Wizkid

42 albums, 6 tracks

Born in Jul 16, 1990

International

Narratives

"Wizkid"

May 31, 2019

The Making of a Global Icon

OBP
Written by @OBP from Omobaba Pension  / 6 mins read
#Afrobeat#AfroPop#SuperStar#Wizkid#World

While Superstar might somewhat seem like a lame album title in the modern day music era where everyone has embraced creativity to its fullest, it is the title of Nigerian music icon Wizkid’s debut studio album. Wizkid whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, officially burst into the music scene in the year 2008 with a feature on rapper M.I Abaga’s “Fast Money Fast Cars.” His high-pitched voice and distinct vocals caught music lovers and critics’ attention but no one knew what was about to hit the Nigerian music scene. Fast forward to the year 2010 and Wizkid’s official first hit single “Holla At Your Boy” tore into the airwaves and no one could get enough of this seemingly rising star. The artiste who had just hit his 20s then gradually grew through the ranks and became an epitome of the modern day music scene’s success story. Singles like “Gidi Girl” and “Don’t Dull” followed and everyone had to sit up, as he had already become the new wave in the industry. Under the mentorship and tutelage of EME Records boss Banky W, Wizkid further harnessed his musical talent and went on to drop his debut album Superstar in the year 2011. Superstar as a debut album was an album that presented Wizkid as an artiste who was still learning the ropes, yet, was bound to do great things. The album's production had marquee names in the industry back in the day, which included the likes of Samklef, E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Masterkraft, Q-Beats as well as his boss Banky W. He was also able to garner features from established artistes, which included singer Wande Coal, D’Prince as well as then label mate, Skales. The album showcased a Wizkid who had the hunger for success as shown in the passion behind the recording of this album. It also showed him at his lyrical best with “Oluwa Lo Ni” being one of the deepest songs he has recorded in the entirety of his career. The album’s sound draws from elements of R&B, dancehall, reggae as well as afrobeats all dished out in equal proportions. Critics had little to say about the production of this project but Wiz’s input on it was generally met with positive reviews. It is arguably Wizkid’s best album till date and is filled with songs that are evergreen, songs that still garner airplay till the present day.

A Generational Crossover

This is a song that shocked music lovers all over Nigeria and the world as it showed us a different version of Wiz we never knew existed. It is an up-tempo song that digs into the “Fuji” genre, a genre popular in the Western part of Nigeria. It is a party banger and might take a little while to grow on you but once it does, you won’t be able to get enough of it. The instrumentals are amazing and the chorus is an anthem! “Love My Baby” - up until Wizkid drops a major love song in the future; this is his greatest love song as at this very moment. This song is perfect with the instrumentals blending in perfectly with Wiz’s distinct voice. The song had Wizkid’s mentor at the time Banky W written all over it as it did pass the perfect message it ought to, while doing that in a sizzling hot and romantic manner. A song that still rock weddings till date. Wizkid really outdid himself on this one.

A Cocktail of Local and International Genres

Personally, this is my favorite song as I find it very difficult to shake off. A party music that shamefully never got a music video. Wizkid’s delivery on the verses were really cool and the song wasn’t unnecessary lengthy. A song that will definitely have you dancing in the club especially when a couple of Tequila shots have been consumed. The album opens with “Call My Name”, a song that a lot of people actually get to skip on the album. It is a song with lyrics that depicts the youthfulness of the young crooner as he embraces his new-found fame. The chorus “…and everybody say my name, Wizzy” could be the only part of this song people remember as it is a pretty forgettable song on the album. Waltzing past the first track will have you bump into the jam that is “No Lele.”The instrumentals on this song were mindblowing with drums forming a major part thanks to producer Masterkraft. The song is an inspiring one as it talks majorly about survival and overcoming in a way that will still have you get all hyped up and dance. The chorus “..dem say dem no know how this young boy come from ghetto make am…” depicts Wizkid’s grass to grace story from the deep environments of Surulere in Lagos, Nigeria to being the superstar that he’d gone to become. It is a song that is definitely going to be around for a really long time.

