Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun Professionally known as Wizkid, is a Nigerian singer and song writer. He started recording music at age 11 when he released a collaborative album with few of his church friends.
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Today, he is a music star who has attained several feats, such as gaining international recognition in 2016, after doing ‘One Dance’, a collaborative song with Drake. The song reached number one in over 15 countries; UK, US, Australia and Canada inclusive. Wizkid is a great motivator for young musicians in Africa, and till date, he is the highest followed Nigerian musician on Twitter.
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Photo Credit: Vibe
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun was born on July 16, 1990 in Surulere, Lagos to a Pentecostal Christian mother and an Islam practising father. He grew up amidst twelve siblings where everyone had their choice of religion. Wizkid attended Ijebu Ode Grammar School, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State. He then proceeded to Lagos State University, LASU but dropped out in 2009. Later on, he enrolled at Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State and also dropped out after two sessions.
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Wizkid Early Career
Wizkid started his singing career at age 11 with the stage name Lil Prinz until 2006. At first, he formed the Glorious Five group with some of his friends in church and they produced an album before disbanding. Later on, Wizkid met OJB Jezreel, a singer-songwriter and record producer. While he was visiting the studio, he was privileged to watch superstars like Naeto C and Tu Face record their albums, and this increased his interest in pursuing a career in music.
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Currently, Wizkid has released 3 studio albums, 33 music videos, 1 compilation album, 50 singles, 44 promotional singles, 16 guest appearances, and 6 cameo appearances. Below are detailed information about his three studio albums and their singles.
In 2009, Wizkid began his debut studio album, ‘Super Star’. Super star was released on June 12, 2011 by Empire Mates Entertainment under Banky W and Tunde Demuren. It was supported by six singles Holla at your boy (2010), Tease Me/Bad Guys (2010), Don’t Dull (2010), Love My Baby (2011), Pakurumo (2011), and Oluwa Lo Ni (2012). The album earned him the Next Rated award at the Headies 2011, and a 2012 Hyundai Sonata Car. It became the second best-selling album on Not Just OK, a music download, and it won the Nigerian Album of 2011.
The album has an element of R&B, dance hall and reggae composed with English and Yoruba Language. It won the Best Album of the Year in the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2012.
Photo Credit: Fashionghana
Wizkid Second Studio Album (Ayo)
Ayo (in Yoruba, Joy) is an eponymous titled album from his name, Ayodeji. It was released on September, 17, 2014 by Starboy Entertainment and Empire Mates Entertainment. He collaborated with some record producers like Maleek Berry, Spellz, Sarz and many more. He also featured some singer-song writers like Femi Kuti, Akon, Tyga, Phyno, Banky W. e.t.c.
The album six singles are Jaiye jaiye (2013), On Top Your Matter (2013), One Question (2014), Joy (2014), Bomboy (2014), Show You the Money (2014). It won the Best R&B/Pop Album under Headies in 2015.
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Wizkid Third Album- Sounds From the Other Side
Wizkid released his third studio album, Sounds from the other side (STFOS) on July 14, 2017. It was released by the Starboy Entertainment, RCA Records and Sony Music International. The music genres involves Afrobeat, EDM, R&B, House and Dance Hall. The producers are the Picard Brothers, Sarz, Del B, DJ Mustard and many more with guest appearances from Chris Brown, Bucie, Drake, TY Dolla Sign. e.t.c
The album was ranked 107 on the US Billboard 200 and 58 on Canadian Albums Charts. It has 5 singles and they are Daddy Yo (2016), Sweet Love (2017), Come Closer (2017), African Bad Gyal (2017), Naughty Ride (2017). It won the Best R&B/Pop Album under the Headies in 2018.
Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E)
Wizkid signed up with E.M.E, in 2009 under Banky Wellington and Tunde Demuren. On June 18, 2012, the record label released a compilation album called Empire Mates States of Mind through a digital media company, Spinlet. This compilation album features the label acts and guest appearances and skit from BasketMouth, Rotimi and X. O Senavoe.
