After spending the last seven years at the top of the afrobeats music scene – years that have seen him win a Grammy, and become the first Nigerian artist to win a Latin Grammy, while amassing over four billion streams and selling multiple platinum singles, across two classic mixtapes, and essential afropop hits like ‘Skin Tight’ and ‘Pour Me Water’, Global music superstar MR EAZI is finally set to release his debut solo album on October 27. Available for pre-order from July 19, the highly anticipated album announcement comes with the release of his excellent new track ‘CHOP TIME, NO FRIEND’, as featured in OkayAfrica, serving as the lead single and first taste of Mr Eazi’s long-awaited upcoming album.
Produced by Grammy Award-winning Ghanaian musician Killbeatz (Ed Sheeran, Wizkid, Burna Boy), and fast-rising Nigerian producer Andre Vibez, who is best known for producing the Rema and Selena Gomez Billboard Top 10 single ‘Calm Down’, ‘Chop Time, No Friend’ sees Mr Eazi returning to his trademark Banku Music sound – which he pioneered and popularized on his early breakout singles – in true trailblazer fashion. Driven by glorious melodies, magnificent horn sections, and lush keyboard arrangements, the groove-filled opus sees Mr Eazi delivering a silky-smooth hit song that shows a glimpse of just why he is revered as one of the best afrobeats artists to ever do it.
For the accompanying ‘Chop Time, No Friend’ music video, Mr Eazi has collaborated with award-winning filmmaker Allison Swank Owen (Erykah Badu, A$AP Rocky, Major Lazer) to bring the track further to life. Shot in Dakar, the video sees Mr Eazi shining the spotlight on the thriving creative scene that is emerging out of Senegal’s capital city – from the fashion to the fine art to its everyday people. This theme of shining the spotlight is something Mr Eazi also carries along, even to commissioning the cover art for ‘Chop Life, No Friend’, painted by burgeoning South African artist Sinalo Ngcaba.
Speaking about the inspiration behind this new track ‘Chop Time, No Friend’, and how he will not let anybody distract him from enjoying the fruits of his success, Mr Eazi says, “The phrase ‘Chop Time, No Friend’ is a very common Ghanaian saying, something you will see written on the front or side of buses, just like the popular saying, ‘God is Great’. It means when you are eating, you don’t think about anybody, you are just focused on your enjoyment – this song is touching on how people chit-chat on me, but I am still focused on my enjoyment. It is a declaration, a celebration of self. I am saying everything I touch turns to gold, and you can’t trouble me”.
ABOUT MR EAZI
MR EAZI is a musical innovator, business leader and philanthropist. As a recording artist, the Nigerian star is one of the most streamed African artists in the world, with over 4 billion streams, he is also the voice behind afropop hits ‘Pour Me Water’, ‘Skin Tight’, and ‘Leg Over’, as well as ground-breaking collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé and J Balvin. A serial entrepreneur, he founded emPawa Africa in 2018 as a talent incubator program designed to accelerate the careers of African artists. Hailed by CNN, Rolling Stone, Billboard and Forbes for his innovative approach to expanding African music’s global reach, he has grown emPawa Africa into one of Africa’s largest independent music companies, with a track record of breaking global stars like Joeboy and Major League DJz.
Born in Port Harcourt and raised in Lagos, Mr Eazi began his music career while attending college in Ghana. His first-ever recording, made on a whim, became an accidental local hit, prompting him to take music seriously. Blending touches of Ghanaian highlife music and pidgin slang, with Nigerian chord progressions and R&B vocal inflections, he soon developed a mellowed-out spin on afropop, which he dubbed Banku Music, after the popular Ghanaian comfort food dish. Arriving just as afrobeats music was exploding into global consciousness, Mr Eazi quickly became an international sensation, taking Banku Music all over the world. His global travels birthed two acclaimed mixtapes Life Is Eazi Vol. 1: Accra To Lagos and Life Is Eazi Vol. 2: Lagos To London – the rest, as they say, is history.
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