The Benin born-and-raised artist’s mission to amplify Black voices has been crystal clear across his life’s work. His discography to date totals over 25 million global streams. This includes smash hits “MAKE WILD,” “Soweto” with producer Michael Brun and “Juju” with SAINt JHN. In each song, Shirazee shines a light on the wide array of art and culture thriving across the continent. Shirazee’s technique and prowess has landed him on Spotify’s New Music Friday, African Heat, Apple Music’s New Music Daily, and many more.
Shirazee shares that “‘Zaddy’ was directly inspired by a girlfriend of mine. She saw me dressing up for a show (pre-COVID) and said ‘where are you going looking all fine, giving me Zaddy vibes.’ The term stuck in the back of my mind. When I got to the studio it was a no-brainer.”
The new release follows “Tired”, an emotional ballad paying tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all Black lives that have been lost at the hands of police brutality. Premiering worldwide with Ebro Darden via Beats 1 on Apple Music on June 17th, the powerful message in the song and video continues to cross borders and garner support. The raw, heartfelt track was also featured in Triller’s Black Music Appreciation Month campaign. “‘Tired’ is a three-minute capsule of how my generation feels,” Shirazee says. “I hope this song urges us all to continue to do the right thing and as a result, becomes a melodic beacon of encouragement and hope to keep demanding for what’s right.” Proceeds are donated to Color Of Change, NAACPLDF, and the ACLU Campaign Against Racial Profiling.
About the Artist
Shirazee was born in Cotonou, Benin, but his life has transported him to places like Ghana, Paris, South Africa, Atlanta, and New York City. Shirazee’s unique nomadic lifestyle is captured in Lost — his forthcoming EP that channels an explorer’s curious spirit.
Lost gives the listener a sonic world tour. Its six tracks embrace Shirazee’s passion for fusing unexpected beats, while also telling a personal story through artful lyricism.
Growing up in Benin, the artist first discovered his love for music through his mother. She played a colorful mix that ranged from the country’s local artists to Motown-era stars. Tunes from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, James Brown, served as the background music to his life. He also admired Benin-born artists who skewed more traditional, Sagbohan Danialou, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, and Angélique Kidjo.
He has written for the likes of Sting, Ty Dolla $ign, K-pop group Girls’ Generation, Kieza, Twista, and more before fully committing to solo stardom. “My strongest suit is my melody,” he says. “I just go into different spaces in my brain since I’ve worked with and listened to so many genres for so long. That’s what happens when you grow up overseas.”
Shirazee hopes his Lost EP will not only unlock the door for the world to fully engage with Afropop, but to also make sure that the roots of his home country aren’t forgotten. “I want Benin to be heard all through my music, where you feel like you’re hearing the voice of my ancestors,” he explains.
Shirazee is set to drop his EP Lost via Human Re Sources this Fall 2020.