Mr Eazi (Oluwatosin Ajibade), the rising Nigerian Afropop sensation, stopped by Vancouver on Thursday night after performing at Coachella. As one of the only two African artists playing at the world famous festival, this week was pivotal for his career. Mr Eazi brought that energy to his show at the Commodore Ballroom.
The venue quickly filled with men and women dressed in vibrant African outfits, a rare sight in Vancouver. The crowd went wild when Mr Eazi jumped onstage, the bumping bass line of his Banku music – which he describes as a fusion of Ghanian and Nigerian sounds – making it impossible not to dance. Mr Eazi is often referred to as the ‘Nigerian Drake,’ his Afropop sounds and smooth R&B lyrics drawing parallels between the two. Between songs, he yelled “Zagada!,” which the crowd always shouted back. This word has become the young star’s trademark, and describes the feeling you get when you want to dance.
Mr Eazi’s had great stage presence and was constantly interacting with the audience. He danced from side to side of the stage, kneeling down and crooning to the starstruck girls in the front row. A highlight of the show was when he pulled one of them up on stage, seating her on a stool and singing one of his more romantic songs to her. As the room erupted in screams of excitement (and jealousy, no doubt), Mr Eazi made all the girls forget that he’s actually dating Temi Otedola, daughter of the billionaire oil magnate.
Mr Eazi played every song the crowd wanted to hear, mixing some his lesser known songs in between his big hits like Dabebi, Leg Over and Miss You Bad. Towards the end of his high energy concert, Mr Eazi was visibly tiring. He stood back and took a few swigs of water, letting his incredible dancers steal the show momentarily, while his DJ handed out bottled water to the equally sweaty crowd.
Mr Eazi finished his show with a few of his old hits, including Life is Eazi. For this track, his whole crew danced on stage with him while whipping their towels over their heads. Its rare to see an artist having as much fun as the fans, but Mr Eazi’s concert was just as much a dance party for the performers as it was for the audience.