Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun Professionally known as Wizkid, is a Nigerian singer and song writer. He started recording music at age 11 when he released a collaborative album with few of his church friends.
Today, he is a music star who has attained several feats, such as gaining international recognition in 2016, after doing ‘One Dance’, a collaborative song with Drake. The song reached number one in over 15 countries; UK, US, Australia and Canada inclusive. Wizkid is a great motivator for young musicians in Africa, and till date, he is the highest followed Nigerian musician on Twitter.
Birth Name: Ayodeji Balogun
Born: July 16
Genre: Dance Hall/R&B
Wizkid kicked off his singing career as early as 11 when he recorded his first song with one of Nigeria’s celebrated music icons, OJB Jezreel. He went on to record a 7-track album, which he released in his church in Lagos, under the name of Lil’ Prinz; this was just a stint that earned him a remarkable deal of encouragement and recognition from family, his church and other artistes.
Years later in 2006, with a new name, which he picked up from a very funny incident, Wizkid got into the studio to record again; this time with HMan (OJB’s younger brother) and Ugly on a song titled ‘Naija Boy’, produced by OJB Jezreel. From that time, he continued to hone his singing skills with influences from OJB Jezreel, Ruffman, Naeto C, Ikechukwu, and many others. By 2008, he had developed a unique reggae style and had worked with some of the finest artistes in Nigeria such as Sound Sultan, Ruffman, Nyore, Durella, Kel, TBase, etc.
The 19-year-old’s collaboration with M.I on “Fast Money, Fast Cars” on the Talk About It album, drew a lot of attention to his distinct voice and singing style. He also voiced the seasonal Barcelos radio jingle which was released in December 2008.
Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E)
In 2009, Wizkid got signed to Banky W’s label, Empire Mates Entertainment, and has since then go on to perform and record with Banky W, who is one of Nigeria’s most sought artistes. Wizkid has collaborated with other artistes such as Kel, Dipp, Eva, and Teeto, to name a few.
Star Boy Entertainment
On March 5, 2013, Wizkid established the Star Boy entertainment record label. After it was established, he left the Empire Mates Entertainment. In May 2016, it expanded into a Star Boy Worldwide after signing some international Sing-Song writers like Efya, Eazi and R2Bees. This was after his performance at the 17th edition of the Ghana Musician Awards.
The record label was created to give up-coming artists a platform to showcase their talents. He went on to sign Maleek Berry, a British Nigerian record Producer and the Onikos- Legendury Beatz. He also signed a recording artist L.A.X to his imprint.
In 2010, Wizkid fully broke into the music industry with the release of his smash hit singles; “Don’t dull”, “Holla at your boy”, and “Tease me”. Ayo Balogun’s debut album- “Superstar” was released in 2011 and in June 2011, he performed several sold-out concerts in Nigeria, UK, and the United States.
Work on Wizkid's second studio album, Ayo, began in 2012 and continued through 2014. It features guest appearances from Femi Kuti, Banky W., Seyi Shay, Phyno, Tyga, Akon and Wale. The album's production was handled by Sarz, Shizzi, Uhuru, Del B, Dokta Frabz, Maleek Berry, Legendury Beatz and Spellz. It was initially titled Chosen. According to MTV Base, the album suffered from a pushed back release date. It was earlier reported that the album would feature Don Jazzy, Efya and Olamide. On 6 September 2014, Wizkid revealed the album's cover art and tracklisting.
Prior to announcing plans for a second studio album, Wizkid had plans of releasing a mixtape in April 2013. In an interview with Ok! Nigeria TV at Disturbing Headquarters in London, he said that the mixtape would be released in April. He also said that the mixtape would feature Wale and Tinie Tempah. Wizkid later announced that he would be releasing his second studio album on 12 June 2013. In an interview with HipTV, Banky W revealed the album's initial title and commented on the delayed album. In addition, he gave an estimated time-frame for the album's release.
On 2 May 2013, Wizkid released the album's lead single, "Jaiye Jaiye", featuring Femi Kuti. Wizkid told Showtime Celebrity that he collaborated with Femi Kuti in order to prevent people from depicting him as an artist whose lyrics revolve around girls, cars and materialistic things. "On Top Your Matter" was released as the album's second single on 26 October 2013; it was produced by Del'B. The music video for the single, released on 13 February 2014, was shot and directed in South Africa by Sesan. In July 2014, Wizkid visited The Beat 99.9 FM studio in Lagos and told Toolz that he collaborated with Barbadian singer Rihanna.