Wizkid Takes on Storytelling

A song that had the then 21-year old singer in a reflective sober mood. “Oluwa Lo Ni” is a song that offers hope and optimism and is an all-round inspiring song. Produced by Jay-Sleek, lines like “…my brother stop crying, just count your blessings and name them one by one” sees Wizkid defy his young age with a maturity that totally belies it. A song you should listen to to give yourself a little lift. Singles he had dropped before the release of the album which includes “Holla At Your Boy”, “Gidi Girl” and “Don’t Dull” also made the cut and added extra sauce to this beautiful project. Other songs on the album include “Slow Whine”, an R&B joint in which he featured label boss Banky W. A beautiful song that showed how well Wiz has grown under Banky W’s mentorship. One of the hit tracks on the album featured Nigerian singer Wande Coal and is titled “For Me”, an up-tempo party jam that quicky became a fan favorite with critics applauding Wizkid and Wande’s deliveries on the track. The two had gone on to become great friends ever since. Superstar was the platform that launched Wizkid and made him into the global superstar he is today. While we wait for Wizkid’s next project, we hope he goes back in time to tap into the immense creativity he had on display in Superstar to give us something to vibe to all over again.

May 24, 2019

Young generation needed a younger music artist so super star sold.

melodyjacob
Written by @melodyjacob / 6 mins read
#Wizkid#World#Africa#Afromusic#AfroPop#Banky#Nigerian

Wizkid debut album, Superstar, was released three years after he secured his first record deal, it broke industry records and the launch was well attended. Wizkid is a bag of talent and the exploration is yet to be known by more people in the world. His talents and success has encouraged a lot of people to keep pushing through music and stay focused. Wizkid is a big deal and will remain a big deal as far as music is concern. I see him follow the steps of the legend Fela who also happens to be recognized internationally. The superstar album was like the national anthem, everyone sang it, lyrically books sold out, parties weren't complete without a Wizkid song, it was addictive and we all loved it. This album was a major selling point for Wizkid. The young generation needed a young talent to relate with and enjoy and Wizkid was the right artist to vibe to. People love him not only for his music but of course obviously Wizkid is a good looking man charming and well put together. He took afro beat to the world and everyone loved it, today afrobeat stands as one of the most danced to music in the one, the afro beat music industry is still yet to be explored fully but Wizkid is on a journey which I support and can relate. He wasn't born with a silver spoon but yet made a lot for himself.

‘Love My Baby’ was the most popular song on the album

My best track from the superstar album is “Love My Baby” - the lyrics is standard and never goes out of musically style in the sense that each time it is played I still like the vibe it brings along. It is a wedding dance song which everyone danced to. Wizkid is a remarkable afrobeat, reggae, and hip-hop singer well-known not only in Nigeria but the other countries as well. He achieved international success in 2016 when he recorded a song in collaboration with singer Drake which started a lot of criticism because Drake did not appear in the music video - afro music lovers felt it was insulting and should not be accepted but Wizkid grew even stronger notwithstanding. The song was called “One Dance”, and it gained success in fifteen countries making it a number one hit in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Nigeria, Ghana and Canada. However, aside “One Dance”, Wizkid has a lot of amazing songs of his own, and he has got a huge fan base. He is very popular in Africa achieving sold out concerts, his song are well put together, radio rainbows and quality videos. His fashion sense have taken him to the runway, he walked the runway at the Men’s Fashion Week in Milan Italy June 16.

Wizkid walking the runway to show diversity was everything

Wizkid showed off his modelling talents wearing D&G black ensemble built up with a polka dot white t-shirt, and a studded face mask. Stefano Gabbana styled Wizkid himself. Superstar album by Wizkid incorporates elements of R&B, dancehall and reggae. Although the album has a predominant Afrobeat sound, the sound of the aforementioned genres are evident throughout the album, specifically on "Tease Me", "Gidi Girl" and "Slow Whine". The album's themes deal primarily with starting from the bottom and reaching to the top, i.e. from grass to grace. In "No Lele", Wizkid talks about his hussle and how he had to work hard to succeed. In "Say My Name", he talks about his success and how everyone now "calls his name". In "Wad Up", he is reminiscent about the time he used to get insulted by people who called him dirty. In "Shout Out", he thanked everyone who helped him become successful. In a nutshell, Wizkid describes his early life, particularly the hardships he endured and how he triumphant and made a name for himself. Wizkid also made reference to God, the almighty, who is constantly helping him reach great heights.This album instantly won the hearts of the music fans and received a lot of nominations and awards.

