The new album is set to be released on October 27.
Mr Eazi is the latest artist to be featured in Vevo’s original content series Ctrl., with a stirring, defiant performance of the drill-infused song “Advice”.
“Advice” namechecks a number of African martyrs including former Democratic Republic of the Congo president Joseph Kabila and Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian writer and activist whose 1995 hanging inspired domestic and international outrage. “I was coming from a place of having that energy,” Eazi says.
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. For “Advice,” he tapped Nairobi, Kenya-based artist Alphonce Odhiambo, known as Alpha ODH, whose acrylic painting speaks to the track’s defiant lyrics.
Mr Eazi personally handpicked 13 artists, representing eight African countries, inviting them to collaborate in a process he describes as ‘informal and instinctual’. Mr Eazi explains, “Inviting artists to create for the album was from my passion for creativity and expression. The artworks visually unlock the ideas, emotion, and energy within my music.”
Recorded over a two-year period between Ouidah and Cotonou, Benin; Kigali, Rwanda; Accra and Kokrobite, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; London; Los Angeles; and New York City, ‘The Evil Genius’ features some of Mr Eazi’s most personal work, as he dives deeply into subjects like love, betrayal, loneliness, and family, expressed through three distinctive acts.
The artworks created for the album will be featured in a multi-sensory exhibition experience, which debuts in Accra, Ghana, from Sept. 13-17, before heading to 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London from Oct. 12-15. Additional exhibition announcements in other cities are forthcoming.