On 5 January 2015, Wizkid released the music video for "Ojuelegba", a song that highlights the struggles he endured in the early years of his recording career. The official remix to the song features vocals from Drake and Skepta; it premiered on OVO Sound Radio in July 2015. Wizkid first announced that he was working on a new album during his visit to London in October 2014. He revealed his collaborative single with Chris Brown titled "African Bad Girl", and said that it would be the lead single off the upcoming album. In April 2015, both Wizkid and Chris Brown performed the song together at the latter's concert in Durban, South Africa. In May 2015, Wizkid released "Expensive Shit", an Afrobeat song built on light guitars, saxophone lines and acoustic percussion; the song was reported as being a likely inclusion on the album. In July 2015, Wizkid announced via Twitter that Angélique Kidjo will be featured on the album. In September 2015, Wizkid revealed that he was dropping his EP and postponing the release of his third studio album. He made the announcement via Instagram shortly after the conclusion of 2Face Idibia's "Fortified" tribute concert. Wizkid was quoted as saying, "I celebrated the legend 2face Idibia last night! Epic! It made me realize how much work I need to do."
According to an interview published by The Fader magazine, Wizkid's upcoming EP would be titled Sounds from the Other Side. Although much information was not revealed, The Fader did report that Wizkid is squeezing in edits to the EP.
Sounds From the Other Side
Wizkid released his third studio album, Sounds from the other side (STFOS) on July 14, 2017. It was released by the Starboy Entertainment, RCA Records and Sony Music International. The music genres involve Afrobeat, EDM, R&B, House and Dance Hall. The producers are the Picard Brothers, Sarz, Del B, DJ Mustard and many more with guest appearances from Chris Brown, Bucie, Drake, TY Dolla Sign. e.t.c
The album was ranked 107 on the US Billboard 200 and 58 on Canadian Albums Charts. It has 5 singles and they are Daddy Yo (2016), Sweet Love (2017), Come Closer (2017), African Bad Gyal (2017), Naughty Ride (2017). It won the Best R&B/Pop Album under the Headies in 2018.
Wizkid has received several awards for his music both in Nigeria and overseas. The awards include:
- Promising Artist of the Year, Dynamix All Youths Awards, 2010
- Best New Male Artiste, City People Entertainments Awards, 2011
- Best New Act of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2011
- Artiste of the Year, Dynamix All Youth Awards, 2011
- Best African Art, Music of Black Origin, 2011
- Best Pop/R&B Artist of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Award, 2012
- Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year, The Headies 2012
- Artist of the Year, The Headies, 2012
- Best International Act Africa, BET Awards, 2012
- Musician of the Year, The Future Awards, 2012
- Musician of the Year (Male), Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2013
- African Artist of the Year, Ghana Music Awards, 2013
- Male Artist of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2015
- African Artist of the Year, Ghana Music Awards, 2016
- African Artist of the Year, African Pride Awards, 2016
- Best West African Artist, Music of Black Origin (MOBO), 2017
- Artiste of the Year, Music of Black Origin (MOBO), 2017
- Best International Artist, Music of Black Origin (MOBO), 2017
SOURCE: Entrepreneurs NG
Awards For his Songs
- Next Rated, ‘Holla at Your Boy’, The Headies, 2011
- Best Album of the Year ‘Superstar’, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2012
- Best Group Video of the Year ‘Slow Down’ R2Bees featuring Wizkid, 4syte TV Music Video Awards, 2013
- Most Gifted Video of the Year ‘Azonto’ Channel O Music Video Awards, 2013
- Hottest Single of the Year ‘Pull Over’ Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
- Most Gifted Duo/Group ‘Pull Over’ Kcee featuring Wizkid, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2014
- Best Recording of the Year ‘Ojuelegba’, The Headies 2015
- Best R&B/Pop Album ‘Ayo’ The Headies 2015
- Album of the Year ‘Ayo’ The Headies 2015
- Hottest Single of the Year, ‘Ojuelegba’ Nigeria Entertainment Award, 2015
- Video of the Year ‘Ojuelegba’ African Muzik Magazine Awards, 2015
- Song of the Year, ‘Ojuelegba’ African Muzik Magazine Awards, 2015
- Song of the Year, ‘Come Closer’ African Music Award (AFRIMA), 2017
SOURCE: Entrepreneurs NG
Follow Wizkid on Twitter: @wizkidayo
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