Wizkid winning the album of the year

This album Superstar was made in collaboration with such producers as E-Kelly, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Jay Sleek and others, and contained the guest star appearance from music industry giants like Banky W, Wande Coal, D’Prince, and Skales. He won Best Album of The Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2012. The album's production was handled by Samklef, E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Masterkraft, Q-Beats, Banky W and Vebee. It features guest appearances from Wande Coal, D'Prince, Banky W and Skales. The album was supported by six singles: "Holla at Your Boy", "Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Pakurumo", and "Oluwa Lo Ni". It is the second best selling album on NotJustOk and was the most highly anticipated Nigerian album of 2011.

Wizkid performing with Chris Brown

In 2012, Chris Brown came to Lagos for a performance. At some point during the show, Wizkid performed with Chris Brown. This was before he released “Ojuelegba.” It went beyond and became a friendship. In 2012, Wizkid signed a one-year endorsement deal with Pepsi reportedly worth 350,000 U.S dollars. He travelled to Beirut, Lebanon with Tiwa Savage for a Pepsi commercial shoot. On 28 May 2013, Premium Times reported that Wizkid signed a one-year deal with MTN Nigeria. Moreover, the news source reported that Wizkid's Pepsi contract was renewed for another two years. On 23 October 2013, BellaNaija reported that Wizkid signed an endorsement deal with Guinness for the "Guinness World of More" concert, which was held at the Eko Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos on 3 November 2013. On 18 June 2015, Pulse reported that Wizkid ditched MTN and signed a ₦128 million deal with GLO. Wizkid is an inspiration to every young child and his music pattern gets better by each album he releases. He is outstanding and undoubtful a music legend who afrobeat can not will not fail to mention in the world of afrobeat music. Up still date Superstar stands out as one of the most recognized music artist in Nigeria and Africa.

Only The Strong Survive The Rough Journey

Being a 1st generation Nigerian in America, I overcame a lot growing up. My parents always enforced education. My dad stressed that education is the key to a better life. In school, I was always an overachiever due to me wanting to excel and make my parents proud. I did not fit in at grade school. Books, drawing, and music were my escape. I could not relate to kids in grade school because my background was of African descent and not American. Kids in grade school would make fun of me due to my darker complexion and unique last name because it was different and out of the norm. I used to get called “Darth Vader” in middle school by this boy, and when I told the teacher, she just laughed along with him. I can honestly say all the trials, bullying and discrimination I faced early on has really shaped me into the strong, smart and intelligent woman I am today. Which brings me to the amazing Naija born and bred artist Wizkid.

Written by jxxiii from Crown All Queens / May 31, 2019

"Sounds From The Other Side" is a good attempt at growth for Wizkid, but it doesn't do much to scratch the surface of the market it was intended for

Growth is an essential part of human life, that is why children will always tell you what they want to become when they grow up. Without knowing it, they're already thinking of a time when they would be much taller and bigger than they are, and when they would achieve the much talked about success, seriously anticipating the whole process. In business too, when a group of guys come together to establish a start-up, they usually have one thing in mind - growth, and they work hard until they achieve it. This is because growth brings fulfillment, satisfaction and peace of mind; elements that make life beautiful and worth living. When Nigerian Afrobeats singer Wizkid started out, like every other musician, growth was top most in his mind. So after recording series of successes in the African continent with his first and second studio albums, and getting some kind of recognition from the global music space after featuring in Drake's "One Dance" which topped global charts and raked in the awards by the way, he desired to grow into a global musician. That desire is what birthed his third music project Sounds From The Other Side. That project like the name implies is made up of sounds from different music genres including Afrobeats, EDM, R&B, and House. It also features artists from different music genres including America's Drake, Chris Brown, Trey Songs, Major Lazer, Ty Dollar Sign, Ghana's Efya and South Africa's Bucie. But even though Nigerian music producers Sarz, Del B and Spellz contributed in its production, there were no Nigerian artists where Wizkid comes from, who featured in that body of work. Should that be considered strange? Not quite! Remember, the goal at this point for him was to become a global musician. But did he succeed? Did Sounds From The Other Side turn Wizkid from an African musician relatively known to the world, to a globally recognized musician?

