Wizkid whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun is a singer-songwriter from Nigeria. Nicknamed “Starboy”, he is arguably referred to as the King of Afropop because of the waves his music is making internationally and the milestones he has achieved since stepping unto the music stage in 2010.
Biography of Wizkid
Wizkid was born in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. His father’s name is Alhaji Muniru Olatunji Balogun and his mother’s name is Jane Dolapo. He has twelve sisters and he is the only male child of his parents.
Wizkid started doing music at the early age of 11. The singer once said that before choosing to become a full time musician, his father did not support the idea that his only son will be a musician and wished he took up a more professional career.
Growing up, he listened to songs from the likes of Nigerian aces King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti and the reggae legend Bob Marley.
Wizkid was born on July 16, 1990. He would be 32 years in July,2023.
Wizkid attended Ijebu Ode Grammar School (JOGS) located in Ogun state, Nigeria for his Secondary School Education.
Wizkid’s Career Profile
Wizkid has five studio albums to his credit with his debut album ‘Superstar’ coming off in 2011. The album was released under the record label Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E).
His second studio album eponymously titled ‘Ayo’ was also released in 2014.
Later in 2017, he released his 3rd studio album and one of his best ever albums- “Sounds from the other side”(SFTOS). The album featured many international acts like Drake, Chris Brown, Major Lazer, Ty Dolla Sign, Trey Songz, Efya and Bucie.
The album was nominated for a number of international accolades and won the Best R&B/Pop Album of the Year at the Headies.
He went on to grace the international stage with another electrifying piece of studio production – Made in Lagos. This was the artist’s 4th studio album which saw him grab a second consecutive grammy nomination.
The album featured a number of international acts like Damian Marley, Ella Mai, Projexx, Burna boy, Tems, and so on. Wizkid’s fifth studio album- More Love, Less Ego was released in November, 2022.
In 2019, Wizkid was featured on the song ‘Brown Skin Girl’ as part of the album ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ by the American singer Beyoncé. The music video for the song granted Wizkid his first ever Grammy award nomination and win for Best Music video at the 63rd Grammy awards.
Wizkid’s Record Label
Wizkid was signed to Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009 but left the record label in 2014 after his contract expired. He established his own record label Starboy Entertainment and currently has a record deal with RCA records signed in 2017.
Genre and style
Wizkid is known for his regular Afrobeat and Afropop music which he sometimes blends with reggae and dancehall beats. He has also made songs of the genres: pop, R&B and EDM.
The Nigerian superstar has received many acclamations both locally and internationally with various artistes heaping praises on the singer:
- Nigerian R&B legend 2 Baba, otherwise known as 2 face Idibia, once described Wizkid as a legend of his generation.
- American rapper Saweetie also said in an interview that Wizkid’s album, Made in Lagos, is the type that can match any of her moods.
Wizkid is also widely known for his high sense of fashion and has a great taste for designer wears and accessories. He calls fashion icon and musician Pharell Williams his inspiration and also said his biological father is another inspiration to his sense of fashion.
In 2018, Wizkid signed a deal with Nike to release the artiste’s designer wear brand ‘Star Boy Jersey’. Also in 2019, Wizkid wore an expensive designer jacket, the Admiral Monogram jacket, designed by Luis Vuitton worth thousands of dollars to perform at his concert Starboy Fest at the O2 Arena in London.
Wizkid’s networth is estimated to be $30million. Apart from the proceeds he gains from his songs, he earns income from show bookings, endorsement deals and ambassadorial deals.
- He is the first and only African artist to enter Guinness Book of Records for songwriting contributions to a global hit song.
- He has the most nominations and most wins (tied with Burna Boy) at the BET awards for an African artiste.
- He is the first African artist to gain a gold certification in the US for his album Made In Lagos.
- He is one of few Nigerian artistes to win a Grammy Award.
- He is also the first African artiste to chart in the top 10 on the Billboard hot 100 with his song Essence.
- He is the first Nigerian artiste to earn 7 nominations from Billboard awards.
- He is also the first Nigerian artiste to win 3 Billboard awards.
- He is the first Nigerian artiste to be awarded a plaque from the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
- He is the most awarded artiste at The Headies as of 2022.