The Culture Joint

TEKNO joins Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa as investor, drops new single ‘Wayo’


Afrobeats icon TEKNO has formed a groundbreaking new joint venture between his Cartel Music label and emPawa Africa, ushering in this new musical era with “Wayo,” his first single of 2024.

The deal sees Tekno joining emPawa Africa, the innovative independent music company founded by Mr Eazi, as an investor and partner. 

Written and produced by Tekno and Grammy-nominated hitmaker ShugaVybz, “Wayo” is driven by infectious percussion, hypnotic synths, and lush guitar arrangements, and held together by Tekno’s enchanting vocal performance and captivating storytelling. “Wayo” — which means to “scam” or deceive someone in Nigerian slang — sees Tekno reassuring his lover of his pure intentions and undying devotion to her, making sure to let her know, “I no come do wayo.” 

The glorious new offering also comes with a cinematic music video set against the vibrant city of Lagos, and starring Tekno and Nollywood sensation Uzoamaka Aniunoh as a couple navigating the highs and lows of their relationship. 

Directed by Forbes 30 Under 30 filmmaker Dammy Twitch, who has also worked with the likes of Davido, Yung Bleu, and DaBaby, the “Wayo” music video brings to life a heartfelt narrative of love, resilience, and forgiveness, beautifully complementing the song’s resonant lyrics and rhythm.

Taking viewers on a vivid journey through the bustling streets of Lagos Island, the video captures the essence of the city’s pulsating spirit and dating culture, with the visuals emphasizing the themes of love and forgiveness, showing how Tekno and his lover overcome their relationship challenges.

The game-changing collaboration between Tekno and emPawa Africa will see Tekno’s Cartel Music imprint releasing some exciting new music via emPawa Africa, with Tekno set to become an investor in emPawa in its next capital call round. He joins Grammy-winning music producer Michaël Brun among those who have invested into the innovative, African-owned label services company founded by Mr Eazi in 2018. emPawa Africa has been at the forefront of discovering and nurturing emerging talent across the African continent, providing budding artists with the resources, training, and tools necessary for global success, working with artists such as Joeboy, Major League DJz, Fave, King Promise, Minz and DJ Neptune, among others. 

“With this deal with Tekno and Cartel Music, we are ushering in a new phase of emPawa,” Mr Eazi says. “This phase will see us partnering with African artists at different stages of their career who want to maintain financial and creative freedom, yet move from talent for hire to equity participation. It’s a first-of-its-kind deal for afrobeats.”

“This strategic alliance with Empawa promises to be a gamechanger for the African music industry and a beacon of opportunity for artists,” adds Tekno. “We look forward to seeing how this partnership will catalyze the growth of emPawa Africa, its artists, and the broader African music ecosystem.”

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