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Wizkid Biography

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The Basics 

Real Name: Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun

Born: 16 July 1990

Stage Name: Wizkid

Country: Nigeria

Also called: Starboy 

Genres: Afrobeats

Years active: 2001-present

Childhood 

Wizkid grew up in Surulere, Lagos. He attended Ijebu Ode Grammar School. He grew up listening to Bob Marley, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade who heavily influenced his music. 

His stage name was Lil Prinz till 2006. He watched 2Face and Sound Sultan work in the studio to produce their albums. 

Wizkid mentioned Naeto C as a mentor and coach when he was fifteen years old. 

The Kickstart and Albums

Superstar

Wizkid signed to Empire Mates Entertainment in 2009. He co-wrote, “Omoge You Too Much”, a song on Banky W’s, The W Experience album. 

Wizkid started his debut studio album, Superstar, in 2009 and released his lead single, “Holla at Your Boy” in January 2010.

Wizkid won the Next Rated Artist award at The Headies 2011. “Holla at Your Boy” was nominated as Best Pop Single at the Headies and Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the 2011 Channel O Music Video awards.

The “Superstar” album has the elements of Afrobeats, R&B, dancehall and reggae. Record producers like E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, blove, Q-Beats and Samklef worked with Wizkid on the Superstar album. He featured Afrobeats artiste like Banky W, Skales, Wande Coal and D’Prince.

Ayo

Wizkid recorded ‘Ayo’ between 2012 and 2014. Ayo featured big acts like Femi Kuti, Akon, Wale, Seyi Shay, Tyga, Phyno and Banky W. 

Wizkid released the album's lead single, “Jaiye Jaiye” on the 2nd of May 2013 featuring Grammy-nominated artist, Femi Kuti. 

In February 2014, Wizkid became the first Nigerian musician to have over one million followers on Twitter.

"One Dance", Sounds from the Other Side and Soundman Vol. 1

Wizkid released the video of “Ojuelegba” on the 5th of January 2015. “Ojuelegba” features Wizkid’s beginning and the hardships he encountered in his career.

In July 2015, “Ojuelegba” remix premiered on OVO Sound Radio featuring Drake and Skepta. Later that year in October, he revealed "African Bad Gyal" as his collaborative single with American pop singer, Chris Brown and said it would be the lead single from his third studio album.

Drake featured Wizkid in his Afrobeats inspired, “One Dance”. This placed Wizkid as the first Nigerian artist to be placed on Billboard’s Twitter Last 24 Hours Chart.

“One Dance” became international chart-topping music, on 12 May 2016, the song reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it kept for 10 non-consecutive weeks.

Wizkid signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records in March 2017 and released Sounds from the Other Side in July. He became the first Afrobeats artist to appear in the 2018 Guinness World Records for his contribution to "One Dance". Wizkid's record label Starboy Entertainment released the EP Soundman Vol. 1, 6 December 2019.

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