- Words Darcy Culverhouse
Afrobeat talisman Mr Eazi unravels his most personal work to date with his debut album, ‘The Evil Genius’.
If you ask any afrobeats fan who Mr Eazi is, they’ll probably reply with a “duh”. His music is sacred in the scene, joining the cohort of musicians who have become global ambassadors for the afrobeat and afropop landscape. Although very few artists have gone this deep into their careers without releasing an album, Eazi knew he had to release a record exceeding all expectations. That album is ‘The Evil Genius’, a 16-track project unravelling an exciting musical scrapbook that blends genres in a way that only he knows how.
The artist is far from a newcomer on the block; he’s a seasoned professional of seven years, whose dominated time after time again. With a music catalogue that boasts over four billion global streams as well as countless multiple platinum singles, Eazi has international collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé, J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Nicki Minaj under his belt.
Recorded over the past two years between some of Eazi’s favourite cities including Accra, Lagos, London, Los Angeles and New York, ‘The Evil Genius’ is nothing short of an international piece of musical artistry. Whilst melding elements of afropop, gospel, hiplife and folklore, Eazi delves into themes of love, betrayal, loneliness and family expressed through three distinctive movements throughout his album.
The first of these three chapters finds Eazi shredding the burdens of success and fame, followed by a five-song section dedicated to the theme of love. The album concludes with a suite of spiritual and profoundly resonant anthems that express Eazi’s utmost gratitude.
Smooth, scurrying rhythms create a welcoming space for melodies that gracefully complement the lyricism poised with big ideas. Establishing his bona fides on subdued, ‘Òròkórò’, Eazi shares the microphone with the legendary singer Angelique Kidjo, delivering an upbeat track with an infectious melody. The album’s centrepiece, ‘Wey Dey’ is a swaying banger. Recorded in L.A., Eazi sings the title with reverent solemnity, infusing it with elements of personal reflection, local struggle and global ambitions.