Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit


29 October 2013, 15:00 | Written by Laurence Day

Nigerian-born, East-End raised Azekel has simmered to the surface since early cuts like “That Feeling” dropped earlier this year. His impeccable vocal stylings are tantamount to emotional torture – with the way he wreaks havoc upon you with all his feeling, and doleful anecdotes, you’ll be left reeling. Though you won’t regret it one bit. It’s a genuine, heartfelt lament that he unleashes upon the world, done via sparse noir R&B and soulful pop balladry unsurpassed this year.

His Circa EP traverses vital points in his life, providing us with sonic polaroids of his romantic foibles and endeavours from youth to the present. Though an adept producer himself, Azekel opted to include other names on his debut EP to evoke a range of noises and to highlight the textures pertinent to the varied eras. “Be Mine (’03)” (which producer Blacksmif has stuck his hands in), rattles and echoes with distant but mechanised percussion. Super-smooth synth hooks, sleeker than satin, slice their way through Azekel’s gorgeous falsetto and the disconnected chaos of futuristic retro-soul. It’s a sublime cut.

Luckily for us, we were able to grab a quick word with the busy R&B-er to talk Prince, Marvin Gaye and the construction of Circa. We also addressed his love of hats.

Could you give us a brief summary of your life to date?

I grew up in East London. I was inspired a lot by the music my mother would play when I was growing up. I taught myself piano, guitar and bass through my early teens, then got into producing and started recording my own songs. I got told by one of my mates to put my songs online. I did, and here I am.

What records remind you of your childhood?

Marvin Gaye records. My mother used to play a lot of Marvin Gaye, that and Afrobeat.

Who are your musical heroes?

Too many… Prince, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie, D’Angelo, Sade, J. Dilla and Otis Redding.

What was the first song you wrote like?

It was some R&B/B2K vibes. I wrote it when I was around twelve or something. The hook weren’t bad though.

Do you have any aims with your music?

Of course. I want to make timeless music, and be a great influence.

In almost every photoshoot you’re wearing a hat. What’s your favourite hat? Has anyone ever told you that the hats are a little bit like Walter White’s in Breaking Bad?

I like my hats. My favourite is a brown vintage hat I got from a random sale. No one has told me about the Breaking Bad comparison…not a bad thing though!

Do you tire of the Frank Ocean comparisons?

I know that as I put more music out, I’ll stand out without the comparisons. I get what people see as comparisons. It was cool initially, I guess.

You describe yourself as a philosopher. Who’s your favourite philosopher?

I like Plato, Isaac Newton’s pretty cool too.

What’s your personal philosophy?

Erm… Love God with all my heart, mind and soul, and love my neighbours as I love myself.

Could you run us through Circa? How did you write and record it?

The Circa EP is a collection of memories from 2003 – 2012, I felt it was great to introduce myself by showcasing moments that made me who I am today.

The writing process was cool. I made the EP in between jobs and any spare time really. I recorded everything in my living room/studio. I tend to write a lot when travelling, I just remember dope lines and melodies that come to me. The process took like 4-5 months from the writing and the production process, to the tracks being mastered.

I wanted each track off the EP to stand apart and be different form each other, that’s one of the reason I worked with other producers. The EP is a collaborative effort where I worked with 4 other producers (Vincent Perez, Adelight, Youan, and Blacksmif). Working with different producers helped me gain different sounds to portray a nostalgic feeling in each track.

What’s the story behind ‘Be Mine ’03′?

A friend of mine put me in contact with Blacksmif, and we worked on that track. In terms of lyrically, it’s a song about a real big crush I had on a girl, when I was real young… it didn’t go well. I tried to recreate that sonically too, with old pirate radio samples and recordings of kids in a playground.

Who would you love to work with (alive or dead)?

A studio session with Marvin Gaye would be sick, Prince too.

What’s an Azekel show like?


If you had an unlimited budget, what kind of show would you play?

Less is more. I don’t think I’d have any dancers or anything. It would be an amazing performing with a small band in India though, come to think of it.

Do you have any plans to celebrate the release of Circa?

Dunno yet, haven’t really thought about that. I might go out for a drink or two.

What plans have you got for Halloween?

I don’t really celebrate Halloween. I’ll probably be in my home studio doing something boring like making music.

How about 2014?

I’m going to put out some more amazing music, do some amazing live shows and take it to a whole ‘nother level.

Azekel released the Circa EP on Monday 28th October, via Generator and THNDR LGHTNG Recordings.

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