Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born July 16, 1990), known by his stage name Wizkid (sometimes stylized as WizKid), is a Nigerian recording artist, songwriter, and performer. He rose to prominence with his song "Holla at Your Boy". In 2009, he signed a record deal with Banky W's imprint Empire Mates Entertainment. His work and contribution to the Nigerian Music Industry has earned him several achievements, including a BET Award, a MOBO Award from 2 nominations, three The Headies Awards from 8 nominations, a Channel O Music Video Award from 6 nominations, three Nigeria Entertainment Awards from 11 nominations, a Ghana Music Award from 7 nominations, two Dynamix All Youth Awards from 3 nominations, two City People Entertainment Awards from 4 nominations, and a Future Award, among others. In addition, he has been nominated three times at the MTV Europe Music Awards as well as four times at the World Music Awards. He was ranked 5th on Forbes and Channel O's 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter.
Wizkid's most notable songs include "Holla at Your Boy", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Azonto", "Pakurumo", "Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Dance For Me" with EME, and "Jaiye Jaiye", among others. His discography resume includes collaboration with international and domestic acts such as Bracket, Angel, Lynxxx, Iyanya, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, R2Bees, Wale, Young Jeezy, Akon, and Femi Kuti, among others. Wizkid's debut album, Superstar, was released in 2011. He is currently working on Chosen, his second studio album scheduled to be release in 2014.
Wizkid was born on July 16, 1990 in Surulere, a residential and commercial area of Lagos. He comes from a large family, and is the last of six children. In an interview with Tim Westwood, he said that his father has three wives. Wizkid started singing at age 11; he released Lil Prinz, a 7 track album. During an interview with Adesope of Factory 78 TV, Wizkid described his life in a nutshell. He said that he formed a group called the Glorious Five with a couple of his church friends. The group successfully dropped an album prior to dismembering. Wizkid later met OJB Jezreel, a record producer who prevented him from recording for a year. While visiting Jezreel's studio frequently, he watched 2 Face Idibia record Grass 2 Grace and watched Sound Sultan record Jagbajantis. A year later, Wizkid started recording. His first song featured OJB Jezreel. The song was met with great reception throughout Surulere. Wizkid cited Naeto C as one of the people who mentored and coached him while he was 15 years old. Wizkid also told Factory 78 TV that his parents weren't receptive of his music from the onset. He had to work hard and spent lots of time in the studio in order to gain his father's trust. Wizkid has a great relationship with Banky W. He told Factory 78 TV that Banky W was one of the first people that believed in him. He said that he and Banky became friends prior to starting a professional relationship. He co wrote Banky W's "Omoge You Too Much", a song off the The W Experience album. In 2006, he collaborated with Naeto C and Ikechukwu. In 2009, Wizkid became a household name within Nigeria's musical landscape; he was featured on M.I's "Fast Money, Fast Cars" and Kel's "Turn by Turn".
Superstar (Wizkid album)
In 2010, Wizkid began recording his debut studio album Superstar (2011). On January 2, 2010, he released "Holla at Your Boy", the album's lead single. The single won the "Next Rated" category, and was nominated for "Best Pop Single" at The Headies 2011. The music video for "Holla at Your Boy" was nominated for "Most Gifted Newcomer Video" at the 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards. The music video was also nominated for "Best Afro Pop Video" at the 2011 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA). On April 2, 2010, Wizkid released "Tease Me/Bad Guys", the album's second single. It was initially released as a freestyle.] "Don't Dull", the album's third single, was released on December 6, 2010.
The album, recorded in English and Yoruba, was released on June 12, 2011 by Empire Mates Entertainment. It incorporates elements of R&B, Dancehall, and Reggae. Wizkid collaborated with a wide range of music producers, including E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Sunny Nweke, Q-Beats, and Samklef; the latter produced 6 tracks on the album. The album features guest appearances from Banky W, Skales, D'Prince, and Wande Coal. It was initially scheduled for release on February 14, 2011, but was later pushed back. On June 12, 2011, Wizkid hosted an album launch party at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites. The album launch party featured performances by Banky W, Skales, Tuface Idibia, Samklef, Wande Coal, D’Prince, Olamide, eLDee, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Lynxxx, and Seyi Shay. Superstar garnered "Best Album of the Year" at the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, and was nominated for "Album of the Year" at The Headies 2012.