Promotional image for 'The Evil Genius' by Mr Eazi.
Mr Eazi Shares Long-Awaited Album, 'The Evil Genius'
'The Evil Genius' shows Mr Eazi at his best as a force of pan-African collaboration in the Afrobeats space.
Afropop sensation Mr Eazi has unleashed his highly-anticipated debut album, The Evil Genius, which is now available through his own emPawa Africa label. The album was recorded in diverse locations, spanning Ouidah and Cotonou in Benin, Kigali in Rwanda, Accra and Kokrobite in Ghana, Lagos in Nigeria, London, Los Angeles, and New York City. Comprising three distinct acts, The Evil Genius delves deep into themes such as love, betrayal, loneliness, and family, offering some of Mr Eazi's most personal work to date.
Expanding on the Banku Music genre, Mr Eazi's unique twist on contemporary Afropop, the album harmoniously fuses an eclectic range of styles across its 16 tracks, including Ghanaian highlife, grime, and gospel, creating a true pan-African masterpiece.
Guest appearances on the album feature prominent artists such as Angelique Kidjo from Benin, Efya from Ghana, Whoisakin from Nigeria, and the Soweto Gospel Choir, three-time Grammy winners hailing from South Africa, who contribute a heavenly choral arrangement to the recent single, "Exit."
Notable Nigerian Afrobeats star Tekno joins Mr Eazi on "Jamboree," a nod to the 'pon pon' sound that defined Afrobeats during their early emergence. Also, Joeboy, whom Mr Eazi discovered and signed to emPawa Africa in 2018, teams up with his mentor on the playful track "Zuzulakate," highlighting their remarkable chemistry.
An array of accomplished producers contributed to The Evil Genius, including Kel-P, Knucks, Michael Brun, Andre Vibez, Yung Willis, Nonso Amadi, KillBeatz, M.O.G Beatz, E Kelly, Type A, Stikmatik, Phantom, Venna, KDream, and Mr Eazi himself.
Mr Eazi collaborated with visual artists from across the continent to create unique physical artworks representing each of the album's 16 tracks. While crafting the album, Mr Eazi personally selected 13 artists, representing eight African countries, solidifying his role as an art curator and patron. This project has gained recognition from notable art figures and media outlets alike.
The visual artists who contributed to The Evil Genius include talents from various African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Senegal, and Togo. The art pieces and the stories behind them will be compiled in a limited-edition coffee-table book by Mr Eazi, coming soon.
For the album's cover art, Mr Eazi collaborated with renowned Nigerian stylist, designer, and photographer Daniel Obasi, known for his work with Beyoncé and Louis Vuitton. The cover art draws inspiration from metaphysical and surrealist themes, intertwining elements from the Last Supper and David's Psalm 23 prayer, touching on spirituality, love, confidence, betrayal, and thanksgiving.
Mr Eazi expressed his joy at the album's release, saying, "I'm happy to finally be releasing this project, after years of work. I had to go through this process to let go of emotions and thoughts that were deep within my subconscious. It's come together beautifully and meaningfully, aided by art, and I am proud to share it with the world."
The Evil Genius
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