Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known by his stage name, Wizkid is a Nigerian musician and songwriter. He is known for music in genres such as afrobeats, reggae, dancehall and hip pop. Born in July 16, 1990 to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, Wizkid started his music career at age 11 when he released his first album with a group of five friends from his church.
In 2009, Wizkid signed a deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) and as they say, the rest is history. At this recording label, he released the song “holla at your boy” that became an instant hit and propelled him to stardom. This song is featured in his first album “superstar” as a lead song.
Achievements and Awards
Wizkid has since released many songs that have become hits locally and internationally, for example WizKid Joro. In 2014, he became the first Nigerian artist to garner one million followers in twitter a true testament of mastery in his field. Other albums he has done include “ayo” (2014) by Empire Mates and “sounds from the other sides” that was released on July, 2017 and produced by his own label Starboy. Apart from his own albums, he has collaborated with other artist both local and international like Wale, Drake, Akon and many others. He has also made several guest appearances in album compilations by other artists.
The single that Wizkid was featured by Drake released in 2016 has been the most successful single he has ever done to date. The song “one dance,” became an international hit and topped the charts in several countries elevating Wizkid to the global stage. This song earned him Billboard Music Award for top R&B collaboration. Other major awards he has won are; BET Award for Best International Act 2012 and 2017 and the most recent being NAACP’s image award for outstanding duo or group for the song “brown skin girl” in 2020.
To date, Wizkid has released three studio albums, one album compilation, 33 music videos, 44 promotional singles, 16 guest appearances, seven covers and free styles and the feat continues. He also has his own recording label, Starboy Entertainment and in the spirit of giving back to the society, he is helping and mentoring upcoming musicians. Some of the artist through his label include; Mr. Eazi, Maleek Berry and Terri whom he signed in 2018.
Commercial Interests and Endorsements
Wizkid’s success on stages has seen him attract many local and international brands seeking for his endorsement. Some of the brands he has signed endorsement agreements with are Pepsi, MTN Nigeria which he later ditched for Glo, Guinness and Cîroc. In 2018, he signed lucrative deals with clothing behemoths Nike and Dolce and Gabbana