Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun known professionally as Wizkid (sometimes stylized as WizKid), is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
Wizkid was born on 16 July 1990 in Surulere, a residential and commercial area of Lagos. He grew up in an interfaith household with twelve female siblings. His mother is a Pentecostal Christian and his father practices Islam. In a 2012 radio interview with Tim Westwood, he said that his father has three wives. During his upbringing, he listened to songs recorded by King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley. Wizkid started singing at age 11 and went by the stage name Lil Prinz until 2006. During an interview with Adesope of Factory 78 TV, Wizkid described his life in a nutshell. He said he formed a group called the Glorious Five with a couple of his church friends. The group managed to release an album prior to disbanding.
Wizkid later met OJB Jezreel, a record producer who prevented him from recording for a year. While visiting OJB's PointBeat Studios frequently, he watched 2 Face Idibia record songs for his Grass 2 Grace album. He was also present during the recording sessions for Sound Sultan's debut album, Jagbajantis. Wizkid cited Naeto C as one of the people who mentored and coached him when he was 15 years old. Wizkid also told Factory 78 TV that his parents weren't receptive of his music from the onset. In order to gain his father's trust, he had to work hard and spend lots of time in the studio. Wizkid co-wrote Banky W's "Omoge You Too Much", a song off The W Experience album. He also worked with Naeto C, OJB Jezreel, Ikechukwu, and M.I while developing his craft. In 2009, Wizkid inked a record deal with Banky W.'s Empire Mates Entertainment. He attended Ijebu Ode Grammar School. In mid-2009, he dropped out of Lagos State University (LASU) to focus on his craft. He later attended Lead City University, but dropped out after completing two sessions.
He started recording music at age 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. In 2009, he signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E).
He rose to prominence in 2010 with the release of the song "Holla at Your Boy" from his debut studio album, Superstar (2011). "Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Pakurumo" and "Oluwa Lo Ni" were also released as singles from the Superstar album. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter. Ayo, his self-titled second studio album, was released in September 2014. It was supported by six singles: "Jaiye Jaiye", "On Top Your Matter", "One Question", "Joy", "Bombay" and "Show You the Money". Following the release of his second studio album and expiration of his 5-year recording contract, Wizkid left E.M.E.
In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, "One Dance", which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. In addition to his solo work, Wizkid has collaborated with several other artists and was featured on the hits "Girl" (with Bracket), "Fine Lady" (with Lynxxx), "Sexy Mama" (with Iyanya), "Slow Down" (with R2Bees), "The Matter" (with Maleek Berry), "Pull Over" (with KCee) and "Bad Girl" (with Jesse Jagz). Moreover, he became the first Afrobeats artist to appear in the 2018 Guinness World Records for his contribution to Drake's hit song "One Dance".
On 1 March 2017, Billboard magazine reported that Wizkid signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records. Wizkid was ranked 5th on Forbes and Channel O's 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists.
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