An Interview with Inglewood-Based Artist YFR EAZY

Ezenwa Nekes, also known as YFR Eazy, is a fresh up-and-coming rapper/songwriter from Lagos, Nigeria. Now living in Inglewood, it all began in 2017 when he got inspiration from hip-hop artists like XXXTentacion, Lil Yachty, and Amine to name a few. 
YFR Eazy has now released his new single “M.C.M” which is now available on streaming platforms.

Would you like to start off by introducing yourself?

Hi! My name is YFR Eazy, but my real name is Ezenwa Nekes. I am originally born in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to Inglewood, California where I spent most of my years.  

For people that don’t know what the “YFR” from your name means, can you explain?

So the YFR in my name stands for “Your favorite rapper Eazy” and the meaning behind that name is that I was really trying to find a really good stage name, something that would make me stand out in front of other people. I didn’t want to be put in a box with other people, so I wanted to make a catchy name that was going to help me stand out. So then one day I was freestyling in high school for a couple of people and you know someone said, “Eazy you my favorite rapper” so I figured out the acronym for it and came up with YFR and everyone calls me Eazy. Then there you go, YFR Eazy. 

Great! So, I know that you just released a new single a couple of days ago “M.C.M”. Can you describe the creative process?

Yes, so when making M.C.M, I recorded that song in November, and usually, when I go through instrumentals, I usually mumble before I write. I like listening to the instrumentals so that I can figure out new tunes. A lot of people really like when I make catchy music, so I want to make music that is very catchy and gets stuck in people’s minds. 

That’s great. I know you mentioned that you started out as a comedic rapper in high school, so what made you choose to turn it into a more serious career? 

So the thing is that during high school, I was known for entertaining the crowd. Like I would do certain things to get a reaction from people and you know a couple I people that knew me from high school they know that I used to like making people laugh. I would always somehow be in the spotlight, so usually I would be acting like I was this big-time rapper and I would be freestyling. Then when I performed in church, I started taking it a bit more seriously and there was someone from my church that recognized the talent I had. He trusted my ideas and brought me to a actual studio, so when I got into that I started realizing what if I can take this a little more seriously. I started realizing more a musical standpoint that from my Dad’s side of the family we are very musical. They really never had the platform, but I do now because they are Nigerian, and compared to the U.S there are different resources that they can utilize. They never got the chance to show the world their talent, so I feel like since I am in the land of opportunities I believe that me working extremely hard, I can break the generational curse. 

Photo Via Emily Sanvicente

Who are some of your inspirations?

Some of my inspirations when it comes to the hip hop community, I would say I give my flowers to Kendrick Lamar and also Kanye West. I personally see Kanye as a misunderstood character and a muscial genius. Also Tyler, the Creator because he has very creative ideas. He shows that you don’t have to be like the rest. On the happy side, I would give my flowers to Aminé because I really like his style of sound and also Kyle and Lil yachty. 

I see that you write your own songs as well, what does that process look like? Do you write from personal experiences?

Whenever I write love songs, I would usually base my lyrics off of things that are going on in my relationship with people. In one of my songs I wrote about one of the arguments me and one of my ex had and I just decided to put it into a song. I believe that the best art that comes from an artist is through the pain in their experience. I feel like when an artist is going through something and they put it out, you get the best version out of them because this is real emotions and I believe that other people that will be tuning into the song, they can relate. I want to make relatable music where people can connect with my music. As far as songwriting, I would usually hear instrumental and I start brainstorming what I want to talk about. I have different sets of moods depending on how I want to come off in the track. 

As an artist what message do you want to convey to your audience? 

As an artist what I want to say to my audience is just do it. Do it and be yourself because a lot of people think that they should be pulling off gimmicks to be like socially accepted and you know as for my experience you don’t have to do any of that. I feel like you being yourself and being unique people are going to be attracted to what you are doing. If you feel like you have to make a certain type of music to feel accepted in a specific genre, then you are not going to get that far because so many are doing that. What makes an artist special is them just being themselves. 

What current projects are you working on?

Yes, I am, so I am working on a debut full-length ep called “Life is Eazy”. The reason why it is not being released yet is because I have been trying to figure out what the whole theme of the project is. I don’t want the cover art to be all happy and then the songs you hear very depressing, I want to make sure I have a balance. I feel like quality is way better than quantity, so I want to make songs strictly about this project. I want each track that you listen to, to be a story. 

Are you planning on featuring other artists in your songs for the future?

Yes I plan on featuring a lot of artists. I text them in the dms, I would send them some open verses, or send them a song that I think they will fit well in. At the same time I want to make sure that a collaboration would make a really nice record, so I want to make sure that I don’t just put anybody on it. That’s why you don’t really see me featuring many people in my songs. 

Where do you envision your career in the next few years? What are your long term goals?

I really want to have a world tour. I know that originally I started to gain fans from out of state, not just in the California area and I’m going to be releasing a clothing brand because I know that there are going to be people that will want to know more about me and not just the music. I hope that I get more opportunities to perform in festivals. 

So I know TikTok has been really great for you, so how has it impacted your career? 

TikTok has literally changed my life in a span of a few weeks. In my first release “Outer Space”, I didn’t really promote it on TikTok as much, so I just made sure that people on my Instagram and Twitter had seen it. When I went to TikTok, the song wasn’t really doing numbers the first few weeks and I started thinking to myself ok I have to do something. I’m invested in this song, so I decided to move it onto TikTok. Tiktok can really change someone’s life in a week, month, or even less than a year. I decided to make some videos of my song playing in the background and so I did this thing until people noticed. Literally, after the first day when I posted the video, I went back to sleep then when I woke up in the morning I checked and had more than 99 notifications. They were of people following me and making videos with my song. Now within less than two months, I have gained more than 10,00 followers, so I decided to promote my old songs as well. People even started DMing me about how “outer space” had helped them get over a breakup they had and people that I have never met before would send me positive messages. 

Great! So, I saw that you were working on a music video. How is that going?

I am planning on shooting a music video this week and next week. Since the song “Outer Space” did so good, a lot of people want to see a music video. I really hope that the music video ends up turning out how I plan it. I have already written the storyboard and the script, so all we have to do now is start shooting. 

Any last thoughts?

I just want to say thank you for giving me this opportunity, I really appreciate it. Also to anyone that wants to pursue their dreams, just do it. 

Keep up with YFR Eazy by following him on all of his social media accounts, which are linked below!

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