- Words Notion Staff
- Photography & Fashion AZAZEL
- Photography Assistant FREDI MECAJ
- Fashion Assistant ALLESSANDRA LATO
- Creative Direction DEVON NICHOLAS
- MUA YOLANDA DOHR
- Hair YUHO KAMO
With more music in the works, and a new project, 'Analyze Love' released this year, don’t be mistaken: Azakel's time is now.
Azekel is navigating a lane that simply no one else sits in. His dulcet vocal deliveries have fluttered over the productions of everyone from Massive Attack to Gorillaz, and with a plethora of eclectic releases since his debut in 2015, it’s unsurprising that he’s become one of the industry’s most exciting and experimental trailblazers. Driven by introspection and emotion, his music looks from within to his narrate personal experiences with love, loss, modern masculinity and the community around him. Inspired by Fela Kuti, Azekel’s poetic delivery has made him a vital voice among London’s avant-garde R&B scene, but he’s by no means confined to this sound.
At the age of five he moved with his family to east London from Nigeria, developing a keen interest in music shortly after. Making him the multihyphenate he is today, the artist learnt how to play the guitar and keyboard, and then eventually, how to write and produce his own songs. Such skill doesn’t go unnoticed. On his come up, the likes of Prince and Nile Rogers co–signed Azekel’s vivid storytelling and propelled him further into the spotlight.
After a short hiatus following the release of his acclaimed album Our Father in 2018, Azekel’s back with a new single, “Palm Wine Dreamz”. Featuring Kojey Radical and anaiis, the track analyses romance and kinship in equal measure. Both dreamy and intoxicating, the beat’s lucidity allures you into the song’s diaristic nature, whilst Azekel’s sensual tones accommodate the different cadences of his collaborators.
As he marks a new stage in his career, signing to Mr Eazi’s ‘emPawa Africa’ imprint, it feels like Azekel’s rise is becoming unstoppable. With more music in the works, and a new project, ‘Analyze Love’, on the way, don’t be mistaken: his time is now.
How are you today?
I’m bless, heading to the studio.
Who are you as an artist and what are you working on right now?
I’m Azekel, Nigerian–born recording artist and producer from London. I’ve recently finished my next mixtape, Analyze Love.
Conceptually, what were the main influences for the project?
It’s influenced by the different aspects of love, people and the relationships I have.
Who are your biggest creative inspirations?
I’m inspired creatively by musicians and artists that have their own individuality, and are always pushing their boundaries.
Last album you listened to?
I’m a crate digger, so it was probably something that came out ages ago. But in terms of new albums, it was Could We Be More by Kokoroko.
What’s your perspective on how fashion and music coexist?
It’s all creation. I hear music as the soundtrack and see fashion and style as the uniform – a visual mood to the music. They’re both created using the same muscles.
Do you have favorite fashion brands?
I’m more into style than fashion, though I love utility and functional design, things that have a purpose to them and that are well made. I’m into Margiela, Prada, Off-White.
Do you feel like, post-pandemic, everything has gone back to normal in the industry this year?
No. I think we are in a new normal, and learning how to navigate through it. Change is natural.
How do you see the future of the music industry?
I think streaming will constantly, always change. I think more abstract, experimental ideas in music will become more normal. The way we use technology will play a part in the music making too.
How’s this side of the year been for you personally?
Celebratory and productive. I’ve been in the studio finishing up music and celebrating the release of the new music. I’m grateful that the music has been received well.
What intentions are you setting for 2023?
A musical takeover, loads more music. I look forward to sharing more of my installation art work too.