MIC/LINE is HYPEBEAST Radio’s music-centric show that looks to deliver in-depth conversations with your favorite artists, digging into their origin stories and asking the questions you want answered. For this week’s episode, we sit down with Mr Eazi.
Nigerian superstar Mr Eazi has traversed the African music scene, fusing together Nigerian and Ghanaian influences. With afrobeat’s rise to popularity, stars like him have helped the world become familiar with Africa’s scene as a powerhouse. Born Oluwatosin Ajibade, the artist was born in Nigeria and later relocated to Ghana to study mechanical engineering at KNUST. It was there where he began a number of businesses, one of them being a successful party promoting company called Swagger Entertainment, which have booked artists such as Burna Boy.
After looking for a new hobby outside of party promoting, Eazi began dabbling in the music scene, having put out his mixtape About to Blow as an experiment. Eventually, his music caught fire and it was in July 2016 after a successfully headlined show, where he realized being a musician would be his calling. With a tech startup already gaining traction from investors, Eazi pulled out of this venture, losing his shares in order to focus on becoming a musician.
Eazi attributes much of his success and luck due to the timing of working with DJ Juls, who remixed his second single “Bankulize” featuring Pappy Kojo. Since then, Eazi has been propelled into international recognition with other hits like “Skin Tight” and “Leg Over.” He most recently launched emPawa Africa, a talent agency focused on promoting independent and emerging African artists. With most African artists being independent and lacking proper music business structure, Eazi hopes to provide a platform that is self-sufficient in creating an effective place for these musicians.
“There’s no publishing structure. There’s no label services coming into Africa, not one. There’s the need to start building all of this, and that’s what emPawa is trying to do. I’m trying to build that ecosystem. When you build the ecosystem, you’re going to eat. You’re going to break bread. If I don’t break the ecosystem, someone else will build it at the premium and sell back to me.”
Keeping Jay-Z’s career trajectory in mind, Eazi tells us that he’s always been inspired to not only make wealth, but positively impact the lives of those around him. He emphasizes that “success is the most powerful magnet” and reminds us that in order to succeed in this business, it is of importance to remain “unapologetically you.” Later he talks future music, hobbies, working with J Balvin and much more.
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