Afrobeats Star, Mr. Eazi, Debuts New Album and International Exhibition of African Art
Nigerian artist Oluwatosin Ajibade, known as Mr. Eazi, has commissioned thirteen talented artists to create artwork corresponding to the singles on his upcoming debut solo album, set to be released in October 2023. The selected artists represent a diverse range of backgrounds, totaling eight different countries from the African continent. Notable names include Edozie Anedu from Lagos, Dominique Zinkpe from Contonou, and Cameroonian artist Sesse Elangwe based in Texas. Sesse Elangwe is one of two artists chosen to create a piece inspired by the album’s first single, Chop Time, No Friend.
The inspiration for this unique exhibition and album project stemmed from Mr. Eazi’s own experience of creative block. While recording the album in Benin at Hotel Maison Rouge in 2021, he stumbled upon the captivating creations of Cotonou’s local artist Patricorel. The artist’s skeletal etchings displayed in the hotel resonated with him, sparking an appreciation for a specific art style.
To realize his vision of collaborating with talented artists, Mr. Eazi sought the guidance and support of Hannah O’Leary, head of modern and contemporary African art at Sotheby’s, and Joseph Awuah-Darko, director of Ghana’s Noldor Artist Residency. Together, they developed the concept for a traveling exhibition.
The exhibition will be a multi-city event, visiting Lagos, Accra, London, and New York. Additionally, Mr. Eazi will collaborate with Touria El Glaoui, the founding director of the Contemporary African art fair 1-54, to host the London leg of the exhibition as part of its special projects section this October.
Beyond showcasing the artworks, the exhibition will also serve as a listening party. During the Lagos and Accra events, there will be a particular focus on introducing the artworks to a wider audience, especially fans, and individuals from the music industry. Mr. Eazi intends to immerse them in the world of art and music through this creative endeavor.
Funding for this ambitious project comes from Choplife IP, the company founded by Mr. Eazi to invest in African culture, spanning music to film.