Everyone who lives in Nigeria knows that Wizkid is a national superstar who has made the country proud on numerous occasions. The singer has lts of fans who support him through thick and thin, and he has been awarded for his outstanding achievements multiple times. Of course, he had to work hard to earn what he has now. Read the full history of Wizkid’s success.
Who is Wizkid?
This remarkable afrobeat, reggae, and hip-hop singer is 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 the worldwide famous singer Drake. This song was called “One Dance”, and it gained success in fifteen countries, becoming number one hit – this includes the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada. However, asidde “One Dance”, Wizkid has a lot of amazing songs of his own, and he has got a huge fan base. No wonder he is super popular in Nigeria, and everyone dreams to go to his concert. Wizkid songs are all over the radio – his music makes people of all ages get up and dance.
Of course, Wizkid did not achieve all of his fame, money, and success in one night. Just like any other celebrity, he had to work hard without breaks. Here is a story about Wizkid and his rough, but a lucky path to the luxurious life of a famous person.
Starboy Wizkid: how did he become so prominent?
Nigeria’s favourite singer was born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun. He was born on July 16th, 1990. His hometown is Lagos, where he was born in Surulere. His mother was Pentecostal Christian, while his father was a Muslim. According to Wizkid, his father had three wives. The future singer also had twelve siblings, who were all girls. As we see, his upbringing was quite unusual, and his family was not the last influence when it came to his career choices.
The boy first started singing when he was only eleven – his path began from the local church choir. Even though Ayodeji was so young, he easily dealt with pressure and could handle the role of the lead singer in his choir. Wizkid enjoyed making and recording music. He was in a music group with his childhood church friends. They were called “Glorious Five” and performed gospel music. During the time, Ayodeji went by the name Lil Prinz, which he gave up in 2006. The “Glorious Five” only managed to release one album, before they disbanded.
Wizkid was lucky to meet a few famous producers, who shaped his experience in music. He started paying more attention to hip-hop and afrobeat rather than gospel. As the singer confessed, his parents were not entirely happy with his music genre change, and in order to persuade them, he had to spend a lot of time in the recording studio. Finally, he managed to prove to his parents that he makes good music and does what he loves. At the start of his music career, Wizkid was also a songwriter. He wrote songs for some famous people in the industry, and this helped him to get more connections. The young beginner had an opportunity to work with such stars as OJB Jezreel, Naeto C, M.I., and Ikechukwu.
In 2009, Wizkid signed a lucrative record deal with the Empire Mates Entertainment, which was a recording company owned by Banky W. The aspiring musician used to be a student of Lagos State University. However, he decided to drop out once he signed a deal. Later, he entered Lead City University, but his desire to make music became stronger than his academic will. He dropped out of this institution after two sessions.
2009 was also the year when Wizkid started recording his first album “Superstar”. He released the first single from this album, titled “Holla at Your Boy” in 2010. This song instantly won the hearts of the music fans and received a lot of nominations and awards. The following music video for this song also got nominated for some Best Video categories at the prestigious award ceremonies. On the wave of his success, Wizkid decided to release the second and third singles from the album the same year, which were titled “Tease Me/Bad Guys” and “Don’t Dull” respectively. The album contained songs in two languages – Yoruba and English. The official release of it took place in June 2011. “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. It contained the elements of reggae, R&B, and dancehall music. Of course, the music award ceremonies could not neglect such an album, and it deservingly won Best Album of The Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2012.
Driven by such success, Wizkid did not rest on his laurels but started working on his second album the same year. The work on “Ayo” continued for two years and survived a few release delays before Wizkid finally revealed the tracklist and cover art of the album in 2014. Again, it had a lot of Nigerian and international guest stars, such as Banky W, Phyno, Femi Kuti, Tyga, Phyno, Wale and Akon. The famous producers like Shizzi, Sarz, Uhuru, Del B and others helped Wizkid to work on this music album.
The singer released the lead single of “Ayo”, which was titled “Jaiye Jaiye”, in May 2013. For this track, he worked in collaboration with Femi Kuti. Later, he revealed in the interview that he collaborated with the legend because he did not want people to see him as a singer who only sings about cars, women, and materialistic values. The second single, “On Top Your Matter” came out in October 2013, and was produced by well-known professional Del B. Wizkid had the music video for this song shot in South Africa, and it was released in February 2014. The same year, in July, Wizkid gave an interview to Beat 99.9 FM show and its presenter Toolz. Probably the most sensational news in this interview was that Wizkid confessed to collaborating with worldwide-known Barbadian music diva Rihanna.
In 2015, Wizkid moved on a whole new level, collaborating together with famous American rappers. He released the video for the song “Ojuelegba”, which tells the listeners about the struggles that he had to go through when he was only a music industry beginner. The remix to this composition fea
tures Drake and Skepta’s vocals. The premiere of this remix took place in July 2015. Wizkid also revealed to the public that he is working on a brand new album, and said that he is collaborating with Chris Brown on his lead single, which is called “African Bad Gyal”. He performed together with the American rapper at his concert in South Africa in April 2015. He also included the award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo on his album. The release of it was postponed a few times. One of them was confirmed in the singer’s interview after 2Face Idibia’s tribute concert, where he said that the show made him come to the realization how much more work he needs to complete. Wizkid’s album “Sounds from the Other Side”, which he described as an EP album, came out in July 2017.
