Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born July 16, 1989) better known as Wizkid, Star Boy, and the Pop Prince of Africa, is a Nigerianrecording artist, songwriter, and performer. Wizkid rose to prominence with his hit song, Don’t Dull. Banky W discovered Wizkid and signed him to his record label, “Empire Mates Entertainment”. Wizkid’s most notable songs are: Don’t Dull, Love My Baby, Azonto,Pakurumo, Tease Me/Bad Guys, and Dance For Me.
Wizkid was born on July 16, 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria. He comes from a large family and is the last of six children. In an interview with Tim Westwood, Wizkid stated that his father has three wives. He kicked off his singing career at the early age of 11 when he recorded his first song with one of Nigeria’s celebrated music icons, OJB Jezreel. He went on to record a 7-track album, which he released in his church in Lagos, under the name of Lil’ Prinz; this was just a stint that earned him a remarkable deal of encouragement and recognition from family, his church and other artistes.
Years later in 2006, with a new stage name, and a passion for making music and God-given talent, Wizkid got back into the studio to hone his craft. He continued to develop as a Singer and Songwriter by working under some of Nigeria’s biggest Musical names such as OJB Jezreel, Naeto C, Ikechukwu and many others. Over the next few years his talent as a Singer and Songwriter became evident and it resulted in Wiz being prominently featured alongside some of the biggest Artistes in Nigeria’s Music Industry to much critical and commercial acclaim.
2009 would prove to be Wizkid’s break-out year, as his collaboration with M.I on “Fast Money, Fast Cars” on the Talk About It album drew major attention to his distinct voice, singing style and penchant for great songwriting. He went on to feature on Kel’s ”Turn by Turn“, the Barcelos radio jingle and many other high profile projects. He also got signed to Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment, and featured prominently on Banky’s “The W Experience” album.
At the age of 20, this extremely talented and charming young man had already achieved so much, thanks to his drive and focus for turning his life’s experiences into incredible music. In 2010, he released his first singles, “Holla at your Boy“, “Gidi Girl” and “Ori Mi” with label mate, Skales; then there was the hit song, “Tease Me” which was just a studio freestyle that got leaked online and turned into a big hit in different parts of Nigeria and among Nigerians worldwide.
He bagged the coveted award for the Promising Artiste of the Year at the 2010 edition of the Dynamix All Youth Awards, collaborated with several artistes and performed at some A-list events; some of which include the Soundcity Music Video Awards, Lord of the Ribs Lagos, Rhythm Unplugged, the Shutdown Concert with Rick Ross, the Koko Concert, Crack Ya Ribs Lagos, Face of Selera 2010 Abuja just to mention a few.
Awards and nominations
Ghana Music Awards
2013“Wizkid”African Artist of the YearWon
BET Awards 2012
2012“Wizkid”Best International Act AfricaWon
Hip Hop World Awards (The Headies)
2012“Wizkid”Artist Of The YearWon
Hip Hop World Revelation Of The YearWon
Nigerian Entertainment Awards
2012“Superstar”Best Album of the YearWon
Best Pop/R&B Artist of the YearWon
2011“Wizkid”Best African ActWon