By Nii B. Andrews.

We have been in Kech for the last four weeks and the ancient city is rocking to Afrobeat.

It’s in the clubs, the lounges, restaurants, the poolsides, hotel lobbies, the hip concept stores and in the cabs. 

The international crowd that always flocks to the city and diverse age groups all appear to love it; the rhythm gets significant numbers swaying either on their feet or in their seats with arms held high.

My favorite move is right index finger on forehead, head bowed, shoulders hunched and then moving the head and shoulders to the beat; not much footwork.

Hey, I am an older dude now, “gotta take it one one”; gotta power down.

“Allow me to enjoy my SEF!”

****Two works have been commissioned for the first single including Sinalo Ngcaba’s Chop Time, No Friend (2023). Courtesy the artist.****

Mr. Eazi (Oluwatosin Ajibade) is a young well known Afrobeat musician with hits that include “Pour Me Water,” “Skin Tight” and “Leg Over”; he has collaborated with Beyoncé and J. Balvin. 

He also created Banku Music – an innovative fusion of Ghanaian and Nigerian sounds and culture.

Having clocked over 4 billion streams of his songs across DSPs, he is one of the most streamed African artists worldwide.

His long-awaited, decade-in-the-making debut solo album is scheduled to be released on Oct. 27, 2023; it will have 13 tracks.

The announcement coincided with the release of the lead single “Chop Time, No Friend”, and its accompanying music video, shot in Dakar, Senegal, by director Allison Swank Owen. 

In an interesting and welcome innovative move, Eazi will launch his latest album alongside an international exhibition of contemporary African art (CAA) work entirely commissioned by him.

**Sesse Elangwe’s The Way I See It (2023) Courtesy of the artist. Photo of Mr. Eazi****

Each song on the album has been turned into work by one of 13 artists from 8 countries on the continent.

The artists include the Contonou-based artist Dominique Zinkpe, Edozie Anedu from Lagos and the Texas-based Cameroonian artist Sesse Elangwe, who is one of two artists to make a work based on the album’s first single “Chop Time, No Friend”.

It is envisaged that the exhibition will travel to Lagos, Accra, London and New York. 

The 1-54 CAA fair will host the London leg of the exhibition as part of its special projects section this October. 

“Mr Eazi is one of the biggest Afrobeats artists in the world right now… We were therefore thrilled when his team approached us about collaborating on the London iteration of his exhibition and listening experience,” El Glaoui founder director of 1-54 remarked.

“For me, it’s exciting to see an internationally acclaimed musician platforming the work of emerging African artists,” she added.

As a sequel to commissioning the pieces for the album, Eazi has gotten himself into collecting CAA and has since collected over fifty pieces.

And there we have it, a fusion of Afrobeat and CAA with the probable opening up of new opportunities beyond this year.

“Money Fall on you!”

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