By Vanessa Obioha
Nigerian singer and entrepreneur, Mr Eazi, is betting heavy with artistes from the northern part of Nigeria. Through emPawa Africa, his talent incubation initiative designed to nurture and support budding African talents, he is expanding his reach to the region. Recently, northern musicians DJ Abba and Namenj joined the emPawa Africa family.
DJ Abba hails from Kaduna and has been on the emPawa radar for quite a while. Starting his musical career in 2011, the singer, rapper, producer and songwriter has grown to become one of the most sought after artistes in the northern part of Nigeria with hit songs like ‘Su Baba Ne’, ‘Yar Boko’ and ‘Babarsa’.
He also won the Northern Nigeria Best Singer of the Year Award in 2019 and clinched multiple City People Music Award Nominations for Best Rap Artiste of the Year, Best Kannywood Hip-Hop Artist of the Year and Arewa Artiste of the Year.
Namenj, who lives a nomadic lifestyle across Jos, Maiduguri and Kano, stepped into limelight with his Hausa cover of Adekunle Gold’s ‘Orente’ in 2015.
Discovered by Mr Eazi through the emPawa30 Artiste Talent Programme, he released his debut single, ‘Rayuwata’ in July 2020 with the visuals directed by the prolific Adasa Cookey.
He was also featured in the ‘Nobody’ Hausa Remix by the award-winning disc jockey, DJ Neptune, on the Nobody Worldwide Remixes Album. He is also set to release a new song, ‘Fatana’, early next month.
Mr Eazi, through emPawa Africa, remains committed to discovering, raising and empowering African artistes into ‘artist-preneurs’, as he’s still combing the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and Africa for budding talents while spreading his tentacles with considerable funding and investments in places where the big players would ideally not be interested in.
The signing of DJ Abba and Namenj is positioned to give Arewa music a huge leap into the global scene.