Meet Wurld, the unsung hero of Afrofusion
In the highly competitive world of Nigerian Afrobeats, Wurld has always been somewhat of a black horse, a dedicated warrior in the background, silently pushing for Afrofusion to gain prominence.
Despite the ongoing tendency to overlook and underestimate his talents, he's consistently gifted fans with a variety of remarkable hits ranging from Wayo, Show You Off, and Sarafina, which are found in Wurld's upcoming EP titled Don't Get Used To This set to release this November.
Born as Sadiq Onifade in Lagos, Nigeria, Wurld's early years were steeped in the rich musical traditions of Afrobeat legends like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade.
However, his musical journey took an intriguing turn when he relocated to Georgia, USA. There, he experienced a musical fusion like no other, as he soaked in the influences of American R&B, hip-hop, Pop, and dance music. This unique blend of cultural exposure has undoubtedly shaped the multifaceted artist that Wurld is today.
Wurld's dual exposure to both the US and Nigeria proved instrumental in crafting his distinctive genre, known as Afro-fusion.
Distinguished by its seamless blend of afrobeats, pop, reggae, dancehall, and electronic music, Afrofusion has been a genre where Wurld has undeniably led the way. His chart-topping hits like Show You Off, Mad, Trobul, Sadé and Sweet In The Middle have come to symbolize the essence of Afrofusion music.
Not too long ago, Notjustok had the chance to sit down with Wurld for an interview. We talked about his pivotal role in shaping the Afrofusion music genre, his remarkable synergy with Sarz, insights into his forthcoming EP, and his perspective on the Amapiano music wave.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity while retaining its essence:
You have been creating your thing and pushing your career upto this moment, what would you say had been your biggest challenge so far ?
I have seen my biggest challenge has probably been misunderstood for the most part and underappreciated and having to live through that. In this music industry, one thing that I have learnt is that you need to have a very thick skin and a very strong idea of your purpose.
So what I would say regarding the challenge that I faced is always feeling underappreciated and undervalued and still staying motivated knowing that the journey continues.
Yes sure, I definitely get you.
Yes, because with me, coming into the Afrobeats space was very intentional because before that I was strictly doing RnB music. I was working with Hip hop artists, I was working with dance and electronic house music DJs
People used to say you know, Wurld do Afrobeats music and it didn't feel right until I met Shizzi and that is what brought the song Show You Off.
Prior to that song there was nothing like Show You Off in the Afro-game music space and I used to go to a party in clubs where most of the music that they played for Afrobeats artists were all fast music, it was mostly dance. It was very minimal in lyrics, it was mostly vibes, to be honest.
The Afrobeats party theme was all about dance and I came from a songwriting background I was like what happens when you have to slow down a little bit and start being a little bit more lyrical that was what the intention has been and it sure has changed a lot of things because I feel like it allowed a lot of artists to see a different approach
Trobul was another continuation of that for me and even working with Davido for Blow My Mind was a continuation of that. If you listen to all these songs they were a timeline that changed a lot about the way new artists today create music.
For me, I grew up in a space where, you know what like I love everything that's happening in Afrobeats right now, there is so much energy and so much dance but what happens when you add lyrics and more conversation in it and that's what gave birth to Trobul to Ego to Mad to the Afrosoul project.
So for me, I always felt undervalued and underappreciated but my journey is my journey and I appreciate the people who see me and the people who appreciate what I do.
You have talked about being undervalued and how you have dealt with that and your next project is Don't Get Used To This dropping in November. When you say Don't Get Used To This is it like don't get used to being undervalued? Like what's the inspiration behind the project?
If you really look into my career like every song that I release doesn't sound the same. All the songs sound different. So I feel like I'm about to release another addictive content that people are gonna be like give us another one like this again.
Because before this songs that I mentioned there was nothing like it. I feel like sometimes people don't know what they need or what they're missing until they hear it. So for me I feel like people are going to love this project so much and I'll be saying like don't get used to this
But also in a deeper meaning, Don't Getting Used To This for me is like, this moment, let's live this moment now because this is the only thing that's promised let's give our best right now but we can't get used to this because tomorrow things change, we have to adjust.
You recently dropped the highly anticipated music video for Sarafina, can you tell us, how was the video made ?
This video was made in Los Angeles that is where I shot Show You Off and in this video, I went back to that essence of who I am. The simplicity, the intention, the clarity, that's what you gonna find in this video. I feel like everything about this project is intentional, and effortless, keeping it simple and beautiful and I feel like it's a long time since I gave people that and I'm just going back to the real essence of who the Wurld is.
I don't know if I'm right when I say you have a thing with blue colour, your hair colour is blue. So I'm curious as to why. Is it inspired by your brand or is it just that you have a thing for blue?
The blue colour is time. It just signifies a certain time in my life and a change. If you guys ever see me change that colour, you should know that Wurld has changed to something else again. A different change has happened.
There have been some comments recently of someone claiming that they're the pioneer of Afro Fusion but also some people see you as the pioneer of the genre. Do you think it's cool for someone else to claim who you are? Do you also think you have contributed a lot to Afro-fusion?
People forget that one of the first times they ever heard a certain blend of Afrobeats was through Show You Off. I feel like Show You Off was a very significant moment in Afrobeats fusion of what we are right now.
I'm not the type to put myself into a position to argue with people online that are very ignorant and not well informed. It's not the type of conversation that needs to be had. This is more of something that I feel people know but they just want to support who they support.
I can't tell anyone to support my narrative over someone that they care about more. So I feel like people protect and talk about who they feel like they want to talk to regardless of what the truth is or not but the journey and for me I have done my part.
Do you think Afrofusion is here to stay ?
Afrofusion is not gonna end. It's gonna keep growing into different things in different genres around the world I believe that's what's gonna happen.
Amapiano is now taking over the world. What is your take on Amapiano ? Do you see yourself doing a full EP on Amapiano ?
I have a project that's coming. I don't want to put a timeline in it but you guys should expect something in the whole dance, Afrofusion Amapiano house space.
I have a project that I'm pretty done with it. It's not just out there yet and I can't wait to share that. It's definitely different from what you're used to but I feel certain that people will appreciate it once they hear it.
But I love the sound even my next single, there's a song that's like has heavily Amapiano house feel. People are gonna be shocked by this one, there's a lot of excitement about this project.
Dont Get Used To This is a back to back song to song project. It was very intentional 8 songs was good because even me and my team we made sure that it was all single. If you've heard Location and Sarafina by now you should know what to expect.
What's the oldest track in this EP ?
The oldest track in this EP would be Location. So Location was made during the process of me and Sarz getting back together to create. So we created many amazing records but our timelines to release the project are not looking like this year so we decided to get a few records out.
He has an album that he is working on as well. You gonna hear another song of me and him in the project so he is supportinge in my album and I'm supporting in his project as well and that's why it's the oldest track in this project.
Who could you say in African music, has been an inspiration to you ?
There is no one person, to be honest. I feel like I'm a fan of different artists for different reasons. I'm a fan of Wizkid, Davido, Burna, Asa, Rema, Ayra Starr, and Tems. Everyone has brought something different to the table. I feel like I'm a fan of everything that's happening.
After Don't Get Used This, what's next ? Should we expect an album next year ?
We'll see. Don't Get Used To This is like a short project just for now. But expect another from me in a short period of time and it won't be a long time. I'm just release something special that someone has ever done. I think time will tell and expect a lot of collaboration from me with both like Afrobeats artists and international artists.
I can't give any names yet but you would just want to wait for it. Expect more music and more tours. I feel like I owe my fans on different parts of the world an actual world tour.