Oluwatosin ‘Mr Eazi’ Ajibade

Oluwatosin ‘Mr Eazi’ Ajibade

Oluwatosin ‘Mr Eazi’ Ajibade

C.E.O. emPawa Africa & Choplife Gaming

Oluwatosin MR EAZI Ajibade is a Grammy-awarded artiste, creative and business visionary leading African music into its future.

As a recording artist, the Nigerian multihyphenate is the voice behind Afropop hits “Pour Me Water,” “Skin Tight” (featuring Efya), and “Leg Over,” as well as groundbreaking collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin. As a serial entrepreneur, he’s also the founder of emPawa Africa, a talent incubator program that funds and mentors emerging African artists, and the digital music aggregator emPawa Distribution — initiatives hailed by CNN, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Forbes for their forward-thinking approach. 

Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and raised in Lagos, Mr Eazi began his music career while attending college in Ghana. His side hustles included promoting concerts and running a concierge service shuttling wealthy kids to parties. His first-ever recording, made on a whim, became an accidental local hit, prompting him to self-release a mixtape, About to Blow, in 2013. Blending touches of Ghanaian highlife music and Pidgin slang with Nigerian chord progressions and R&B vocal inflexion, he soon developed a mellowed-out spin on Afropop which he dubbed Banku Music, after the popular Ghanaian comfort food dish. 

After returning to Nigeria to work a corporate job in engineering, Eazi decided to make music his full-time focus, using a $1,000 gift from friends to fund the video for his breakthrough 2015 single, “Skin Tight.” Arriving just as afrobeats was exploding into global consciousness, Eazi has quickly become an international figure, performing across Africa, Europe and the United States, pouring his travels into the critically acclaimed mixtapes Life is Eazi, Vol. 1: Accra to Lagos (2017) and Life is Eazi, Vol 2: Lagos to London (2018). These projects and their resulting hit singles, along with Eazi’s fashion-forward personal style, helped land Eazi in the pages of Vogue, THE FADER, Paper and other influential outlets. 

Fiercely independent and digitally savvy, Eazi has resisted opportunities to sign with major record labels, instead choosing to operate his independent imprint, Banku Music. Since establishing his career, he has answered the call to mentor and support other African emerging artists. He was inspired by his own experiences participating in tech incubators as a young entrepreneur at 440.NG; he launched emPawa Africa in late 2018. In its first round of investment, emPawa Africa provided US$300,000 —or US$3,000 each — in funding for 100 artists from 11 countries, launching the careers of rising stars like Nigeria’s Joeboy and Ghana’s J.Derobie. The initiative’s success led Eazi to form additional companies like emPawa Distribution, the first digital music aggregator focused solely on servicing African music to the global market; and emPawa Live, a college concert series, to support this growing ecosystem of talent. 

2019 proved to be a watershed year for Eazi, on several accounts. April saw him debut at Coachella, where he was one of only two African artists to play at the world’s most prestigious music festival. He was featured on two tracks from Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift album, and appeared alongside Latin superstars Bad Bunny and J Balvin on "Como Un Bebé," from the duo’s collaborative album Oasis. In 2020, his collaboration with DJ Neptune and Joeboy on “Nobody,” topped charts across several African countries while reaching #7 on Billboard’s World Digital Songs Sales Chart. He also appeared on J Balvin’s Colores album which won a Latin Grammy.

In May 2020, Eazi appeared on the cover of Billboard’s Africa Now issue, the U.S. music bible’s first-ever issue dedicated to African music. Forbes Africa also included him in its annual 30 Under 30 issue spotlighting the continent’s young thought leaders. In the same year, he released a dancehall/rap song with Major Lazer & Nicki Minaj which topped the US iTunes chart upon its release and peaked at #1 on the Billboard World Digital sales chart.

Tosin has been invited to speak about the African music industry and other related subjects on numerous occasions most notably at Talks at Google, TEDtalks, MIDEM 2021, CANEX 2021(IATF), UN Global Compact #UnstoppableAfrica 2022. He continuously advocates and speaks for the creative arts and tech industry; speaking on panels at the Milken Institute 2023 Global Conference and Latitude 59 Tech conference in Estonia.

In June 2022, he released Legalize; the first single off his yet-to-be-released debut album which also announced his foray into the world of contemporary African art with his collaboration with Beninoise painter Patricorel and Dominique Zinkpè.

In October 2023, Eazi’s first album, The Evil Genius, was released and the accompanying art collection was shown in an exhibition at Gallery 1957 in Accra during the Accra Cultural Week and in London during the 1-54 Contemporary art fair. In a first-of-its-kind fusion of African music and art, Mr Eazi commissioned visual artists from across the continent to create a unique, physical art piece to represent each of the album’s 16 tracks. As he traveled through Africa recording the album, Mr Eazi forged relationships with visual artists whose work he encountered along the way. Noting a lack of meaningful collaboration between Africa’s exploding pop music scene and the continent’s fine art creators, Mr Eazi personally handpicked 13 artists, representing eight African countries, adding art curator and patron to his already extensive resume of pursuits. As part of the rollout, Mr Eazi has been inviting the public to experience the music alongside the art at multi-sensory exhibition listening experiences, with the first two taking place in Accra, Ghana at Gallery 1957, and in the U.K. during the  1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, from October 12-15, at Somerset House in London. 

For the album’s cover art, Mr Eazi collaborated with celebrated Nigerian stylist, designer and photographer Daniel Obasi, known for his work with Beyoncé and Louis Vuitton. 

In 2023, he formed a dance music collective in collaboration with DJ Edu with them performing under the pseudonym Choplife Soundsystem. They released an album and commenced a Europe tour in the same year. 

Mr Eazi’s ascent into global stardom has seen him clock over 1.2 Billion total Global streams monthly - thus making him one of the most streamed African artists worldwide.