The King of Banku Music AKA Mr Eazi is Holding it Down as our Artist of this week

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We got the pioneer of  Banku music -Ghanigerian singer/songwriter who has characterized his music as afrobeat- the category of West African music that features pop, hip-hop and high-life on the our AOTW segment today. He’s the trademark raffia hat head with a beautiful deep voice which gives the qualities to dance music right here chilling with us but being represented by his music.

Mr Eazi first gain Nigerian recognition through his banger tunes which were in succession for the major part of 2016. And to those yet to be clear on what nationality is Mr Eazi, Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade better known by his stage name Mr Eazi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He was born on 19th July 1991 (27) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He grew up in the family of entrepreneurs: businesswoman and a pilot father who also had his own consulting practice in aviation. From childhood while Mr Eazi was attending primary school in Lagos, he developed interest in music. He had a brief stint in the school’s choir- i.e he was part of his school choir while he would also listento his father’s records during breakfast. At 16, he relocated to Ghana to pursue his education, and ended up studying mechanical engineering at KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology).

During his time at the university, he started recording music. He was active on campus. He would organize events and finally found a party and Promotion Company called Swagger Entertainment- a platform he used to book shows and promote events on campus. At the age of 23, he came back to Nigeria; briefly worked for Schlumberger – the world’s largest oilfield services company while he continued to pursue his business which included soft drinks import, gold mining, and food distribution as well as opening his own e-commerce platform. Mr Eazi once disclosed had about six business ventures.

Even though Mr Eazi started recording as a hobby in 2010 with a group called Code Red where he started off with singles and features that made him a major force in the upcoming game, he practically embarked on full musical career in 2012 and released his 13-track debut mixtape, About to Blow, in July 2013. He produced two singles: “Pipi Dance” released in mid-2012 and “Bankulize released in 2013. Mr Eazi quit being a club promoter in 2014 after an artist failed to show up for the largest party he attempted to throw. Within two months of returning to Nigeria, he was contacted by a UK-based Ghanaian producer DJ Juls who reached out to him after managing to get a hold of some of his recordings.

 

Due to not being able to locate the audio files of his old recordings, Mr Eazi’s attempt at working with Juls stalled for a long time. Mr Eazi eventually found his audio files and emailed them to Juls, who made a new beat and created the artwork for the mixtape’s second single “Bankulize”. The song features vocals from Ghanaian hiplife artist Pappy Kojo and was released in November 2014.

 Bankulize

Bankulize” (named for the Ghanaian corn and cassava dish “banku”) was released quietly on a few Ghana radio stations in 2013. Since then, Eazi and Juls have collaborated on a number of hits that have helped propel Eazi to legitimate stardom.

Banku is the music style with unique rhythm that incorporates laid-back singing in Ghanaian pidgin. It’s a fusion sound described as a mixture of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian chord progressions and patterns. Banku is the music style with unique rhythm that incorporates laid-back singing in Ghanaian pidgin a fusion sound described as a mixture of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian chord progressions and patterns.

Mr Eazi gained an international audience following the release of the 2015 single “Skin Tight” actually. Skin tight (August) and Hollup were both released in 2015. ST features guest vocals from Ghanaian singer Efya and was produced by DJ Juls. In an interview with Complex magazine, Mr Eazi described the song as a “fusion. He said he spoke Ghanaian pidgin on the delivery and used Nigerian melodies.  In 2016, Terry G collaborated with Mr Eazi to release a remix of the song. In February 2016, organizers of the Vodafone-sponsored Ghana Music Awards made a decision not to nominate MrEazi in any of its Ghanaian-only categories due to his nationality. MrEazi was only eligible to compete in the African Artiste of the Year category of which he failed to pick up a nomination because the organizers felt that he isn’t as big as the other nominees.  On 17 June 2016, Mr Eazi released the R&B-inspired “Anointing”, a song that features rap vocals from Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie. Mr Eazi first announced plans for the song in May 2016.

After his performance at the 2016 Ghana Music Awards Wizkid announced that he signed MrEazi to his imprint Starboy Entertainment only for MrEazi on a Ghana radio in later in July 2017 clarify that he was not officially signed to Starboy.

Skin Tight

(WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards – Special Recognition Award Music Video Africa and Best New Artiste)

Mr Eazi released two singles in May 2018:  “Overload” and the grime-inspired “London Town” featuring Giggs before

 

  Property

It does look life seems to be much easier for Mr Eazi #Relationship with the oil morgul’s daughter-music or no music, Mr Eazi can trend all week without new music. Remember earlier in July Mr Eazi trended on social media without a new record but because the fashion blogger celebrated him with a flying banner with the caption “Happy birthday Eazi. Love Temi,” That has helped his public recognition as an artist I believe.Since Mr Eazi’s breakthrough in 2016, all of the conversations around him have focused on his work as an artist. Mr Eazi wouldn’t be in the news without a song attached to his name. It’s a win seeing Mr Eazi trend on social media without a new record. Music or no music, we just never know how far ‘Mr Eazi’ will remain in the limelight even as a brand in Nigeria as long as the two are still together.

