Thutmose. Photo: Abi Polinsky. Courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Thutmose Blends the Sounds of Brooklyn & Nigeria Into His Own Pop Flavor

The Nigerian-born artist talks to us about his new EP, Don't Wake Me, as well as getting on the Spider-Man soundtrack, touring with Billie Eilish, and collaborating with Rema.

Thutmose is living out his dream. To this day, the Nigerian rapper and singer has a hard time accepting this is his real life—from "Run Wild" becoming the soundtrack to the official trailer of EA Sports' FIFA 2018 World Cup game to to opening for pop/R&B sensation Billie Eilish and being featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack.

At eight years old, Umar Ibrahim migrated from his home of Nigeria to Brooklyn, New York. Admitting to encountering a "complete culture shock," Thut quickly adapted to his surroundings and took took a liking the East Coast. When it comes to his music, he makes it a point to highlight his journey from his Nigeria to the States, naturally combining both upbringings into one style.

Thut has yet to return to Nigeria in over 16 years, which makes his forthcoming trip in December that much more meaningful. In any case, he just hopes to inspire and motivate all those who come after him. Now, he unleashes his new EP, Don't Wake Me, a tribute to this dreamscape he's been living as a reality. On the five-track project, he recruits highly-buzzing Nigerian recording artist Rema and even samples Koffee's "Raggamuffin."

OkayAfrica caught up with Thutmose in Los Angeles to discuss the inspiration behind Don't Wake Me, working with Rema and Koffee, and how he landed on the Spider-Verse soundtrack.

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Mr Eazi. Photo: Emily Nkanga.

Mr Eazi: "Music Has Made Me Understand & Investigate What It Means to Be African"

An exclusive interview with the buzzing artist about his daily life, influences, Life Is Eazi Vol. 2 - Lagos to London, his Empawa initiative and, even, collaborating with a K-pop artist.

From Lagos to London to the United States, Mr Eazi's name carries tremendous weight.

With his 2015 single "Skin Tight" and the subsequent knock-out blow of "Leg Over" giving him the momentum he needed to break through to the mainstream light, the Nigerian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur has since built an international fanbase, performing and shutting down stages all across the globe.

Eazi has positioned himself to be one of the most well-respected Nigerian artists out right now, leaving you in disbelief that it was only two years ago he was answering phone calls for a living.

In 2018, he wrapped up a US tour opening for J Balvin before unleashing Life is Eazi Vol 2 - Lagos To London, with features from Diplo, Burna Boy, Chronixx, and Giggs. While his roots lie in afrofusion, and it's his ability to break down genre barriers and create his own lane of Nigerian pop that listeners can't help but gravitate towards.

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