Mr Eazi on Bringing the all vibes from Lagos to London, EmPAWA and more.
When we first came across Mr Eazi when he played at Disturbing London’s AfroRepublik last year we knew he was one to look out for. Since then with the release of his album Life is Eazi, Vol 2 Lagos to London we knew that he somebody that we have to see again. And so with his upcoming UK tour in November we spoke with Mr about everything from building his shows, playing across the world, as well as his new initiative EmPAWA and more.
How did start getting into music?
I started when I was younger and I was living in Ghana, I used to throw parties and put shows together where I would book artists to play at the shows I was doing. Later I started performing myself and I would say that it became a hobby to start with when I would record in the studio and then I would send it to my friends and they would share it around. When I first came to the UK and played a show and saw how many people came out to the show and knew the music I knew it was something bigger than me and bigger than just a hobby.
What was it like when you first came in terms of the Afrobeats scene in the UK?
When I came to the UK I found that it was already there and I do feel like it is something that has always been around, I feel like now there is more awareness to it, it has grown a lot from that time since people have shared it with more people outside of the diaspora it has become more accessible.
Did you already find that there was an audience when you starting playing shows in the UK or did you have to build your base from scratch?
Definitely, I found that there was an audience here already, as I mentioned the music has always been here but also just from playing those first shows in the UK where people came out, the numbers may have been smaller than they are now but they were there, and now those audiences have become bigger and have grown with the music and are also much more diverse.
How do you feel from the beginning till now the shows have changed over the years?
I feel that the shows have obviously gotten much bigger like I said with the music, so now you are playing shows where not everybody necessarily knows you if it’s a festival stage where people are hearing you for the first time which is always fun and exciting, but also at the same time sometimes you miss playing to those small intimate shows crowds where it was just you and a few fans so to be able to experience bot has been great.
When it comes to building your shows and putting them together what sort of essence and vibes do you put out?
I want my shows to have good vibes and I want the people who come to my shows to forget about anything that might be going on in their lives and just have a good time. Usually the songs are slower calmer chilled, some are mid-tempo and some high-energy jump jump, I try to create a roller coaster of good vibes.
When you are putting on a show whether a festival performance or your own show how do you build the show in terms of the music, is it something you think about when you are in the studio or when you are putting the show together?
It’s a combination of both, when I’m in the studio you know the type of vibe you want the music to be like, and then when it comes to the show you build the set list around what you want the show to be like so you chose certain songs and bring out certain things in the songs that make it all come together.
How do you feel the aesthetic and vibes of your shows make you stand out as a performer since the demand and growth of the music has happened?
I think for me what makes my shows stand out is the music and the vibes. It’s hard to explain it when I say the vibes because it’s just something that everybody feels in the music. Some of it really calm and some of it is upbeat its hard to explain it but it is something in that.
How key are the visuals elements to your shows and the overall experience for your fans ?
I think they are very important because when you are taking things in from the show you want your fans to feel it, your sense of smell, your hearing, your feeling everything you want it to be an experience. Unfortunately you can’t taste it, (if it was possible to serve food at the show I would definitely serve food. Maybe I should think about that) I just want them to experience everything.
For your upcoming UK Tour that’s going to happening at the end of this year in November what are you excited about and what can we expect from the show?
For me what I am most excited about to see the crowds singing along to all of the songs. I want everybody to come have fun, sing along with the album being from Lagos to London. I am going to be bringing out some of my friends at the show so that is something to look out for. I am definitely bringing in an element of storytelling I want to tell a story in the show and everything must add something. The visuals should tell the mood of each song, where we are in Lagos, Accra, London everything.
In terms of another initiative you are working in at the moment with EmPAWA what can you tell us about it?
It started as a way of giving back and helping my community and at the same time building a business like an African owned Label that is able to help independent African artists, in supporting their music and becoming artist like myself. There is a growing amount of talent coming from the continent of Africa and we want to give those young people a chance.
You have a number of artists that have been involved with this, and so how has it been like collaborating with the UK artists and working with the young people on the programme?
There has been a growing amount of talent and so for me it has been great getting to work with some of the next generation young people in what they are doing so it is something that I wanted to share further.
What can we expect from the programme going forward ?
Last year we had the accelerator programme we did and we are starting the next one in July, and we’ll be picking a select number of artists from across Africa and supporting them with $10,000 each to help them shoot their video, promote their music, and give them a platform where they can feel empowered to be independent artists and grow on their own. Additionally we are starting Empawa Publishing which will focus on the new wave of producers coming up within Africa and ‘Empawa Live’ that will allow artists scouted through this initiative to perform at coveted events such as; one of London’s biggest Afrobeats festivals, “Party in the Park” (in conjunction with Akwaaba UK).
With everything happening in terms of your music, what else can we expect from you next?
Apart from the tour and everything you can expect new music coming I have a new single Supernova which is out on June 28th and after that I will be releasing music every 6 weeks until the end of the year. We have the tour, which is exciting, and everything else. It is just continuing to create music and put the vibes out there.