Singer/songwriterAyodeji Ibrahim Balogun(akaWizkid) is one of Nigeria’s biggest R&B crossover acts, having worked withDrake,Skepta, andChris Brown, among others. He first found regional success in 2011 with the massively popular single “Holla at Your Boy,” which appeared on his debut albumSuperstar. He went global in 2016 after his collaboration withDrake, “One Dance,” soared to number one in 15 countries, resulting in a multi-album deal with RCA, which issued his Caribbean-influenced major-label debut,Sounds from the Other Side, in 2017.
Balogunbegan his career in music when he was just 11 years old. His first record, Lil Prinz, was recorded in 2001 in collaboration with Glorious Five, a group consisting ofBalogunand his friends from church. In 2006, he started pursuing music full-time, at first collaborating with various Nigerian pop acts includingOJB Jezreel,Naeto C, andBanky W.By 2011 he was ready to record his debut studio album as a solo artist;Superstarwas released via Empire Mates Entertainment (EME for short) to great critical and public acclaim across Africa, propelling him to stardom in his home country. After multiple delays and label disagreements,Balogunreleased his sophomore album, Ayo, in 2014. His second studio album featured a multitude of guest appearances, including a spot fromFemi Kuti. It also featuredBalogun’s global breakthrough track “Ojuelegba.” Not only did the single cement his status as one of Nigeria’s biggest pop acts, it was also picked up and remixed byDrakeandSkepta, thrustingWizkidinto the international spotlight. In return,Wizkidappeared onDrake’s 2016 smash single “One Dance.” In March 2017, it was announced thatWizkidhad signed a major deal with RCA and Sony International, which would release his third LP,Sound from the Other Side, later that year. A handful of singles appeared in advance of the album, including “Sweet Love” and theDrake-assisted “Come Closer.” October 2018 sawWizkidissue a pair of singles, “Master Groove” and “Fever,” to mark Nigeria’s Independence Day. The following year, he joinedBeyoncéandSaint JhnforThe Lion King: The Gifttrack “Brown Skin Girl” and issued his own single, “Joro.” The EP Soundman, Vol.1, was released viaBalogun’s Starboy Entertainment imprint in 2019.