47 min

Africa’s Music and Startup Future (with Mr Eazi‪)‬ Trapital

    • Music

The artist-entrepreneur-investor Mr Eazi has no on-off switch. Who he is in the recording studio, on stage, and on the boardroom are the same. With business and music, Mr Eazi has found parallel industries that allow him to be the same person.

He’s founded both emPawa Africa and Zagadat Capital to feed his business appetite. The former invests into African artists and helps them scale. Meanwhile, Zagadat Capital invests into tech startups, most of which are inside the continent. 

Then there’s Mr Eazi, the Afrobeats artist. He’s collaborated with the likes of Beyonce and J Balvin, and also taken center stage at Coachella. After taking time away from music amid the pandemic, Mr Eazi is back in album mode now. Holed up in Cape Town currently, Mr Eazi has plans for two new albums this year.

I caught up with Mr Eazi to cover his never-ending pursuits in music and business. Here’s everything we chatted about:

[0:22] How Mr Eazi is balancing artistry and entrepreneurship
[1:40] Similarities between music and startups
[6:19] Taking equity stakes in artists and what an “exit” looks like
[10:50] How Eazi measures success for Empawa artists 
[13:00] Eazi’s investment thesis for startups
[18:10] Startup success trends in Africa 
[21:30] Lack of capital is biggest challenge to Africa’s startup scene 
[29:45] Raising awareness within the continent
[32:20] Biggest obstacle that African artists face 
[36:52] Uncleared sample on a Bad Bunny song
[40:45] Impact of Western companies investing into Africa
[47:35] Mr Eazi is in album mode

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS

Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co
Guests: Mr Eazi, @mreazi

This episode's sponsor is Symphony. Put your fanbase growth on autopilot with the first AI-powered platform that brings all your artist marketing workflows in one place. Learn more at symphony.to/trapital

Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapital

Trapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.

TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:00] Mr. Eazi: part of me deciding to be an artist was reading the book, the Jay-Z book, Empire State of Mind. And that was when I saw it clearly and I was like, oh, wait a minute like this music is a business and the music gives you access, it gives you access to capital, access to the network it puts you, gives you a seat at the table
[00:00:20] Dan Runcie Intro: Hey, welcome to the Trapital Podcast. I'm your host and the founder of Trapital Dan Runcie, this podcast is your place to gain insights from the executives in music, media, entertainment, and more. Who are taking hip hop culture to the next level.
[00:00:48] Dan Runcie: All right. Today we have the one and only Mr. Eazi, the artist, entrepreneur. How you doing man? Welcome to the pod.
[00:00:56] Mr. Eazi: I'm good. I'm good. I'm chilling. What's, going on
[00:00:59] Dan Runcie: Me. I'm good, man. Trying to keep up with you. Trying to keep up with you, man.
[00:01:03] Mr. Eazi: I'm trying to keep up with me, bro.
[00:01:06] Dan Runcie: Well, let's talk about that because you are someone who sits at this intersection of artist, investor, entrepreneur, and you are doing all of those three jobs and more. And it's also happening at this moment where the entire continent of Africa is booming from an entrepreneurship perspective, booming from a music perspective.
[00:01:29] How does it feel right now? How are you operating being at the center of that?
[00:01:34] Mr. Eazi: To be honest, I just feel like it's a blessing to be born or to be existing in this time. where like you said, everything is just like taking shape and, you know, yeah, it's exciting and it is for me. It's like every day I'm seeing opportunity left and right and just figuring out what is fun and what is doable and just, you know, going from thinking, oh, I'm an entrepreneu

The artist-entrepreneur-investor Mr Eazi has no on-off switch. Who he is in the recording studio, on stage, and on the boardroom are the same. With business and music, Mr Eazi has found parallel industries that allow him to be the same person.

He’s founded both emPawa Africa and Zagadat Capital to feed his business appetite. The former invests into African artists and helps them scale. Meanwhile, Zagadat Capital invests into tech startups, most of which are inside the continent. 

Then there’s Mr Eazi, the Afrobeats artist. He’s collaborated with the likes of Beyonce and J Balvin, and also taken center stage at Coachella. After taking time away from music amid the pandemic, Mr Eazi is back in album mode now. Holed up in Cape Town currently, Mr Eazi has plans for two new albums this year.

I caught up with Mr Eazi to cover his never-ending pursuits in music and business. Here’s everything we chatted about:

[0:22] How Mr Eazi is balancing artistry and entrepreneurship
[1:40] Similarities between music and startups
[6:19] Taking equity stakes in artists and what an “exit” looks like
[10:50] How Eazi measures success for Empawa artists 
[13:00] Eazi’s investment thesis for startups
[18:10] Startup success trends in Africa 
[21:30] Lack of capital is biggest challenge to Africa’s startup scene 
[29:45] Raising awareness within the continent
[32:20] Biggest obstacle that African artists face 
[36:52] Uncleared sample on a Bad Bunny song
[40:45] Impact of Western companies investing into Africa
[47:35] Mr Eazi is in album mode

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS

Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co
Guests: Mr Eazi, @mreazi

This episode's sponsor is Symphony. Put your fanbase growth on autopilot with the first AI-powered platform that brings all your artist marketing workflows in one place. Learn more at symphony.to/trapital

Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapital

Trapital is home for the business of music, media and culture. Learn more by reading Trapital’s free memo.

TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:00] Mr. Eazi: part of me deciding to be an artist was reading the book, the Jay-Z book, Empire State of Mind. And that was when I saw it clearly and I was like, oh, wait a minute like this music is a business and the music gives you access, it gives you access to capital, access to the network it puts you, gives you a seat at the table
[00:00:20] Dan Runcie Intro: Hey, welcome to the Trapital Podcast. I'm your host and the founder of Trapital Dan Runcie, this podcast is your place to gain insights from the executives in music, media, entertainment, and more. Who are taking hip hop culture to the next level.
[00:00:48] Dan Runcie: All right. Today we have the one and only Mr. Eazi, the artist, entrepreneur. How you doing man? Welcome to the pod.
[00:00:56] Mr. Eazi: I'm good. I'm good. I'm chilling. What's, going on
[00:00:59] Dan Runcie: Me. I'm good, man. Trying to keep up with you. Trying to keep up with you, man.
[00:01:03] Mr. Eazi: I'm trying to keep up with me, bro.
[00:01:06] Dan Runcie: Well, let's talk about that because you are someone who sits at this intersection of artist, investor, entrepreneur, and you are doing all of those three jobs and more. And it's also happening at this moment where the entire continent of Africa is booming from an entrepreneurship perspective, booming from a music perspective.
[00:01:29] How does it feel right now? How are you operating being at the center of that?
[00:01:34] Mr. Eazi: To be honest, I just feel like it's a blessing to be born or to be existing in this time. where like you said, everything is just like taking shape and, you know, yeah, it's exciting and it is for me. It's like every day I'm seeing opportunity left and right and just figuring out what is fun and what is doable and just, you know, going from thinking, oh, I'm an entrepreneu

47 min

Top Podcasts In Music

The Joe Budden Podcast
The Joe Budden Network
Dissect
The Ringer
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Andrew Hickey
Drink Champs
The Black Effect and iHeartPodcasts
The Story of Classical
Apple Music
Million Dollaz Worth Of Game
Barstool Sports