Breakout star Mr Eazi, hopes to become Africa’s biggest artist
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, he spoke of his move to London influencing his latest sound and his agenda to shake up the world with his music.
With artists such as Beyonce, Drake and French Montana all embracing the sound of Africa, Mr Eazi, who was nominated for this year’s BET award Best International Act, believes now is the best time for African artists.
‘I feel like it’s a great time for African music,’ he said.
The Nigerian-born artist, who admits to being a fan of grime music, is the pioneer of Banku music, a fusion sound he describes as being a mixture of Ghanaian highlife, Ghanaian bounces, Nigerian patterns and Nigerian chord progressions.
However, Eazi, who was recently announced as Apple Music’s newest ‘Up Next’ artist, was quick to clarify that he isn’t actually an Afrobeat artist like many assume him to be.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I’m just doing my bit and mixing genres. I wouldn’t say I make Afrobeats or Afro-pop music – I make Banku. It’s a fusion of genres.’
Born in River State, Nigeria, the 26-year-old moved to Kumasi, Ghana in 2007 at the tender age of 15 and was introduced to Ghana’s sound.
‘I moved to Ghana in May or June 2007, right after high school and the plan was to just study but I ended up staying there up until two years ago,’ the Hollup singer, who now lives in London, said.
‘I was living and breathing Ghana so I had this attachment,’ he added.
However, the Skin Tight artist, who has over 33 million streams on Spotify, is worried that the mainstream attention himself and other Afrobeat artists – like Wizkid – are getting could all be in vain.
Mr Eazi, real name Oluwatosin Ajibade, added: ‘The only thing is that I hope it transcends into actual numbers and doesn’t just end at the noise level. Like I want to see an African artist do proper chart officially.’
A former MOBO nominee, who was credited as the only Afropop artist to appear on Simon Cowell’s Grenfell charity track Bridge Over Troubled Water, he recently performed live on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Always one to set high goals, he admitted that performing on one of America’s late-night shows has always been on his agenda.
He said: ‘I told my manager that before the end of this year I’m going to be on a late night show in America and perform live.’
Not only did he do just that but he also forged a friendship with host James.
‘James was amazing, he chatted with me and told me “to come and have fun’” – he loved every performance.
‘And I’ve been getting a lot of love since that performance. That means we must have killed it. Which is good money though!’
Mr Eazi also hints that he wants to show his new home in London some love with a pending mixtape called London to Lagos as he follows up to his last mixtape, Accra to Lagos.