In early 2017, rumor had it that Eazi and Temi Otedola were both dating; actually started with the two being all over each other especially on Snapchat. Eazi wouldn’t reveal the “mystery bae”s face from snapchat   at the time before he finally confirmed the rumor taking to his Instagram and posted pictures of him with Temi at a wedding in UK and wrote: “I just Met a Fan! She sabi my entire Mixtape” He make  dating Temi Otedola  known as they were spotted in a wedding in the UK alongside Victor Anichebe,Dj Cuppy’s boyfriend. A few weeks before his confirmation, both of them were in Barcelona together for the Camp Nou experience tour and shared photos of their visit to the football stadium.

AWARD & NOMINATION

Mr Eazi won Himself Next Rated award at the 2016 Headies. Nominated in the category of Best African Act at the 2016 MOBO Awards ( Music of Black Origin)MOBO Awards is one of Europe’s biggest and most influential music award ceremonies, celebrating excellence in black music in the UK and internationally.

He (and Tekno) made a debut appearance as a nominee in the 2017 BET awards under the category -Best International Act: Africa along with DAVIDO, Wizkid (whose nominations were 2nd time in a row) among other Africa artists like from SA and GH . Won the Best Of Africa #BOA Awards recognition award for Building Wells Across Africa – #BOA Awards recognition award with #PourMewater Streams. Best of Africa is an award that gives tribute and recognizes the humanitarian struggle & attainments of footballers of African background. Mr. Eazi is not a footballer perhaps this was due to his being one of the best African philanthropists known for philanthropic works over Africa.

If there is one thing I like Mr Eazi for; it has to be his constant work on new songs and music videos even though his name in relation to music is no more as big as it used to be in 2016/17 especially since his relationship with Temi Otedola kicked off. His music is fun, easy on the ears, and paired with music videos that are easy on the eyes. He is said to be one of the most talked about Afrobeats artists in London, Nigeria, and Ghana

CONTROVERSY

Life was really Eazi for Mr Eazi in 2016 until 2017 when Mr eazi became the subject of complaints by fans and industry practitioners…#Ibroughtanewvibe To The Industry…#lots of Nigerian artistes use Ghanaian words in their songs, but never been to Ghana..#lot more songsthat have that Ghanaian influence I can boldly say that started after my songs started gaining popularity”. My hastags though! Quite sentencials! OMG! Nigerians no dey chill sha! Cant someone who grew up in Ghana claimed that he was responsible for introducing most of the slangs from his former country of residence to his home nation again? I grew up in Ibadan; I am responsible for most of the Yoruba-English Funke Akindele is sparkle in Jeniffer’s Diary! Linx grew up in Jos, she’s responsible for all the hausa Ice Prince always use for his rap….LOL!

On 11 January 2017, MrEazi tweeted that Ghanaian music has a great influence over present-day Nigerian music. He received heavy backlash after posting the tweet and trended nationwide in both Ghana and Nigeria. On 12 January 2017, MrEazi apologized to Nigerians for the comments that he made. He then released His second mixtapeLife Is Eazi, Vol. 1 – Accra to Lagos, 10 February 2017.  Mr. Eazi’s ‘Accra to Lagos’ was one of the strongest records of 2017. Twitter was set ablaze because of Mr Eazi in January and September 2017 with Nigerians reminding him of the likes of wizkid had songs like Azonto song, banku slang etc while Runtown whom it was that that  the threw shots at also tweeted that he was ready to let the music speak.  He didn’t appear bothered by the barrage of insults and backlash he received on Twitter after putting up the tweet. But later apologized later apologized jokingly saying he just got a call from his fam in Imeko  that they were holding family meeting to deport him to Ghana. Abeg my Naija people no vex.” Then People yap him saying all manners of things. The September one, some said he was trying to play between the Nigerian and Ghanaian markets as a ploy for his upcoming UK Culture Fest then

One can tell Mr Eazi’s seems to be on the same page with his contemporaries especially in relation to signing international deals. In March 2018 it was reported that Mr Eazi signed a record deal with Diplo’s label Mad DecentMr Eazi signed a licensing deal with Universal Africa, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group – he signed a licensing deal with Universal Africa for his music within the continent and Columbia Records globally. 2018 has seen Mr Eazi perform at more shows internationally: Barcelona, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and United Kingdom.

He’s been billed to be on Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation 20th anniversary tour this month as well as Patoranking in October. He has also announced new album, ”Life is Eazi Vol 2: Lagos to London” to be out in October 2018 via his Instagram page saying ”Happy to let you guys know that I will be releasing my new Project in October its called Life is Eazi Vol2.” We do hope he gets much more international benefits just as Temi Otedola is adding another layer to his celebrity status here at home.

Mixtapes: About to Blow (2013)Life Is Eazi, Vol. 1 – Accra to Lagos (2017), Life is Eazi Vol2 october 2018

 Leg Over (The mixtape’s lead single) hottest Mr Eazi jam of 2016 produced by E Kelly released towards his Headies Next Rated Award. A single released ahead of his mixtape, Accra to Lagos

The song was nominated in the category of Best Single at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2017. – The same award nominated Eazi for Best Afropop Male Artist as well as Life Is Eazi -Best Album.  NEAs is a  New York City award to serve the growing African population in North America as well as promoting the image and culture of Nigeria. It’s an event that has helped promote Nigerian acts to the world.

 

 

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