ARTIST OF THE WEEK – WIZKID
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born 16 July 1990), better known by his stage name Wizkid (sometimes stylised 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 Banky W.’s record label 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. Wizkid’s self-titled second studio album, Ayo, was released in September 2014 and was preceded by six singles: “Jaiye Jaiye”, “On Top Your Matter”, “One Question”, “Joy”, “Bombay” and “Show You the Money”. In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. In addition to his solo work, Wizkid has collaborated with several other artists and was featured on the hits “Girl” (with Bracket), “Fine Lady” (with Lynxxx), “Sexy Mama” (with Iyanya), “Slow Down” (with R2Bees), “The Matter” (with Maleek Berry), “Pull Over” (with KCee) and “Bad Girl” (with Jesse Jagz).
Following the release of his second studio album and expiration of his 5-year recording contract, Wizkid left E.M.E. On 1 March 2017, Billboard magazine reported that Wizkid signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records. The deal was first reported by several media outlets in September 2016. The chairman and CEO of RCA Records, Peter Edge, somewhat confirmed the signing while speaking to Music Business Worldwide in January 2017.
He was ranked 5th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter.
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 were not revealed, The Fader did report that Wizkid is squeezing in edits to the EP