The feat of gaining 1.5 million views in the week of releasing your first single is quite possibly an artist's dream and in most instances unattainable. However, this achievement from 17-year-old rapper / YouTuber EO with his debut single 'German', fits perfectly with his story thus far. The song is urgently the sound of now in a classic way; with a catchy hook and the innocent aspirations of inner-city teenagers: of a nice car, chain and girlfriend. To get to this stage, Edwin's journey has been both intentional and coincidental in the Gen Z way.
"I was born a British baby" he laughs, describing the series of events that led to his mum settling in London with he and his elder sister whilst on a trip visiting her sister, his aunt. Edwin's unexpected arrival would become part of Edwin's story: naturally falling into circumstances that have got him to where he is now.
Uprooting life from one home to another is always a process of adjustment; taking a few years before his family (now including his stepfather and younger brother) settled in Camberwell. "I had a friend who was always playing the piano and I thought 'this is sick, this is amazing' I want to try" an attitude ingrained in Edwin's approach to life. Dabbling in the piano and being part of his Church choir, music was a hobby that stuck with him, until joining secondary school where basketball would become an integral part of his school journey up until finishing his GCSEs in 2017.
During a month long trip to Nigeria, at the height of their boredom EO and his sister practiced their hand at creating a YouTube channel, something no one in his friendship group had yet dabbled in. "I'm the performer in the group" and EO's parodies of life growing up in a British-African household and comedic remakes of viral tracks would entertain the 200,000 subscribers he garnered in the space of 10 months.
With an accumulated 11 Million views, his subscribers would spur
EO on to work on his own music, recognising his vocal abilities.
"I would do parodies of songs", with his 'Mans Not Hot' cover now on over a Million views, to give his own song a try seemed like the next logical step. Recording the original version of 'German' on the instrumental of 'Barking', "it got over 300,00 views on YouTube" with the demand for more, EO went back and re-recorded a new version with a video premiered on GRM Daily that garnered over 500,000 views within 5 days. The Gen Z formula of trying and seeing how it turns out.
The essence of a performer can not only be seen in his videos but
also his personality. A true child of Generation Z, he stands in his
truth and is bold with his moves, which have in turn led him to creating
an audience for himself that have now viewed 'German' 34 Million times.
His second single 'Tick Tock' accumulated 1 Million views in the first 3 weeks of release. "I would want to work with Not3s I love everything he does... and Wizkid and Davido" and with the goal set, EO is destined to achieve this.