African superstar Mr. Eazi has his eye on world dominance — at least in terms of music. The Nigerian-born artist, entrepreneur, and Harvard graduate has teamed up with British-Kenyan presenter and vibe curator DJ Edu, who is best known for leading his “Destination Africa” program on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Together, they are ChopLife SoundSystem.

The duo recently released their initial offering; a 14-track album titled Chop Life, Vol. 1: Mzansi Chronicles. Shortly after, the African pioneers announced their first ChopLife SoundSystem world tour with Summer dates across Europe and the U.S. The tour will kick off in Barcelona on July 7 and include stops in Amsterdam, Paris, London, Berlin, and Stockholm. The North American leg will commence in San Francisco on Aug. 25 and include stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. It will be Mr. Eazi’s first musical trek in four years.

ChopLife SoundSystem aims to be a live-touring rave with events across the world. Mr. Eazi serves as the MC, or Minister of Enjoyment , an epithet to describe him as the ringleader for the collective’s freeform parties. He’s joined by DJ Edu, who anchors ChopLife’s high-energy performances with a mix of Amapiano, Afrobeats and Afro Dance sounds, along with guest artists and DJs.

In honor of Black Music Month, REVOLT caught up with the duo to discuss their new project, its focus on the budding Amapiano genre, Afrobeats, their favorite tour stops, and more. Check out the exclusive interview below.

Mr. Eazi! How have you been since your last interview for REVOLT?

Mr. Eazi: I’ve been making a lot of music, which is good. I’m just happy to be putting it all out right now.

What has been your favorite part about the creative process since then?

Mr. Eazi: The last time we spoke, I was just concluding the Mr. Eazi solo album. And at that time, I hadn’t even started recording the ChopLife album. Then, we started making the ChopLife album, and now that project has dropped even before my solo album. So I guess that’s just life – you think you have a plan and then plans can change, but [it] still ends up being beautiful. It’s just good.

What are you most excited about when it comes to this new duo, ChopLife SoundSystem?

Mr. Eazi: I think it’s the prospects… It’s like starting over. And it gives such a venue for freedom of expression in the way we release the music. Edu and I were joking today in an interview and saying we could even drop another album — like tomorrow, if we wanted to.

Wow, you have that much music together?

Mr. Eazi: Yeah, we have that much music. But essentially, it just goes to show, like, you know with my album, I have to submit it, like, three months before on page, and have the assets and everything. But with ChopLife SoundSystem, we could just drop any time and then we could do those DJ mixes. And it’s beyond just Edu and I. It’s a community. It’s good vibes. From creation to execution, it’s just freedom, which is one of the most exciting parts about it.

DJ Edu, how did you initially meet Mr. Eazi and then come to create this project with him?

DJ Edu: A lot of things with me and Mr. Eazi are happy coincidences. We met through the music, and this was without [the plan] of making an actual idea because we were heavily touring. I was DJing. We went out to a club in Coventry. We drove for hours. [Mr. Eazi] was just supposed to come say hello, maybe drink some champagne, and he ended up performing for about 45 minutes.

Then we went to Barcelona. We were just supposed to do a quick 15 minute set, went to Spain, then Madrid, and we were just supposed to do a little short set. We ended up doing two hours. The [club owner] comes to Eazi and says, “Yo Eazi, you guys need to stop, man. The champagne has run out, the drinks have run out.” And then we realized we are onto something here. There’s something about how we’re delivering this music and how freely we’re enjoying playing other people’s music. We’re playing some of Mr. Eazi’s songs and there was just that synergy between us. Also, seeing how people were enjoying Mr. Eazi hosting. It just opened up another lane and another avenue to be able to create ChopLife with our fans and hence, the ChopLife SoundSystem, which I mean, we forget to mention, is the first Afrobeat or African sound system that’s dedicated to music from Africa.

You’re getting back on the road this summer with pop-ups in Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, and Paris. What are you looking forward to the most?

Mr. Eazi: I think the times I’ve been to those cities has been like arrive, sound check, hotel, playback. But this time, when we go as ChopLife SoundSystem, it is really to enjoy the city. So it’s like throwing that away. Where did we eat the first time?

DJ Edu: It was called Superstar. We were like, “Where’s the best spot to eat?”

Mr. Eazi: (Laughs) Not necessarily a Michelin star restaurant, but it was the best spot to eat street food, to go catch a vibe, to go drink or do whatever people do there. And then, by the time we’re going to the gig, we would have already been lit, and we just get even more lit after the gigs, and then get on to the next one. So it’s more vibes. If we’re playing my show, like a Mercedes show, you want to do the sound check, and the band and the Auto-Tune, but this one is just like DJ Edu will be doing the majority of the work, and I’ll just be having fun.

