Mr. Eazi, afrobeats

AfroBeats Artist Mr. Eazi Is Building An African Entertainment Empire With Hopes To Rival Disney

The global explosion of Afrobeats has hit a fever pitch as more artists come to the forefront of the exciting multifaceted genre. One of the standouts in the West African-bred music scene is Nigerian artist Mr. Eazi, whose songs “Skin Tight” and “Dance For Me” set off a fire throughout the genre.

With solid hits under his belt and a focus on the future of African entertainment, Mr. Eazi is looking out across a landscape of opportunity for himself and others. According to AfroTech, he founded emPawa Africa in 2018 as a way to invest in independent artists within the continent by providing distribution, publishing, mentorship, and marketing resources. Working as a conduit of success for his artists rather than a dictator of their moves, Mr. Eazi uses emPawa solely as a tool of empowerment.

“I didn’t build emPawa to be a label,” he said.

“I built emPawa to be like an Uber… You have your car, you have your driver, you plug into the system, and the system opens you up to customers. So in the first deals we did, we didn’t even own anything.”

And in this liberated sense of stewardship, Mr. Eazi has found a sweet spot with his label’s signees.

“I think we’ve been able to find that balance with a couple of artists, so they still feel free,” he said.

So that’s what has been at the background of emPawa. If we were running a traditional label, we would have made a whole lot more money. I joke and say, ‘Uber just takes 20%, then we should just take 20%.’”

Music has been merely a springboard for the Nigerian-born artist as he’s turned his sights to investments with his fund, Zagadat Capital, which focuses on providing resources for African-founded companies looking to solve fundamental problems.

For Mr. Eazi, the spotlight is on creating a firm foundation for entertainment, sports, and business on the continent. After taking a Harvard business course, the 32-year-old realized the need for a formal education on how to scale the continent’s talents for global domination.


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“Now it’s a good time again [to push the conversation], especially for African entertainment because decision-makers, they’re traveling across the world, and they’re seeing Afrobeats artists — not one, not two, not three — everywhere selling out stadiums and not just from Nigeria,” he said. “But now, I think the missing piece is the education of the back end of behind the fame, behind the stadium, what are the numbers behind it? What’s the money behind it? What’s the business behind it? And I think now is a good time to restart those conversations.”

With a renewed sense of possibility, Mr. Eazi created Choplife, a company he feels can rival the greatness and legacy of Disney.

“I was already in a place where I was like, okay, let me go make money from all different places and bring it back to African entertainment,” Eazi said.

“But then, going for that course, I realized that [the time is] now. So when I mean Disney [of Africa], what I just mean is to have a brand that sort of encompasses African entertainment. And so that’s what ChopLife is.”

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