One Dance and instant popularity
Wizkid has rightfully become the first artist in Nigeria who got lucky to have his song appear in the Billboard chart. The song was “One Dance”, which was recorded together with the giant of hip-hop, the Canadian superstar Drake. Since then, the composition had become even more successful, when in May 2016 it became number one in the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 chart. It stayed on the first position in this chart for ten consecutive weeks. The single became a real international super-hit, as it became number one in fifteen different countries of the world, notably Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and France. This super-successful composition brought Wizkid international popularity beyond Nigeria.
However, except “One Dance”, Wizkid also recorded a lot of other songs that were not included on his albums. For instance, in 2016 he released a promotional song titled “Like This”. It premiered on Drake’s sound radio. The song was produced by Ghanaian producer based in Amsterdam, DJ Henry X. The composition was highly praised by the critics and described as a summer jam which is an excellent example of Wizkid’s dedication and hard work.
Wizkid world tours and performances
The Nigerian superstar performed in various American big cities as a part of E.M.E acts (artists from the label Empire Mates Entertainment) after they released the compilation album with their songs. Wizkid also had a London tour in 2012, performing on HMV Apollo. He had a performance together with such remarkable artists as Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Angel and Tulisa on BBC Radio 1Xtra in Brixton. His performance on Felabration, the concert in memory of the late musician Fela Kuti, should also be mentioned. Together with the most popular Nigerian singers like Tiwa Savage, D’Banj, P-Square, Ice Prince, Phyno, Olamide, Davido, and Burna Boy, he took part in the Guinness Colourful World of More event. The same month, he participated in another Guinness concert – Big Eruption. Wizkid was a starring guest at the Tinie Tempah shows during his United Kingdom tour. Except that, he also toured together with Chris Brown in May 2016. The tour was called “One Hell of a Nite”. Wizkid on stage is always very passionate and energetic, and his concerts have an incredible atmosphere, which is why there are always huge crowds on his shows.
Wizkid had a lot of profitable endorsement deals with brands, from Pepsi, MTN Nigeria, Guinness, and GLO. Actually, he left his MTN deal to work with GLO. As for his Pepsi deal, he starred in the product commercial together with Tiwa Savage. All of Wizkid’s deals brought him large amount of money.
Wizkid label drama
Currently, Wizkid is signed to Starboy Entertainment label, which he established on his own. His label was founded in March 2013. Wizkid does not only record his own music on Starboy Entertainment label, but he also helps other young artists to develop their career. He often collaborates with his label’s musicians. Some of the artists that are signed to Starboy Entertainment are Maleek Berry, L.A.X, Mr.Eazi, R2Bees, and Efya. He also managed to sign the famous producers Uzezi and Okiemute Oniko, who are widely known as Legendary Beatz.
Previously, Wizkid used to be signed to E.M.E (Empire Mates Entertainment) label, which he had to leave. There was some controversy around his sudden departure from E.M.E, and some media speculated that the entire conflict was because of money. According to the insiders, Wizkid wanted to settle for a 50/50 share with Banky W, when he was getting only 25 percent. Generally, it was a disagreement on the interests of both parties. In 2013, Wizkid reunited with the E.M.E label after some negotiations regarding the contract. However, in August 2014 Wizkid stated that he will leave the label for good.
This artist surely contributed greatly to the Nigerian music. He released a lot of amazing songs that won him awards. Among his multiple awards, there are not only Nigerian ones but also the prestigious awards from BET, Billboard, iHeart Radio, MTV Europe, MTV Africa, and others.
If you were wondering “was Wizkid nominated for Grammy award?” – the answer is positive! Wizkid was nominated for Grammy once. It was in 2015, and he received a nomination for his collaborative work with Drake on the album “Views”. However, Wizkid did not win the award. We hope that he will win a lot of well-deserved Grammy awards in the future for his catchy songs.
Wizkid personal life
In real life, Wizkid has a hot temper. He is often involved in feuds with different artists like Davido, Banky W, Linda Ikeji, and others. However, to his family, he is a caring son and father. Wizkid has three children, and all of them are boys. They are from different baby mothers. When the news about the birth of his first son broke out in 2011, Wizkid has been denying having a child for a long time. However, in 2013 he finally owned up to being a father and posted a picture together with his two-year-old little son.
The name of Wizkid’s oldest son is Boluwatife Balogun. The mother of Boluwatife is Sola Ogudugu, Wizkid’s ex-lover. She gave birth to the little boy when she was only 19, and Wizkid was 21. Wizkid’s second son, Ayodeji Balogun, was born in 2016. His mother is Binta Diallo, who he had a brief romance with. As for his youngest son, Zion Balogun, who was born in November 2017, his mother unexpectedly for everyone turned out to be Jada Pollock, Wizkid’s manager.
Wizkid dated a lot of beautiful women in the past. He was connected with the actress Tonto Dikeh, the singer Justine Skye, Tania Omotayo, and many others. In the interviews, Wizkid often confesses that he loves the attention from women.
Wizkid is a talented, hardworking, and handsome man, that is why so many Nigerians adore him and his music. Hopefully, he will make Nigeria even more proud in his future ventures.