In a remarkable departure from the conventional Caribbean rendition, the pan-African ensemble, led by the UK-based Kenyan Afrobeats maestro DJ Edu, delves into an exhilarating amalgamation of genres like amapiano and Afrobeats. This extraordinary combination sets them apart from other global ventures that have dabbled in similar formats.
The visionary Nigerian singer and entrepreneur, Mr Eazi, discloses his latest endeavor’s profound mission—to resurrect the euphoria of the unforgettable parties he once hosted during his university days.
“It was in those moments that I discovered my singing prowess,” he nostalgically reminisces, recounting the genesis of “Chop Life Vol. 1: Mzansi Chronicles,” the ensemble’s much-anticipated debut compilation. Now, as the charismatic frontman and master of ceremonies for ChopLife, Mr Eazi finds his dreams rekindled.
Derived from the widely known West African Pidgin slang phrase ‘chop life,’ which epitomizes the notion of “enjoying life,” the project finds its name and essence in the pulsating rhythms of club culture. Mr Eazi shares his insights, revealing, “The ChopLife ecosystem and everything about chop life really started in the clubs, so it’s the sound of Lagos, the sound of Accra, the sound of Cape Town, the sound of African parties everywhere in the world.”
With fervor and audacity, Mr Eazi assumes the role of the driving force, seeking to bring the euphoric vibes of his acclaimed festival, Detty Rave, in Accra, to life on the global stage. His aspiration? To orchestrate productions that transcend boundaries and resonate with audiences worldwide, transforming venues into boundless realms of shared exuberance.
Fueled by their wealth of experience in the Afrobeats realm, both Mr Eazi and DJ Edu infuse the enchanting soundscape of ChopLife SoundSystem with their unique perspectives. DJ Edu’s precise expertise in African musical tapestries lends a structured approach while drawing upon a vast reservoir of influences. On the other hand, Mr Eazi exudes fluidity with his exceptional prowess in performance, production, and his keen understanding of audio engineering.
In crafting original music as a unified collective, their creative process unravels like a joyous adventure. Mr Eazi recounts, “We go to the club, we hear songs we like, we Shazam them, we reach out to the artist, we reach out to producers. Everybody comes together in a room where we’re having fun. We record music, and we start trying to mix them like we were at the party, and we select the songs that go well together, tell a story, and mix well into each other. That’s it, really.”
The duo firmly believes that the rise of African pop music on the global stage is attributed to its “shared quality and infectiousness.” Within the framework of ChopLife, they endeavor to strike an exquisite balance between structure and freedom by weaving a tapestry of diverse musical and cultural elements.
“I mean, I think it’s already there,” Mr Eazi proclaims confidently when envisioning ChopLife SoundSystem’s contribution to celebrating and preserving African pop. Authenticity and genuine collaboration stand as the cornerstones of their journey, propelling them to the forefront of African music culture, and safeguarding the continent’s rich heritage of sounds and traditions.
As I inquire about the delicate interplay between modern elements and the preservation of sound system culture, Mr Eazi artfully navigates the question. He underscores the significance of the change, noting that the African population’s youthful dynamism fuels a constant evolution in music. Embracing this evolution wholeheartedly, he believes in harnessing the power of quality and creativity to craft superior experiences.
Hailing from his explorations in South Africa, where he delved into genres like amapiano, gqom, and Bacardi, Mr Eazi’s transformative experiences served as the catalyst for “Chop Life Vol. 1.” Collaborating with local artists, songwriters, and producers, he effortlessly weaved a tapestry of musical brilliance that transcends boundaries and unites cultures.
While Mr Eazi foresees a successor album in the pipeline, his primary focus remains firmly grounded in creating an exhilarating and enjoyable experience through the music. Reflecting on “Chop Life Vol. 1,” he envisions its place in clubs and gyms, with no grandiose intentions of spearheading movements, but rather, simply to exude pure, unadulterated fun.