THE EVIL GENIUS is the long-awaited and highly anticipated debut album from Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winning global music superstar MR EAZI. Set for release on October 27 via his own independent record label emPawa Africa, The Evil Genius comes on the back of a seven-year career at the top of the afrobeats music landscape, and an already iconic music catalogue from Mr Eazi that boasts over four billion global streams, countless multiple platinum singles across two classic mixtapes, essential afropop hits like ‘Skin Tight’, ‘Leg Over’, and ‘Pour Me Water’, and ground-breaking international collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Nicki Minaj.
Recorded over the past two years between some of Mr Eazi’s favourite cities including Accra, Cotonou, Lagos, London, Los Angeles, and New York, The Evil Genius is an exciting musical scrapbook that blends afrobeats, afropop, gospel, hiplife, highlife and folklore into a glorious pan-African fusion sound in a way that only Mr Eazi knows how. The album sees Eazi collaborating with an international heavy-hitting cast of producers, including Kel-P (Nigeria), Michaël Brun (Haiti), Knucks (UK), and Nonso Amadi (Canada), as well as guest artists such as Grammy Award-winning legend Angélique Kidjo, Nigerian star Joeboy, and South African group Soweto Gospel Choir, to bring the 16-track project to life.
While his status as one of the giants of modern African music is undeniable, very few artists of his calibre have gone this deep into their career without releasing an album, and so for his first official album, Mr Eazi knew that he had to create something that would go beyond all expectations, including his own. The Evil Genius is Mr Eazi’s most personal work by far, and it sees him diving deeply into strong themes around love, betrayal, loneliness, and family, expressed through three distinctive movements or acts, throughout the album. The first of these three chapters finds Mr Eazi unburdening himself of the weight of success and fame, followed by a five-song movement about love, with the album ending on a suite of spiritual and deeply resonant anthems that capture Eazi in thanksgiving mode.
Described as a first-of-its-kind fusion of African music and visual art, perhaps the most ambitious and ground-breaking aspect of Mr Eazi’s The Evil Genius is its visual art component, with the album birthing 16 art pieces to accompany each track on the album. Every track on The Evil Genius is represented by a unique physical art piece that Mr Eazi has commissioned from different contemporary visual artists that he encountered while travelling across Africa recording the album. Noting a lack of alignment and collaboration between Africa’s exploding pop music industry, and the continent’s fine art creators, Mr Eazi is highlighting the power of such collaboration by incorporating the work of these artists – representing eight African nations and a continent of aesthetics – into The Evil Genius.
Ahead of the album’s release on October 27, Mr Eazi is inviting the public to experience the music alongside the art at several multi-sensory exhibition listening experiences. The exhibition debuts at Gallery 1957 in Ghana – a significant country for Mr Eazi, where he began his recording career and first rose to fame – from September 13-18. Following this inaugural presentation, the exhibition will travel to London as part of the renowned 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House from October 12-15. Additional exhibition announcements in other cities are forthcoming.