Music / Photography

Mr. Eazi on the power and vulnerability of music

Bringing together his dual heritage and diverse influences, the singer-rapper blends it all into flawless tunes.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Mr. Eazi went on to spend his young adult years coming of age in Ghana, and from these early experiences and communities is where his music started. Seamlessly merging his rich dual heritages, from the visceral energy of Lagos’ beats to the mellow Ghanaian sounds, Eazi has created a vibe as unique as his talent, and one important as ever to bring into the rest of the world. Naming this music “banku” style – after Ghana’s traditional corn and cassava staple food – he explains that his environment is what influences his music, “soaking in cultures and influences to make music that appeals to more and more people”, focusing on the vibrancy and reliability of fusing it all together. We catch up with the experimental artist to get to know the journey he took to get to today, and where it’ll be taking him along to next…

Do you remember the moment you fell in love with music?

My earliest memories were of my dad making breakfast for us and playing Bob Marley, Raskimono, and Majek Fashek, I was probably around 4 years old. This made me love music because it was emotional and my dad was in the military and he was always away on missions so I attached music to him being around.

How do you feel your dual heritage of Nigeria and Ghana has influenced you?

I feel it has made me very unique: like fire and ice, somewhere in between, it’s so beautiful and I do not regret receiving love from both countries very different and very similar at the same time it is lovely.

What has this taught you about your music and style?

I get to draw inspiration, samples, riddims, language from both cultures and I keep learning I am still only scratching the surface of what’s really achievable from digging deep into both cultural influences.

How do you feel your music has evolved over the years?

I am a product of my environment and as I travel and gain new experiences you can hear it in my music that’s why I love to travel with my producers so we can keep on soaking in cultures and influences to make music that appeals to more and more people! That’s the essence of Banku music – FUSION!

Do you feel a responsibility as an artist to spotlight what is happening in the world?

I mean when I can, and when it feels natural for me: I’m all about positivity, there is so much madness in the world and I want my music to be an escape even if it’s 3 minutes of bliss.

Do you think music has the power to cause social change?

Definitely. Music, videos, I mean you see how music unites people in a time where people are reclining into themselves and being more individualistic that’s why I am happy when I see people from all cultures uniting at my concerts it’s beautiful! Music is powerful.

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your music?

My environment! My environment has the greatest influence in my music

What are the albums that have shaped you the most?

I’ve never been an album person, to be honest! That’s why I still have no album but for me, it’s more of the moments that have defined me and songs like style plus the moment of Nigerian RnB being the sound of the clubs, radio etc. I think that influenced to a large extent why most of my songs are about love! Like seeing African men so vulnerable in their lyrics is fab!

What’s next for you?

This year I am focused on touring off my mixtape Lagos to London, and I will also start recording 3 projects, one for Africa, and two continuations on the Life Is Eazi series! Also looking forward to global collaborations with producers, artists and dancers! Most of the 1st quarter is dedicated to emerging artists with my Empawa program which you can check out here.

Mr. Eazi’s video for ‘Miss You Bad (feat. Burna Boy)’ is out now, click here to watch now. Follow Mr. Eazi on Instagram here and check him out at O2 Academy Brixton on 10th March 2019, for more info click here

25 January 2019