Mr. Easy is gearing up for another legal battle involving the use of his name. This time he intends to defend the use of the sobriquet against an Afrobeats artist whose name is Mr Eazi. The reggae singer is bent on ensuring that he gets the credit for the use of his name, as he first displayed when he took on EasyJet airlines, which is based in Europe.
He explained the situation and why he is seeking legal recourse to the Jamaica Gleaner. He shared that the first time he had to defend the use of the name was about five years ago when the airline mentioned above told him that he couldn’t own the name Mr. Easy. They took him to court, but he won the case and payment.
“They took me to court, and I got my lawyers and was prepared. I went to Chris [Chin] at VP Records and got all the material, including vinyl records, to show that I have been using the name Mr Easy from 1986, long before that airline was even thought of,” he said.
Now, he intends to use the same lawyers to defend his name once again. The veteran, whose name is, Ian Dyer, explained that ever since the first time he was challenged, he trademarked the names ‘Mr Easy’ and ‘Mr Eazi’.
The latest confusion is coming up because the Afrobeats artist is using the name which is also appearing first on Google searches. He added that his team has reached out to Mr Eazi’s management several times, but so far, they have been ignored.
He explained that it is causing confusion among his fans and damage to his brand. He added that not too long ago, the Afrobeats artist was performing at a show in New York, and fans told him (Mr. Easy) that they were looking forward to seeing him. However, he had to explain that it wasn’t him to the disappointment of his fans.
“I have been Mr Easy for 35 years, and that won’t change. We have reached out to Mr Eazi’s management multiple times, but we have been ignored,” he added.
It has been a frustrating time for the veteran reggae artist, who has toured the United States, Japan, and the Caribbean with other well-known Jamaican artists like Beres Hammond, Shinehead, Red Fox, and Shaggy.
His moment in the limelight came in 2001 with the track “Drive Me Crazy.” That song featured on Tony Kelly’s Buy Out riddim. The track was hugely popular and also appeared on the soundtrack for the movie After the Sunset, starring Pierce Brosnan. The track was also immensely popular in Nigeria, and he believes this may have led the artist to adopt the name.
“Drive Me Crazy was massive in Nigeria, and it has been used in several African movies. It look like this youth hear my song and decided to take my name. Drive Me Crazy has been a blessing and a curse; it is a signature song that created its own monster,” he continued.
While he admitted that some had advised him to support the younger artist, he said he could not in good conscience do that because he considered him a pirate. He added if fans knew the difference, then they would not be contacting him to say they are looking forward to seeing him in concert.
“You could never be a new tech company and call yourself ‘Aple’ instead of ‘Apple’. You are not a white guy doing rock music, you look like me, and you are doing similar music,” he added.
Mr. Easy also expressed frustration that Jamaican producers and artists are working with the Afrobeats musician. He also claimed that he was called by a popular producer who realized he was angry about the issue.
The other problem that he faces is just how popular Mr Eazi is. He has 3.7 million followers on Instagram and is very popular with his fans and an international audience. According to his bio, “Oluwatosin Ajibade, better known by his stage name Mr Eazi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is a pioneer of Banku music, a fusion of sound he describes as a mixture of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian chord progressions and patterns.”
While the reggae singer said he doesn’t care about popularity contests, he is bemoaning the fact that all his hard work since moving from Jamaica to Brooklyn as a teen could fall by the wayside, and he may have to start all over again.