Five thoughts after first listen: Mr Eazi ‘Life is Eazi, Vol. 2 – Lagos to London’
Collaboration and experience; two fundamental components of Mr Eazi‘s career to date. The layered artist often articulates his inspiration from the likes of Ghana and more recently the UK and its Afro-swing and Afrobeats acts in particular. Alongside this, when it comes to letting his fans in, Eazi is ahead of the pack and his approach to his ‘Life is Eazi, Vol. 2…’ project was no different. The singer organized (at short notice) a Popup for the set in East London last week and the setting was nothing short of being both meticulous and varied. From the Barcadi-led collaboration, offering cultural takes on cocktails, to the aesthetic and props in the various rooms, Mr Eazi went above and beyond to impress. Perhaps the only downfall was the time taken to actually get a taste of the project itself.
Nonetheless, the project eventually came out, and now that the dust has settled, LØST CULTURE presents ‘Five thoughts after first listen.’
1 ) Mr Eazi is both street-smart and ambitious
From the obvious picks across the project to the “Wakanda” one-liners in places alone; it’s clear that Eazi has his ear to what’s hot across the world. However, the tracks themselves, once played, don’t feel forced at all but more like true artistic expression. The Nigerian artist demonstrates his ability to merge two genres together perfectly on his collaboration with Diplo (‘Open & Close’). The pair race across the track, Diplo guiding the way, but in a different capacity to what we’re used too. Usually, it appears as though the DJ has had total say into how the record sounds, but here, Eazi‘s influence is as clear as day. Open & Close manages to have the desired bounce of Diplo‘s EDM and Hip-hop heavy lacings but also ignites soundscapes and drum patterns familiar in Afrobeats. A perfect display of unity.
2 ) ‘Life is Eazi Vol. 2’ has a clear goal in mind; to captivate global audiences
It’s not just the artist/producer selections that make this project more commercial, but the approach sonically. Throughout, it’s quickly established that Lagos to London is just that; a move away from purely Afrobeats from the motherland and more of a tastemaker’s selection of what will digest well with the masses. The simple melodies, the easy to follow chorus’, it all feels more consumer driven. However, that’s not to be conflated with generic, Eazi (as stated above) still manages to find the right balance.
3 ) Chronixx and Mr Eazi have to release ‘She Loves Me’ next summer
It’s too late for the pair to really utilise this single this year, however ‘She Loves Me’, is a hit waiting to happen. The pair dabble in their relationship scorns over the steelpan led production. As soon as Chronixx joins in, it’s clear that he brings the flair that turns the number into a bonafide smash. Eazi holds his own without trying too hard to fit in on foreign turf. On a wider level, tracks like this, alongside the success of Burna Boy with similar genre expansions (Dancehall), prove that Africa and the Caribbean are a match made in heaven when done correctly.
4) Letting fans in is a recipe for success
Part of Mr Eazi‘s success over the years has been his ability to be both vulnerable and in turn relatable to mass audiences. From his testimony’s during his Life is Eazi festival in London last year, to his sophomore mixtape ‘Accra to Lagos’, Eazi cements that his brand, in part, is being emotionally open. Numbers such as ‘Miss You Bad’, convey an unfiltered and sensitive look into the singers’ feelings around certain topics. However, sometimes, all that is desired is casual fun. ‘Yard & Chill’ for instance, is exactly what it says on the tin; a lust for a temporary stress reliever. The juxtaposition of opposing emotions is both refreshing and candid to the Nigerians millennial led audience.
5) Eazi has found his groove
For the most part, Eazi has established his cool. He’s a curator of sorts and is not afraid of shining through others as well as alone. What’s clear as the project progresses, is that the entertainer is louder, bolder and more confident than ever as he reaches his destination of London. The Eazi imprint is beginning to find a lane of its own and it’s clear that soon the act will join Wizkid in becoming a gatekeeper. It’s imperative, however, that Eazi doesn’t get complacent and lazy.
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