In the Pop and Afrobeats world, Wizkid is a name that needs no introduction. He is an artist who has contributed immensely to the growth of Afrobeats. Wizkid, who broke into mainstream music scene with his debut single ”Hola at your boy” in 2010, is one of the biggest artists in the world at the moment.
Records are meant to be broken is what they say but for Wizkid, he doesn’t just break them, he sets unprecedented ones with his music and brings glory to Afrobeats music culture. The Grammy award-winning superstar had his breakthrough at a tender age and he had to shoulder the burden of being a big inspiration for the new generation of young artists that saw him as a beacon of hope.
Wizkid is a work of art beyond valuation, imitation and forgery, 11 years since that groundbreaking debut album “Superstar” and trembling delivery on each track on the album. That young boy of touch and tease who walked gently and majestically into one of the world’s most competitive music industry as a teenager has grown to be Starboy Wizkid, Afrobeats most decorated artist and one of the Greatest of All Time.
Wizkid’s career journey has been marked with significant achievements each year which aided the “Afrobeats to the world movement”. He has been championing the cause since his breakthrough year. He has broken records and set new ones, he is regarded by many as the king of Afrobeats.
Wizkid has contributed hugely into making Afrobeats a culture every black person wants to identify with. In the process making Afrobeats a culture black communities around the world are trying to gate-keep to prevent cultural appropriation.
In 2016, Wizkid became the first Nigerian artist to appear on Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as the first Nigerian artist to reach #1 position on the chart through his efforts on Drake’s “One Dance”. In addition, he also became the first Nigerian artist to win a Grammy award in 2020 through his efforts on Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl”. Just like GQ Magazine reported, “Wizkid is the guy Drake and Beyoncé call up whenever they need a continent-spanning smashing hit”.
Wizkid is widely known around the world as a hitmaker, whenever he is featured on a song, you know he’s going to deliver on the song. He has been on songs with some of the biggest artists in the world like Drake, Beyonce, Chris Brown, Skepta, Jeezy, Swae Lee, Dave and his delivery & impacts contributed hugely to the success of the songs.
Afrobeats is enjoying a new level of spotlight on a different dimension thanks to Wizkid’s relentless efforts. His “Made In Lagos” Tour attracted some of the biggest celebrities in the world like Rihanna, Damson Idris, Romelu Lukaku, Stormzy, Wiz Khalifa, Winnie Harlow, Saweetie, Ella Mai, ASAP Rocky, Kevin Hart and others at different venues of his tour.
The reception of Made in Lagos across the world, most especially in the US has made Afrobeats music a focal point for the world to see the quality in the sound. “Made In Lagos” deluxe album is said to have sold 450,000 units in US, with 12 out of 18 tracks selling at least 100,000 units in the US. However, the album is on course to be the first Afrobeats album to be certified RIAA Gold (500,000 units). In addition, “Essence” (ft. Tems) has been certified double RIAA Platinum, selling over 2 million units in US. It is also the highest charting Afrobeats song on Billboard Hot 100, climbing as high as no. 9 on the chart.
Wizkid has opened so many doors that seemed to be impossible to open for Afrobeats music, giving young Nigerian artists the biggest platform they ever got at a particular time to showcase their talents. Wizkid became the first Nigerian artist to sell out one of world’s busiest venues, O2 Arena, London in 2018 when he headlined his first concert “Afrorepubliq” at the venue. He has gone ahead to sell out the venue for a record 5 times with 3 out of those 5 times selling out in approximately 45mins during his “Made In Lagos” UK Tour in 2021.
Graphics credit: Abdulazeez Omope
Wizkid’s efforts across board has earned him 6 MOBO Awards, 4 NAACP, 3 BET Awards, 3 SoulTrain Awards, 3 Billboard Music Awards, 2 MTV EMA Awards, 1 BMI, 1 ASCAP award, 1 Grammy award, 1 Ashford & Simpson Award, 4 NAACP, to mention but a few.
Wizkid is that artist that ticks every box needed for a great artist, his level of consistency is a supernova in this era, he is an artist that has done it all and one thing no one can deny him is his legendary status and he is highly respected by artists and celebrities worldwide.