If you know the music scene in Ghana, then the name Mr. Eazi shouldn’t be new. Mr. Eazi who is a Nigerian by the name of Tosin Ajibade has been heating up the ountry with his hit tracks ‘Bankulize’, ‘Shitor’, ‘Skin tight’, ‘Anointing’ and more.
A graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah’ University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, he also holds an MSc degree in Engr/Management from Coventry University.
Eazi started recording as a hobby in 2010 with a group called Code Red. The reception of their songs especially towards him made him dedicate more time recording and learning his craft while still in university.
From singles to features, he become a major force in the underground/upcoming game getting co-signs from EL, Fuse ODG and featuring on Sarkodie’s song – ‘Thank God’, X.O Senavoe’s ‘Fever’ and Stay Jay’s ‘Baby Lace’; adding the Naija flavour they needed to each song.
In 2013, he released his mixtape ‘About to Blow’ which had the songs ‘Pipi Dance’, ‘Orobo’ and ‘Bankulize’ as breakout singles. ‘Pipi Dance’ went on to be played on radio massively in Ghana.
In 2014 November, a new version of ‘Bankulize’ produced by DJ Juls (who produced the hit single ‘Feel Alright’ by Show Dem Camp) feat Pappy Kojo was released. By February, it was the number one song in Ghana according to iTunes. All of these had made the Nigerian, who had schooled and lived in Ghana, and made music for Ghanaians, using their influence and culture a star.
But he wasn’t accepted by some section of the Ghanaians, who called him a Nigerian, and kept him away from VGMA in 2015, the biggest music honor in the land. The PRO for Charterhouse, the organizers of the annual prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Awards disclosed that VGMAs board thought it wise not to include Mr. Eazi for the event because he is not a Ghanaian by heritage, and disregarded that he has been staying in Ghana, and creating content for Ghana.
“I’ve heard lots of talk about VGMAs not nominating Mr. Eazi in the various categories. But they should know that the reason why we deem it fit not to make him part and parcel of the award scheme is that he’s not a Ghanaian.” He said.
“Mr. Eazi is a Nigerian, and the only category he can compete for is the African Artiste of the Year category and with that one he didn’t qualify because his influence on the African map is nothing to talk home about as compared to the other artistes in that category.” He continued.
Mr Eazi has since seen his song ‘Skin tight’ penetrate the Nigerian market, and he is currently enjoying tremendous acceptance in Nigeria. Interviews and press rounds have been carried out, as his profiles continue to grow. A UK tour has been held, and many more are lined up planned. His latest song ‘Anointing’, which features rapper, Sarkodie, is gradually penetrating radio, racking up over 1.5 million Youtube.
What has made Mr Eazi so appealing to Ghana? His sound. Mr Eazi’s partnership with Julz is currently one that is working. Grabbing inspiratuion from 80s and 90s Ghanaian Highlife melodies, Julz creates a modern fusion of these sounds, and hands it to Mr Eazi, who layers his pop verses over it. Thematic direction of the songs are all romance and love-based.
Just like the 70s and the 60’s when Ghanaian Highlife was appropriated by our Nigerian fathers, the sounds from Ghana have been mixed with a Naija delivery, and it has caught on.
For now Mr Eazi still prefers his Ghanaian home. “I prefer staying in Ghana – actually Kumasi because, I love the Ghanaian culture and things happen to be easy for me here in Ghana,” He says. “I love the people and the ‘Banku’. But he is becoming a force in Nigeria. One that has the potential to explode.