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Photo Credit: bmtvNigeria
The Star Boy Entertainment
On March 5, 2013, Wizkid established the Star Boy entertainment record label. After it was established, he left the Empire Mates Entertainment. In May 2016, it expanded into a Star Boy Worldwide after signing some international Sing-Song writers like Efya, Eazi and R2Bees. This was after his performance at the 17th edition of the Ghana Musician Awards.
The record label was created to give up-coming artist a platform to showcase their talents. He went on to sign Maleek Berry, a British Nigerian record Producer and the Onikos- Legendury Beatz. He also signed a recording artist L.A.X to his imprint.
Wizkid Business Deals
Wizkid is not just an afrobeat pop singer, he also reaps the benefits of being a celebrity. He has signed mouth-watery deals with top-notch companies. For example, he signed a one-year endorsement deal with Pepsi for about $350,000 and traveled with Tiwa Savage for a commercial shoot for the brand in 2012. The contract was reportedly renewed for another two years.
On May, 28, 2013, Wizkid signed a one-year deal with MTN Nigeria.
On October 3, 2013, he signed an endorsement deal with Guinness for the Guinness World Of More concert in Victoria Island, Lagos. The event held on November 3, same year.
In 2015, he went on to sign a deal with Glo for N128 million.
Wizkid collaborated with Nike to produce the Starboy Jersey Collection.
The afrobeat star is said to own a mansion in Lekki, another mansion in Los Angeles, California, US, and a house in Surulere.
Wizkid Net Worth
According to Naijahomebased.com, Wizkid is worth roughly $22 Million. He was published as one of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists by Forbes and Channel O in 2013.
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Photo Credit: Culture Custodian
Wizkid has received several awards for his music both in Nigeria and overseas. The awards include:
- Promising Artist of the Year, Dynamix All Youths Awards, 2010
- Best New Male Artiste, City People Entertainments Awards, 2011
- Best New Act of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2011
- Artiste of the Year, Dynamix All Youth Awards, 2011
- Best African Art, Music of Black Origin, 2011
- Best Pop/R&B Artist of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Award, 2012
- Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year, The Headies 2012
- Artist of the Year, The Headies, 2012
- Best International Act Africa, BET Awards, 2012
- Musician of the Year, The Future Awards, 2012
- Musician of the Year (Male), Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2013
- African Artist of the Year, Ghana Music Awards, 2013
- Male Artist of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2015
- African Artist of the Year, Ghana Music Awards, 2016
- African Artist of the Year, African Pride Awards, 2016
- Best West African Artist, Music of Black Origin (MOBO), 2017
- Artiste of the Year, Music of Black Origin (MOBO), 2017
- Best International Artist, Music of Black Origin (MOBO), 2017
Awards For his Songs
- Next Rated, ‘Holla at Your Boy’, The Headies, 2011
- Best Album of the Year ‘Superstar’, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2012
- Best Group Video of the Year ‘Slow Down’ R2Bees featuring Wizkid, 4syte TV Music Video Awards, 2013
- Most Gifted Video of the Year ‘Azonto’ Channel O Music Video Awards, 2013
- Hottest Single of the Year ‘Pull Over’ Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
- Most Gifted Duo/Group ‘Pull Over’ Kcee featuring Wizkid, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2014
- Best Recording of the Year ‘Ojuelegba’, The Headies 2015
- Best R&B/Pop Album ‘Ayo’ The Headies 2015
- Album of the Year ‘Ayo’ The Headies 2015
- Hottest Single of the Year, ‘Ojuelegba’ Nigeria Entertainment Award, 2015
- Video of the Year ‘Ojuelegba’ African Muzik Magazine Awards, 2015
- Song of the Year, ‘Ojuelegba’ African Muzik Magazine Awards, 2015
- Song of the Year, ‘Come Closer’ African Music Award (AFRIMA), 2017
Photo Credit: Pan African Music
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“We still have a lot of work to do as African artists to get more recognition in the U.K. and the U.S., but right now, definitely, we’re getting the recognition. The thing is, we have to earn it. Keep working. Stay working.”
“I always dreamed of making it big.”
“You don’t have to wait until you are much older to be the best at something or to achieve your dreams.”
“These are not dark days: these are great days – the greatest days of our country has ever lived.”
“Great and good are seldom the same man.”
“All you need is God, never forget.”
“Gratitude is a must.”
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