DJ Edu: (Laughs). Thanks, Eazi. Thanks.

DJ Edu, you are blazing a trail for African music over in the U.K., and it seems there is a new sound that’s blowing up: Amapiano. What is the importance of that genre to you?

DJ Edu: For some, Amapiano is a new sound. But for me, it’s been there for a while. The privilege that Mr. Eazi and I have is we get to travel a lot. So you engage with people on the ground who tell you about new trends and things that are happening. But I think it was important for Amapiano to come into the form because what’s been happening is Afrobeats has been very Nigerian-led, and I think these things go in cycles because there was a time when Congolese music was the biggest music everywhere else. South Africa had their time with their quiet music, and then Ghana with their high life, hip life, and then Nigeria now with Afrobeats. It’s a stronghold. Just having another plan, another sound adds to the flavor of African music.

I like to refer to it as a buffet. I imagine if you add another recipe, another menu, another dish to this already very colorful and very tasty buffet, you just get more goodness from the continent. And I think it’s another channel that can be used to spread those stories because the South African kids have their own way of expressing themselves when it comes to music. And that just adds another layer to this music, which is already popular, and shows you just how dynamic and diverse the music from Africa is at this very moment.

Mr. Eazi, this is your first dive into Amapiano, is that correct?

Mr. Eazi: Yes.

Wow. To do a whole project based largely around a genre that’s newer to you is a very big deal. Is there a trend of artists trying entirely new sounds?

Mr. Eazi: I think everybody does it in some way. I like to say it happens in strange ways sometimes. My fiancée is showing me like two Drake albums from — I don’t know… this year, last year — and them having different sounds. The one with 21 Savage, and then he had the other recently, right?

And then you see Beyoncé came and dropped a dance record as well. Yes, they dropped it as Drake, dropped it as Beyoncé, but you also see people dropping country music like Thomas Wesley [Diplo], and then dropping music with us.

… I don’t dance in the past. When I’ve done it, I’ve been shy, little bit shy to even present it. And now with the SoundSystem, we could do what we want to do and not be shy about it. So ChopLife SoundSystem is not just about piano. It just happened to be that South Africa was where I was when it just clicked, and [Amapiano] was what I was listening to in the clubs last year. I remember being in the club in Cape Town for four hours, hearing all this music I’ve not heard before and just deciding, “OK, yeah, this is going to be the first one.”

In addition to Amapiano, you have a more somber genre called Emopiano. You explore that on “Wena” with Ami Faku. Why was she perfect for that song?

Mr Eazi: I think it’s just her voice. She has a very distinct voice. One of the most distinct voices in the world. There are a few female vocalists that just have that thing and have songwriting that is impeccable. The decision to work with Ami was around New Year’s. Me and my friends were on the boat in South Africa, and we’re just playing different songs. I don’t know who was selecting the songs. And one song that she was on just dropped. And I remember just being, like, the wind was choppy and blowing, and her voice was just piercing through, you know, this kind of… I’m a piano boy. It was sad. Melancholic. And at the same time, I wanted to just dance. And that was when I was like, “OK, yeah, we need to work with [Ami Faku], you know.”

DJ Edu, what is your favorite part about breaking new musical genres to audiences who may not be familiar with them?

DJ Edu: My favorite part, obviously, is the traveling, enjoying new sounds, but it’s just from the creation of the project to seeing how it’s been received as we intended. For me, the biggest thing is you’re worried about how the songs are going to be received because you’re expressing yourself. But this was just the freedom of making these records and just being able to say anything.

As a DJ, why is it important to work with artists who are indulging in new sounds?

DJ Edu: Yeah, I think… I’ve always done that. I’ve always been intrigued by fresh new music, fresh new sounds because it can get monotonous. It can get boring. And that’s part of what ChopLife does. Eazi will do his projects. I will do my projects, but when we come together, it’s kind of like the Avengers assembling. That’s what we want to do. So Eazi is going to be dropping music, and I’m going to be dropping music. So we’re still [going to keep] feeding our fans and the people who expect certain type of sounds or have grown with us their music. We feed those hungry fans while we still create new vibes for them via [ChopLife].

What made you want to become a DJ in the first place?

DJ Edu: It’s a long story, but I’ll try shortening it. I used to be a dancer, and we used to sweat a lot, and all the girls used to resonate around the DJ. I used to do the windmills and head spins. I could do all those things. But what happened is you sweat so much, the girls are like, “Oh yeah, you did good.” But the DJ is getting all the girls. So I was like, “You know what? I think something is not right here.” So I switched my M.O. and started to DJ. I went to the clubs, and would just stand and watch the DJ just play, and play and play. I just watched everything the DJ did. So that’s how I switched from dancing to DJ. I was probably in my teens or something. Just a teenager.