, so it’s very exciting! I’m back to what I love because I feel more comfortable coming back into it and I’m back into it focusing only on Afrobeat, I don’t want to be distracted at all and the reason why I’m saying that is I feel like a lot of people are taking advantage of Afrobeat so therefore it’s my culture I understand it better than them and I was there before them, so now it’s just the time to put the puzzle together.