Picture this. You’re on a beach anywhere in the world with a Pina colada in hand and the sun beaming down gloriously on your skin. The sand is golden, people are happy and vibe is right. Then you hear the punch of a bassline accompanied by the smooth sounds of the saxophone, bass guitar and congo drums… and finally the voice of the Starboy himself. Wizkid.
Since he arrived on the afrobeats scene almost 10 years ago, Wizkid has gone on collaborate with some of the biggest names in the music industry. They include Femi Kuti, Akon, Beyonce, Krept & Konan, Major Lazer, Skepta and Drake.
He released two singles Don’t Dull and Tease Me/Bad Guys in 2010 which featured on his debut album Superstar (2011). Both singles elevated him to prominence which would later pay dividends when he won the award for Best Album at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards (2012).
Read all about him.
Afro-fusion - a genre that blends Afrobeat, dancehall riddims, reggae, American rap and R&B.
What’s the story?
To the world he is recognised as either Wizkid or Starboy, but to his mother of Christian faith and father of Islamic faith he was born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun.
Growing up as the youngest of six siblings, his household was often a hub for the sounds of King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti and Bob Marley. This musical influence manifested itself at the age of 11 when Ayo began singing under the alias Lil Prinz and formed a group called the Glorious Five. The group would go on to release a seven song LP before going their separate ways. In 2006, he welcomed his new alias, Wizkid.
From the birth of his new alias to date, Wizkid’s contribution to the Nigerian and wider music industry has earned him both recognition and accolades amongst his peers. He has won over 50 awards which include the MOBO’s, BET Award and the Nigeria Entertainment Award six times.
Two of the biggest achievements in his career came in the form of his sold out shows. The Afrorepublik Concert took place in 2018 at The Royal Albert Hall and saw Wiz performing to an audience of over 5,000 fans. This was followed by his own Starboy Fest at The O2 Arena in 2019 where 20,000 fans were in attendance.
Throughout his musical career, the icon has released four studio albums. His most recent was released in October 2020 and include features from Burna Boy, Damien ‘Jr Gong’ Marley and Skepta. His single Ginger Me featuring Burna boy debuted at peak position in the UK Afrobeats Chart, followed by his single Longtime featuring Skepta at number two.
In a recent interview with DJ and presenter Manny Norte on Capital XTRA, the Starboy expressed that he has been in the studio all his life and sees it as the place he loves, comparing it to his home. This means we can definitely expect many more magical moments from the phenomenon as he continues to startle our earbuds with his musical wizardry.
Music guaranteed to give you a feeling of freedom and joy deep inside your soul.
Take you on a musical journey to the Africa.
No Stress, Dis Love, Soco and Come Closer. Watch the official videos below.