A.Y.ZERO started in 1998 when Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu printed and sold T-shirts in Oakland, California, with the message "We Are Connected." Today, A.Y.ZERO continues to be rooted in Prince Ayo Manuel’s hope and passion for creating a more peaceful world by eliminating fear and awakening the loving side we all hold within our hearts.
A.Y.ZERO is an apparel design brand founded on the mission to inspire individuals to evoke positive change through meaningful action. A.Y.ZERO is driven by the vision of building a community effort and credo to Behave Royally. We are calling on communities founded on this principal across the globe – to become everyday love and peace ambassadors that echos our passionate cry – YOU were made to LOVE! Behave Royally!
The brand symbol of a lioness represents a loving mother calling on her pride and children to act with mindful compassion and love unconditionally. Creatively embedded on the front side of the lioness is her humanness figure peacefully looking inside to where her power lies. #WearAYZERO
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu is a social change agent, entrepreneur, artist, musician and producer, public speaker, and creator of the clothing line A.Y.ZERO and the record label, MansMark Records. His personal mantra, “Behave Royally” and “Love, Don’t Hate” serves as an authentic blueprint throughout all f his business ventures, music, and creative endeavors.
“I consider my work to be an evolving, expanding vision to create a better world, no matter what I am doing,” says Prince Ayo Manuel.
Prince Ayo Manuel was born in Ondo State, Nigeria and began his career as a graphic designer, working for printing and advertising companies before starting his own company, MansMark Communications, which later became MansMark Records. In 1986, Mr. Ajisebutu moved to the United States to further his education and musical ambitions and fulfill his vision of bringing African music and culture to a wider audience.
His first album, “Love Candidate,” with his then stage name Ayo Manuel, was released on his label MansMark Records in 1983 at the height of the Second Republic in Nigeria. The album voiced his intention to run for office as the Love Candidate (a political statement) and received extensive airplay on the radio and television. Ayo released his second album, “Party Zone,” in 1991 and was distributed by Polygram-Nigeria. His album, “Put on a Smiling Face,” was released in 1996 and was met with high praise from fans and peers. As a peace activist, Prince Ayo writes and produces “Afro-Soul,” a hybrid-style of music that blends traditional African dance rhythms and Nigerian juju tunes with Western and Caribbean sounds.His latest single, “Behave Royally” is set for release in September 2019.
MansMark is the proud owner of the last official studio recordings of the late Nigerian legendary master drummer Babatunde Olatunji. Two songs out of the Babatunde Olatunji’s last recordings were recently licensed to the Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour for his History album.Prince Ayo Manuel wrote new lyrics around Babatunde Olatunji's vocals which Youssou N'Dour later added his part in his native Senegalese language Wolof on the two songs.
Since his arrival in the United States, Prince Ayo Manuel furthered his passions with new music and activism, spreading his melodies and motivational messages through troubled youth homes and women's prisons in the San Francisco Bay Area. Along with playing a significant role in several human rights campaigns, Prince Ayo Manuel co-founded the Free Nigeria Movement, and his protests, like those organized against the killing of Nigerian human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, have received the support of organizations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and Rainforest Action Network.
Prince Ayo Manuel’s unique combination of vision, heart, and tenacity combined with his solid business experience is a source of inspiration to others. Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu is now sharing his experience, strength, and knowledge to the public and the music industry as an author and public speaker. His upcoming book, “Behave Royally” encourages readers to spread the inspirational message, “YOU were made to LOVE! Behave Royally!” Lecture Topics Include:
- Sustainability of Small Independent Labels: Techniques for effective marketing
- World Music & Africa: Past, Present and the Future
- World Music: Honoring the voice of the indigenous and supporting grassroots community development