The multi-award winning Nigerian Afropop artist, Mr Eazi, has released a new single and the title of his decade-in-the-making debut solo album.
“Advice”, which dropped on Friday, forms part of the 16-track upcoming album, “The Evil Genius”, which is set for release on October 27.
Produced by Ghana’s M.O.G. Beatz, the drill-infused, lyrically dense single, “Advice”, namechecks several African martyrs, including former Democratic Republic of the Congo president Joseph Kabila and Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian writer and activist whose 1995 hanging inspired domestic and international outrage.
“I was coming from a place of having that energy,” Eazi said.
“Advice” was recorded during a particularly heavy moment in Eazi’s life, as he watched some of his longest-held relationships crumble under the weight of his success.
“When you first come up (as an artist), everybody is in love with you. Then they want to draw you down. People begin to betray you. If you're able to survive this stage, you go untouchable. But this is the hardest stage,” he said.
The overall album will feature Eazi’s most personal work, as he delves into themes like love, betrayal, loneliness and family, expressed through three distinctive acts.
The album was recorded between Ouidah and Cotonou, Benin, Kigali, Rwanda, Accra and Kokrobite, Ghana, Lagos, Nigeria, London, Los Angeles and New York City over two years.
In the new offering, Eazi has infused African music and art by commissioning visual artists from across the continent to create a unique, physical art piece to represent each song on the album.
For “Advice”, Nairobi, Kenyan artist Alphonce Odhiambo, known as Alpha ODH, created an acrylic painting that speaks to the track’s defiant lyrics.
Eazi personally hand-picked 13 artists, representing eight African countries to collaborate in a process which he describes as “informal and instinctual”.
“Inviting artists to create for the album was from my passion for creativity and expression. The artworks visually unlocks the ideas, emotion, and energy within my music,” he said.
The artworks will be featured in a multisensory exhibition, which debuts in Accra, Ghana, from September 13 to 17, before heading to 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London from October 12 to 15. It will also be showcased in other cities at a later stage.
Eazi is preparing for his “ChopLife World Series” tour, which kicks off in Washington DC tomorrow, before heading to Houston on Sunday, September 3 and Atlanta later this month.
Eazi previously did “ChopLife” pop-ups in Barcelona, Amsterdam, London and Paris in July, and appeared at the Afrobeats Festival in Berlin and Stockholm’s Kulturfestival in August.