Pulse Music presents major points of Wizkid’s career, way before his name was Wizkid, and Tania Omotayo his main squeeze.
For many followers of pop culture in Africa, Wizkid sits at the top of the music food chain.
The Nigerian superstar has had an incredible career inundated with numerous highs, and very few lows. From his first single ‘Holla at your boy’ in 2010, to his most recent release, ‘Expensive shit’, few would argue, that his catalogue has been one of hits, almost lacking in B-side songs.
But how much do you know this singer is about to be blown to smithereens, as Pulse Music presents major points of Wizkid’s career, way before his name was Wizkid, and Tania Omotayo, his main squeeze.
Here we go:
Wizkid was born in Surulere, Lagos, from which he has drawn a huge amount of inspiration for his songs. He delved into music at age 11, while learning the ropes under notable producer, OJB Jezreel.
Wizkid’s debut body of work, was a speculative 7-track mixtape in 2001. He was just a young chap named Lil Prinz.
Wizkid got inspired while watching 2face Idibia record songs for his ‘Grass to Grace’ album at OJB’s PointBeat Studios at Gbaja Street, Surulere. He was also present while Sound Sultan recorded his debut album, ‘Jangbajantis’.
Wizkid’s first brush with the limelight occurred when he guested on MI Abaga’s ‘Fast Money Fast Cars’ in 2009. He was also featured on Kel’s track ‘Turn by turn’ which further gave him more visibility.
Wizkid got signed to Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment in 2009. He quickly set about the recording of his debut album.
In mid-2009, Wizkid dropped out Lagos State University (LASU) and focused on his music. He later gained admission to Lead City University in Ibadan, to study International Relations. But after two sessions, he dropped out again.
In January 2010 Wizkid released his first official single, ‘Holla at your boy’. It became an instant hit across the country. He later followed that up with ‘Tease me’ (Bad Guys) and ‘Don’t Dull’, with all singles massively accepted. In the same year, he won his first major award at the Dynamix All Youths Awards as Promising Artiste of the Year.
Wizkid dropped his debut album, ‘Superstar’ was released in 2011. Apart from the previously released singles, the album contains tracks like ‘Pakurumo,’ ‘No Lele,’ ‘Love my baby’ and many others which became instant hits. Wizkid worked with a total of 7 producers on the 16-track LP. They are E-Kelly(1), Masterkraft (2), Jaysleek (3), Samklef (6), Shizzi (1), DJ Klem (2) and Q Beats (1).
The album features Wande Coal, Banky W and Skales and despite not featuring many top acts, the album was a huge success. ‘Superstar’ won the Album of the year at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards in 2012 while Wizkid also won the Best Pop R n B artiste of the year. He also won the Artiste of the year and Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year at the 2012 edition of Headies.
Having been elevated to one most sought after acts in the country, Wizkid won the Next Rated Award at the 2011 Headies and the Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards. He soon added the MOBO award for the Best African Act to the list.
After the success of his ‘Superstar’ album, Wizkid became one of the biggest artistes in the country, performing at major gigs in Nigeria and also embarked on tours outside the country.
In September 2013, Wizkid left his, Osagie Osarenkhoe and hired Godwin Tom. This sparked rumors that the ‘Pakurumo’ singer might be having troubles with the Banky W-led EME.
In February 2014, Wizkid took to Twitter and in a series of tweets, expressed his displeasure. His tweets were immediately interpreted in many quarters to be directed at Banky W who days earlier had claimed all was well with him and the singer. Wizkid tweeted: “Don’t take Loyalty for stupidity..don’t!’ ‘Moving on to start all over again!…F**k it!..”, and went on to add: ‘If dey sleep on u..move on!’ Weeks after the Twitter spat, Wizkid signed a management deal with Disturbing London owned by Tinie Tempah.
Wizkid’s 2nd album, ‘Ayo’ was released in September 2014. It polarized opinions, and marked his last album with EME.
Wizkid’s personal record label, Star Boy Entertainment, is home to L.A.X and producers, Maleek Berry and Legendury Beatz.
In April 2015, Wizkid joined Chris Brown on stage at a concert in South Africa. They both performed a collaborative single. He has also announced that his next album will feature Grammy award winning singer, Angelique Kidjo on the album.
His most recent success, US superstar, Drake jumped on one of his most successful singles, ‘Ojuelegba’ and created a remix with Nigeria-born UK Grime rapper, Skepta.