This year, 2016 has been described as the year of Wizkid. The Nigerian artiste has been breaking records, winning awards and making his mark in the global entertainment scene with exciting collaborations. Coming on the heels of his collaboration with Drake, it seems Wizkid might very well be on track for another international collaboration, and this time with Alicia Keys.
In an interview with Oldman Ebro on the Apple Music Beats 1 show, Alicia Keys was asked about a video she’d posted to her Instagram page earlier in the year in which she was dancing to Wizkid’s Ojuelegba. The question was if there was a possibility of a collaboration, she said “I love Wizkid. Definitely love that energy. We actually vibed on some stuff and it was dope.”
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Wizkid’s early career
Nigerian artiste, songwriter and performer, Wizkid was born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun on the 16th of July 1990 in Surulere, Lagos. He began singing at age 11 with a group Glorious Five that comprised of his church friends under the stage name “Lil prinz.
Six years later, the young artiste was all grown up and ready to make his mark in Nigerian music industry. He changed his stage name to Wizkid and began to hustle. Although he faced many challenges on his journey to fame, he never wavered in his determination.
Regardless of the fact that his parents did not really support his music career at the beginning, he refused to be discouraged and set out to win his father’s trust by working hard and staying focused. His dedication paid off.
In January of 2010, he worked with Nigerian musician, Banky W on the single, ‘Holla at Your Boy’. This got him a nod at the Headies in 2011 where he went home with an award. Not too long after, he signed a one year endorsement deal (along with fellow artiste, Tiwa Savage) reportedly worth $35,000 USD.
Staying on top of his game
In 2013, Wizkid left Banky W’s E.M.E records and began working on the release of his second album which was released in 2014. This album featured popular American celebrities like Wale, Tyga and Akon. In 2016, he began working on his third album and became Nigeria first artist to emerge on Billboard Twitter following his guest feature on Drake’s ‘One Dance’ single.
As an artiste, the star has shown incredible consistency and continues to grow. With an amazing fan base (over 2 million followers on Instagram), this young superstar has remained grounded and down to earth.
He has crisscrossed several continents and won numerous awards both at home and internationally. Best African artiste at the 2012 BET Awards, he also took home Best Male Artiste at the recently concluded MTV African Music Awards.
Nigeria’s best dressed pop star
In an interview with Vogue earlier this year, Wizkid was referred to as Nigeria’s best dressed pop star and it isn’t difficult to see why. The 25 year old is almost as famous for his style as he is for his music. A glance at his Instagram page shows someone who is set to become a global style icon. He talked about his growing up years as well.
“Growing up in Lagos, I wasn’t fortunate enough to get the fresh stuff when it was new. There was this place we used to go to find stuff that had been shipped from America, like secondhand clothes. I used to rock a lot of Reebok, just a lot of sporty stuff.”
He let drop that he is planning an eponymous fashion label soon. This seems to be a logical step as he already has fans imitating his style, which is eclectic with African prints, tie dye materials, street style brands like Bape and BBC as well as high end designers like Christian Louboutin.
Without a doubt, Wizkid has made a mark on the entertainment and fashion scene and we cannot wait to see more from the Star Boy.