In 2016 were grateful for…: Mr Eazi’s emergence and instant influence on pop music
In honor of the end of 2016, we are writing stories about artists, songs, albums or moments from the year that we’re most grateful for.
Eazi’s stripped down afrobeat is so effortless it makes you wonder if there’s something you’re missing. But that’s the idea; he wants his vibe to be as his name suggests.
Mr Eazi and bravery rarely do look like bedmates. Slim, almost frail-looking, the singer does possess a stature that societal conventional wisdom will never correlate to bravery.
But he is brave. A man who took his chance to shine with both hands in 2016, fighting against celebrity power and sticking to a sound that has broken through and become a template for mid-tempo music in Nigeria is brave.
Prior to the general acceptance of ‘Skin tight’, who would have gone down the way of Mr Eazi in chasing recognition in a country where many talents die without fulfillment, nor celebration? Prior to 2016, the general knowledge amongst industry analysts has it that songs has to be of a certain format and production to become popular.
‘Increase the speed (BPM), add heavy muscular beats, autotune the hell out of it”, many experts told new artistes, and gave them hope.
But Mr Eazi, rejected the chance to go down that route. He worked hard, understood the wave of change that has had listeners pining for new material and stuck to his sound. They got it, Mr Eazi got it, and now everyone celebrates him.
But his debut personal concert in Lagos was a show of bravery. The concert happened with very little by way of headline sponsorship. A number of brands showed interests but didn’t follow through, leaving revenue generation to ticketing and the few who did honour.
Then there was the competition for places. ‘Life Is Eazi’ concert held on a night when the odds were stacked against him. On paper, things looked a little difficult for him. His event was holding on a packed night, when the mighty Davido was rounding off Industry Nite concert a few kilometres away, BET award-winning superstar, Black Coffee was playing a set at a nearby party, and on the Lagos Mainland, Mavin Records were throwing their strength behind their prolific son, Reekado Banks at his ‘Thank You’ concert holding at the iconic New Afrika Shrine.
But what a concert it was in terms of numbers. Mr Eazi’s 2,500 capacity hall was full and overflowing with guests. Concert-goers, comprised predominantly of teenagers and tech savvy kids who are on holiday, poured in in their numbers and the venue overflowed. Security had to activate crowd control to prevent overcrowding the venue.
Mr Eazi’s 2016 has seen him take chances all through. All of his risks have paid off, and now he is poised to end the year on a high, after the adventure of hosting his own show panned out well.
Only brave men can do what he has done. Only the brave get rewarded in the way he has been. In 2016, Life became easy for Mr Eazi.
Then there’s Mr Eazi. The only breakout Nigerian star of 2016, and one of the hottest artistes of the year is a huge social media savvy man. Mr Eazi does not possess the humor of Falz, but he builds fandom via engagement, and the selling of his music. Life with Eazi is easy on social media. Every tweet gets a reply, every comment gets an answer. Praises from fans receive gratitude from the singer, and many more.
When he isn’t reaching out to fans on Twitter, he is pouring out his emotions lyrically, and entertaining with wordplay. Fans are being shown what is interesting, and so they keep coming back for more. That’s where he sells them his amazing music. Eazi has very little offline marketing spend on his music, but online, he strolls the streets like a king.
‘In 2016, we’re grateful for’ an act like Mr Eazi, who handled business in a new way and emerged a champ.