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Interview: Eazi Beatz
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Growing up, I was surrounded by music, art and culture which massively influenced my taste and interests in music. Some of my fondest memories as a child was helping my dad wash his car on Sunday mornings while listening to Fela or rap music. Music played a very big part in my upbringing: my father was always listening to music and he was quite close to a lot of artists in Nigeria, they trusted his input and feedback regarding their music and I remember one time, my dad playing an unreleased album of one of my favourite bands which wasn’t dropping for another month!
My journey into creating music first started with producing remakes of popular instrumentals, and after a lot of practice and learning, I started producing my own instrumentals and eventually led to me writing my own songs. Honestly if I wasn’t making music, I probably would be a Software Developer as I have a degree in Computer Science and I love creating things.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Spending time with my friends and family, Playing Fifa and reading literature. My friends and family help me with some of my new materials and ideas, and give me feedback on upcoming releases, and reading keeps my mind active improves my imagination.
How long have you been making music?
I have be making music for about 10-11 years now.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I am based in Plymouth, southwest area of the UK. When I first moved here, Plymouth was very up and coming in terms of music, especially in the urban scene. I got to witness firsthand the growth over the years, and I actually played my first live gig in plymouth! As an Artist, Plymouth provided a hub for me to develop my music, collaborate with other artists and was also able to positively influence the music scene by hosting shows and music events around Plymouth.
How did you come up with the name of your project and what does it mean to you?
The name “For Realie” came up during my writing process. I wanted for a phrase that was a statement, but can also be a question depending on the tone and I once I had that it just felt right.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show had to be Afro Fest in 2019 - After I finished my set, I had a couple guys approach me for autograph and pictures and they told me how they travelled from France just to come watch me perform. That comment made my week and I felt happy and proud that my work impacted someone so much they travelled miles to see me perform. The worst show had to be one of my earlier shows where everything that could go wrong that night did. We arrived early for soundcheck but couldn’t get into the venue because the audio engineer was running late, after getting past that and it was time to perform the audio engineer forgot to switch on my mic for the first song so I had to yell my lyrics.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
My favourite place to play is outside on a stage in Bristol. The energy from the crowd and the sound system really elevated my performance. I would really love to play at the O2 Arena in the future.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ohh that’d a tough one. Definitely would love to have Davido because of his energy, Kendrick Lamar because his talent would be an inspiration, and Kayne West because I love how he visually sets up his performance.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Consistency, practice and spontaneity. While there is a lot of music being released everyday, I think its still important for new artists to experiment and release music that doesn’t conform to the standards we have and the only way to do that is to practice, be consistent and be spontaneous.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Do the above 100%. I was a little bit too careful at the beginning of my music journey and if I could go back in time, I would tell that young guy sitting on his aunties sofa recording music to release more and not be afraid to challenge the status quo.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Now that’s a tough question. The one song that means the most to me is titled “Away” and I wrote it after going through a very tough period. That song was the vessel I used to get myself out of that trying moment and sometimes when I feel down or when I feel grateful I still listen to it.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite song to play is Black Magic, the song gets me fired up and I love how it makes the crowd excited as well. The song I get requested the most is “Bad Guys”, which is an Afrobeats rap song.
What is the creative process like for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
I like to think my creative process is a very fluid one. There are times where I go into my studio with the goal of writing a song, and there are times where I'm just vibing and before you know it, I have written another song. I'm a strong believer of letting the creative moment find you and I'm very open to it, I always have a recording device on me (most times my phone) as an idea can pop into my head at any given time. For Realie for example, was first recorded on my iPhone at a bus stop! I do find also that my environment plays a big part in my process so having a clear workspace is very important to me.
Life inspires me to write music. The good, the bad, the up and downs, whatever mood or experience I'm going through can reflect in my music.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I see my music as a vessel to communicate to the listener, I want my music to convey my exact feelings in the moment, and I hope my listeners can understand, relate, and feel some of it when they listen to my music.
Do you ever have disagreements with your collaborators, and how do you get past them?
Oh yeah definitely. Creative minded people can be very stubborn at times and that can hinder a collaborative project if not navigated properly. I personally can be quite strong-headed sometimes especially when I believe my direction for a project is better but over the years I have worked hard on not only listening to other perspectives, but also seeking them out. Also, sometimes taking a break and reconvening later can do wonders as it gives everyone time to reset. Its also worth remembering that you all decided to collaborate because you saw talent in each other, let that drive the process!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
As a matter of fact I do, I currently have a few songs in the pipeline with plans of dropping tracks more frequently this year. I’m planning on dropping a song this summer and it will be titled “BAWSI”, its an Afrobeats Rap track which I'm sure people will love as it is catchy and its the perfect song for summer. I took some time off music last year as I became a new dad and I wanted to focus all my energy on enjoying that experience, and I know that this new found perspective will influence my future releases.