Is Wizkid Africa’s Next Superstar?

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Sometime in February 2015, I wrote an article titled “Dear Wizkid, Your Star Is Falling” well, I now recognise how wrong I was at that point. Not only has Wizkid’s star not fallen, it has soared!

It’s no longer news that African music is enjoying a re- emergence on the global music scene. More and more international record companies are doing business with African artists. A recent example is music mogul Jay Z and his Tidal music service. Jay sent a top executive from his company to meet with some Nigerian record labels to develop a partnership that will lead to more exposure for Nigerian music. This simply proves the earlier stated fact.

With all this going on, one must recognise the efforts of Wizkid in taking the African sound to more and more homes abroad. In a short while, the Ojuelegba crooner has scored major collaborations with the likes of Drake, Chris Brown, Skepta and allegedly Rihanna. Swizzbeatz and Alicia Keys shared videos of themselves dancing to his music. And it seems the Starboy boss is not done. He continually teases via his social media accounts that he has more work with other stars in the pipeline.

Let’s not forget that Wizkid is not the first musician to get accolades for his music abroad, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Youssou N’dour and King Sunny Ade have done their part in promoting our sound but in modern times, Wizkid is the leader of a new school of artists who are steadily gaining ground in the international market. Others in this group include Ghana’s Fuse ODG, South African bands Die Antwoord and Mi Casa, Nigeria’s Asa, Davido and surprisingly, Timaya.

Even though Femi Kuti has been nominated in the Best World Music Album category at the Grammy’s a couple of times, Wizkid may be the one to bring this award home to Nigeria. It’s also not a bad idea if a Grammy award category was created for African music.

At this point, Wizzy’s major competition should be Davido but the Aye crooner’s album that features Wale and Trey Songz is yet to drop and the video for his single Fans Mi which features Meek Mill has been bashed by almost everyone for promoting the ‘drug culture’ which is a no go area for Nigerians and other Africans. Also, Meek’s losing battle with Drake does not help Davido’s cause too.

I just hope Wizkid does not rest on his oars following the recognition he’s gotten for his recent achievements. He should build on the recognition he’s gotten and help African music attain better heights.

This article was written by me in August 2015 and has been published widely on different sites, blogs and newspapers since then.

 

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