By: Abiola Durodola
He is undoubtedly the leader of the pack in the new school as far as the Nigerian pop scene is concerned. He is regarded as Africa’s finest musical for his energy and effort towards taking African sounds beyond the borders of the continent have brought him to prominence and yielded positive results in the last few years as quite recently, WIZKID won at the prestigious “Music of Black Origin (MOBO AWARDS)” held in New York.
TheMOBOAwardsshowisheldannuallyintheUnitedKingdomtorecognizeartistesofanyethnicityornationalityperformingblackmusic.Against all odds, Starboy emerged winner in a category that had legends such as JAYZ, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and a host of other popular artistes.
Music is an art, many have even opined that it is Life. Legendary reggae musician Bob Marley carefully expressed his thoughts on music in the simple quote, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Music is an important part of our lives and Ayo Balogun is one of our favorite performers. This fact is indisputable as he remains the Nigerian musician with the highest number of followers on social media.
His music has traveled beyond borders, and given him prominence in the Black Nation.
Wizkid’s music has earned him features with international artistes. Especially because his genre of music is a blend of African arts and AfroBeat, a music sylemade for social occasions which has made the 27 yearold Surulere born take control of the television screen and receive massive airplay since the release of his first single in 2010.
HisexportoftheAfricanmusicbrandandpopularitybothhomeandabroadhavehelpedplacehisnameintheNigerianhiphopleaderboard.HeonceperformedwiththelegendaryAfrobeatking,Femi Kuti in his hit single,Jaiye Jaiye,and with KingSunnyAdeduringamusicalfestival.HehasalsoperformedwithChrisBrown,Drake,Skepta,Akon,Young Yeezy and Kardinal Official.
Wizzy as he is popularly called by his fans was born and raised in the core of Surulere and decided to take the future into his hands when he started his pursuit for greatness as early as age 11. By the time he was 20 years old, his name was already on the lips of young music lovers, his music had already become street anthems for both young and old lovers of pop music.
“Once again the talents, hardwork and enterprise of our youth have been celebrated on the world stage. You make us Proud”, an excited Vice President Yemi Osinbajo tweeted while congratulating WIZKID after he won the coveted MOBO international act award.
Also congratulating Wizkid on his MOBO win, BenMurray-Bruceaddedonhistwitteraccount, “Oneofmyproudestmomentssincejoiningtheentertainmentindustryin1980isthedayyoudefeatedbothJayzandDrake,twoofthebiggeststarsintheworld,towinthebestinternationalactatMOBOAwards.”
Aside the richness and quality of the sounds he produces, his grass to grace story remains one for many African youths to learn from and work hard. Wizkid signed a one year endorsement deal with Pepsi in 2012 and has since signed endorsement deals with national and multinational companies like Guinness for the Guinness World of More concert, MTN and more recently Globacom.
Despite his huge success, the humble artiste stays gratefulto his fan base and insisted that during an interview that “Fame has not changed Wizkid”.
Ayo Balogun remains an inspiration to many upcoming artistes and also represents the future of African music. He has firmly resolved to uphold the legacy and richness in the music of the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti.