As we patiently await the next album from the ‘star boy’ wizkid-that’s a lot of waiting done considering his last effort was in 2011- here is a throwback on his career and events leading to his rise to prominence in the music industry across Africa and beyond.
The vocally talented young man was discovered by the distinguished producer OJB Jezrel. Walking into his studio in surulere at the tender age of 15. OJB though saw the talent and will in wizkid, he had to suppress him for a year, restricting him from recording any song of his own. Although, he did some features for MI, Naeto C and co-wrote a track with Banky W off the W experience album in 2006, here is where young Ayo Balogun(that we’ll all come to know as wizkid) formed a professional relationship with Mr Wellington.
Banky W was confident and was willing to invest in wizkid -at that time he was getting a university degree at the prestigious Lagos State Uni- and signed him on to his newly floated record label Empire Mates Entertainment, EME.
In 2010, wizkid began recording songs that would later feature in his super star album. He released Holla at your boy the lead single off the album, in June 2, 2010. The track was an instant success, bagging the 2011 Headies award in the next rated category; it was also nominated for the best afro-pop song in the same year. The video was nominated at the channel o music video awards in best afro-pop category. Singles like don’t dull, tease me (bad guys) soon followed to whet his fans’ appetite. The album finally dropped on June 12, 2011 under the Empire mates Entertainment.
Wizkid have since worked with almost every skilled producer from all over Africa and even in the UK and the US. It’s like everything the star boy puts his voice on becomes a hit. Since then he’s been breaking every barrier life can throw at a young man from the most populous black nation in the world.
There was a brief raucous, some disagreement between wizkid and his label early in 2013. Nobody from the company or wizkid’s camp released an official statement addressing the issue. But from bits I could gather and filling up the blanks I couldn’t quiet get a hold of, here’s what I have made out of the matter (in my opinion); prior to his first tour of the UK in mid 2012, wizkid had no legal contract with EME, the UK wanted a contract in their hands showing that Wizkid was infact a performing act before allowing him a visa, admist the excitement a contract was quickly arranged by EME, tieing wizkid to a total of 7 albums, prepostrous right?(the only way wizkid was gonna sign this deal, was a promise to review it in time by EME). And there was ofcourse the issue of splitting money he made for the company. He therefore called for a new contract whilst the former hasn’t elapsed. He was poised to abandon EME, got together with his management in the UK(disturbing London, which was partly owned by the British born hip-hop act Tinnie Temper) and formed a new record label Star Boy where he signed the young and proficient producer/sound engineer Malik Berry. They both undertook various projects and released new materials including the freestyle the matter where the listeners could hear the phrase “star boy” repeatedly, replacing the already used to, ‘EME boy’. He later introduced L.A.X an artist signed under the star boy label in the song caro. Star boy was now ready to release its first album and wizkids second professional effort. EME probably got a hang of the situation, and what he would cost the label if he’d left. Nobody’s sure of what the new deal/contract borders on, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Wellington and the honorable captain gave him a piece of the company(at least that’s what I’ll do) albeit giving him blessings to continue his pursuit as a entrepreneur with his newly floated record label(it was a win-win).
With that brouhaha past him, Wizkid has continued to bridge gaps and consequently set trends for afro-pop. He is seen taking photos during his studio sessions with the recently released convicted felon Chris brown. His new album which we all been waiting for (like I said, has been a lot of waiting) is to be recorded in various studios in the US and who knows where else, with prominent international producers on board working the album. The album which he already told us would be titled Chosen is set to be dropped later this year, and he’s confident that he’d win back the affection of whatever fan he might have lost during these years without an album for them to jam. To be honest, if we added up all the singles and freestyles we’ve been hearing from Mr Wizzy for the past year, we could make a whole album for him, I wonder why he decided not to drop until now, this gives me a feeling that he’s really planning something big, not big as in weight I mean big as in colossal, a game changing kind of stuff. With all sincerity, after waiting this long, it’ll be disappointing to get anything slightly less or even equal to his star boy album, and I hope he doesn’t disappoint us.