Written by timuwakwe from NaviCorp / May 31, 2019

A Powerful Effort From Africa’s Global Superstar

Fresh off the international exposure his Ojuelegba remix in which he featured American rapper Drake as well as grime rapper Skepta, Nigerian popstar Wizkid seemed set to finally take on the world. The young star who burst into the Nigerian music scene at a very early age, is far from being an overnight success, Wizkid is currently an artiste that every aspiring music artiste in Nigeria and Africa want to be. His songs “Holla At Your Boy”, “Gidi Girl” and “Don’t Dull” had introduced Nigerians to a potential superstar and his consistency over the years has seen him grow into one of Nigeria’s finest music exports. Sounds From The Other Side is Wizkid’s third studio album having released his first two albums, Superstar and Ayo under his former record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) co-owned by Nigerian artiste Bankole Wellington popularly known as Banky W. - Sounds From The Other Side was released under Wizkid’s Starboy Entertainment, RCA Records and Sony Music and represented a result of Wizkid’s sojourn onto the international stage. The album infuses a Caribbean influenced feel blended perfectly with Afrobeat, EDM, R&B, and house music. SFTOS can best be described as a potent crossover album that features international acts like Chris Brown, Drake, Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign and more. In as much as the influence of foreign sounds were purely evident on this album, Wizkid still tried to infuse some form of Africanness into the project which made it a brilliant body of work. SFTOS can best be described as a good album, it isn’t great and it isn’t awful either. Some of the songs in this album should go on to be classics while a few others are just plain forgettable. The album opens with “Sweet Love”, a trademark Wizkid tune. Clear vocals and a perfect fusion of afrobeats and slow gyrating dancehall beats blend perfectly to make this a smooth jam. His lyrics are reminiscent of late Nigerian music legend and activist Fela Kuti who coincidentally, Wizkid sees as a role model. Sweet Love was widely accepted to the point that it was featured as a soundtrack on an episode of American TV show Ballers. A good song that’ll have you moving slowly to its rhythm and that serves as the perfect predecessor to “Come Closer” the second track on the album. Following the successes of Ojuelegba remix and “One Dance”, a song that broke billboard records - Wizkid teamed up with American rapper Drake once again and its result was pure magic. Come Closer is a song that shows that Wizkid after years of trying to figure out a perfect blend, might have finally settled into his sound; an ever changing version of Afropop that mixes with reggae and has a Caribbean feel. He outshone Drake on the track and deserves accolades for that. Good song, and definitely a club banger. Another track worthy of a mention is “African Bad Gyal” in which he featured R&B superstar Chris Brown. This song is a jam and half! This song had Chris Brown dishing out his incredible vocals on the track. Sarz produced the song and he really did a great job on the instrumentals. The song deserves a better video that was released, but I welcome the idea of all 3 of them having more collaboration in the future. A major disappointing effort for me on this album will be “Naughty Ride” in which he featured Major Lazer. When I saw the tracklist and realized Wizkid had teamed up with Major Lazer, I felt a blood rush as my expectation knew no bounds as to what amazing concoction of sound they would create, only for Naughty Ride to miss the mark by a mile and half. Having listened to numerous Major Lazer tunes, I expected more than the flat and bland sound this song had to offer. A disappointing attempt at by the collaboration which to me seemed quiet unnecessary as no justice was done by all parties involved. Tracks like “Sexy” and “Daddy Yo” were pretty forgettable tracks. They were good but not in any way close to being great while “Nobody” is an okay song that I did enjoy a bit too. All in all, it was a brilliant effort and a huge step in the right direction for an artiste who could turn out to be one of Africa’s greatest ever. An improvement on this on his next project and we might even be talking about a Grammy nomination!

Written by OBP from Omobaba Pension / May 24, 2019

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Biography

"Wizkid"

Born

    1990-07-16

Active

    2001–present[A]

Label

  • Starboy
  • RCA
  • Disturbing London
  • E.M.E (former)

About

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born 16 July 1990), known professionally as Wizkid (sometimes stylized as WizKid), is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He started recording music at age 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. In 2009, he signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E). He rose to prominence in 2010 with the release of the song "Holla at Your Boy" from his debut studio album, Superstar (2011). "Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Pakurumo" and "Oluwa Lo Ni" were also released as singles from the Superstar album. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter. Ayo, his self-titled second studio album, was released in September 2014. It was supported by six singles: "Jaiye Jaiye", "On Top Your Matter", "One Question", "Joy", "Bombay" and "Show You the Money". Following the release of his second studio album and expiration of his 5-year recording contract, Wizkid left E.M.E.
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