Although popularly addressed by his stage name, Wizkid, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, born 16 July 1990 is also known as Lilprice, Wizzy, Star boy, Machala, Big Wiz, and Daddy Yo. He is one of the greatest and most well-known African musicians of all time. Wizkid is a well-known personality in the contemporary Afrobeats music scene.
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Wizkid was born on July 16th, 1990, in Surulere, Lagos. He was raised in a multi-religious family with a total of twelve sisters and himself as the only son. His mom is a devout Pentecostal, whereas his dad is a devout Muslim whom he revealed in a 2012 radio interview with Tim Westwood, as a husband to three women. Wizkid went to Ijebu Ode Grammar School. He was raised on a steady diet of King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley’s songs, among others. Around the middle of 2009, he withdrew his enrollment from Lagos State University (LASU). After that, he enrolled at Lead City University for a while, but he left after completing only two sessions.
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Wizkid stated in a different interview with Adesope of Factory 78 TV that he and a couple of his church buddies were the founding members of a group that they termed the Glorious Five. That marked the beginning of his music career. Prior to disbanding, they were successful in releasing at least one album. Up to the year 2006, Wizkid performed under the stage name Lil Prinz. In subsequent years, he became acquainted with OJB Jezreel, a record producer who forbade him to make any recordings for one year. During the time that he spent often at OJB’s Point Beat Studios, he was able to observe 2 Face Idibia while he recorded songs for his Grass 2 Grace album. Additionally, he was there during the recording sessions for the first album released by Sound Sultan, titled Jagbajantis. When he was 15 years old, he mentioned Naeto C as one of the people who served as a mentor to him and coached him. 2009 saw the signing of a recording contract between Wizkid and Empire Mates Entertainment. He collaborated with Banky W. on the song “Omoge You Too Much,” which was included on the album The W Experience. While he was honing his talent, he also collaborated with artists such as Naeto C, Ikechukwu, and M.I.
SONGS AND AWARDS
2009 saw the beginning of recording for Wizkid’s first studio album, titled Superstar. On January 2, 2010, he disseminated the song “Holla at Your Boy” as the debut single from the album. The song garnered him the Next Rated award at The Headies in 2011, in addition to earning him a nomination for best pop single. In addition to receiving the award, the event’s organizers presented him with a Hyundai Sonata 2012 as a thank-you gift for winning. At the 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards, the music video for this song was considered for Most Gifted Newcomer Video.
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The song “Tease Me/Bad Guys” was Wizkid’s second single from the album, and it was released on April 2, 2010. It was first made available to the public as freestyle rap. The third single from the album, titled “Don’t Dull,” was made available for purchase on December 6, 2010. Afrobeats, R&B, dancehall, and reggae are all represented on this album to varying degrees. Wizkid worked with several record producers, including E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Masterkraft, Q-Beats, and Samklef. Banky W., Skales, D’Prince, and Wande Coal all made cameos on the album as special guests. At the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, Superstar was awarded the title of Album of the Year, and it was also nominated for Album of the Year at the 2012 Headies Awards.
Ayo, Wizkid’s second studio album, was recorded between 2012 and 2014 and was released in 2014. Femi Kuti, Banky W., Seyi Shay, Phyno, Tyga, Akon, and Wale all made cameos on the album. On September 6, 2014, Wizkid shared the album’s track listing as well as the artwork for the album’s cover. Following that album, Wizkid achieved the distinction of having the most Twitter followers of any Nigerian musician in 2014.
Wizkid’s music video for “Ojuelegba,” which details the hardships he had in the early stages of his music career, premiered on January 5, 2015. He also unveiled their new tune “African Bad Gyal,” a collaboration with Chris Brown. In May of 2015, Wizkid released “Expensive Shit,” an Afrobeats song including acoustic guitar, saxophone, and percussion. In the same month, the track had its debut on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio. The two parties finalized an album contract in March 2017. On July 14, 2017, Wizkid dropped Sounds from the Other Side, his third studio album. Wizkid’s contribution to “One Dance” made him the first Afrobeats artist to be recognized in the 2018 Guinness World Records. When he released “Soco,” it was his first Afrobeats track to go Gold in Canada. Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl,” from the highly regarded The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack, features Wizkid in the middle of 2019. Singles for “Joro” and “Ghetto Love” followed later that year.
EP Soundman Vol. 1, released by Wizkid’s label Starboy Entertainment on December 6, 2019, features Chronixx and other artists in addition to Wizkid. Wizkid’s new single came out on September 17, 2020 “He has revealed that his fourth studio album, Made in Lagos, would be released on October 15, 2020. Due to countrywide protests in Nigeria over SARS maltreatment, the album’s release date was pushed back to October 30, 2020. Essence “An album cut, broke new ground by becoming the first Nigerian song to make the Billboard Hot 100. Made in Lagos was nominated for the Rest of Africa Award at the 27th annual South African Music Awards.
He dropped a Justin Bieber-assisted remix of “Essence” on the 13th of August, 2021. This song reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 4, 2021, making it the highest-charting single ever by an African performer. His album Made in Lagos and the single “Essence” were nominated for Grammys at that year’s 64th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in November 2021. In the same month, not only did he win the award for Best collaboration on “Essence,” but he also garnered four nominations for the Soul Train Awards.
Wizkid revealed his fifth studio album, titled More Love, Less Ego, on the first anniversary of Made in Lagos. The record was scheduled for release on the final day of the Made in Lagos tour, January 22, 2022. Wizkid is the first African musician in history to headline the Rolling Loud Toronto hip-hop event in September 2022.
According to reports, Wizkid is worth $7,000,000. His musical accomplishments have allowed him to amass such a substantial network. He is widely regarded as one of the best R&B artists in Africa and beyond.
Although not married nor engaged to anyone at the moment, the superstar has 3 boys and a girl from three women.