News Brief
Ikenna Nwagboso (BANKU MUSIC)

Mr Eazi and J Balvin Cross Continents to Bring Us 'Lento'

This sizzling afropop and reggaeton hit is surely a collab sent straight from heaven.

In an end of year collaboration sent straight from heaven, Nigeria's Mr Eazi and Colombia's J Balvin join forces and cultures to bring fans "Lento." The two continue their delectable cross-continental bond on the brilliant and infectious new hit.

The sizzling new single has something for fans of afropop, reggaeton, and everything in between.

The two music giants manage to perfectly bridge and melt their musical worlds together on an unmistakable Nigerian beat, courtesy of bad ass producer KILLERTUNES. All the while exchanging lyrics in Spanish, Yoruba and English, with a nod to Elvis Crespo's merengue classic "Suavemente."


The pair have a history, with collaborations like "Como Un Bebé" from Balvin's 2019 album Oasis and "Arcoíris" off of his project Colores under their belts.

Of the special connection Mr Eazi says, "Since we connected in 2018, J BALVIN and I have been like brothers." The two first connected when Balvin selected Eazi as his opening act on his 2018 North American Tour.

He continues, "He's been bringing me into his world of urbano and reggaeton, and I've been introducing him to mine. It's been a cross-cultural interplay and marriage between what I feel are cousins. It's in that spirit that we made 'Lento,' one of many records we've recorded together."

Watch the official dance video for "Lento" here.

Mr Eazi - Lento (feat. J Balvin) [Official Dance Video] www.youtube.com

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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