Wizkid Essentials

Wizkid Essentials

His fourth album, Made in Lagos, blends R&B and pop with the Afrobeats sound he helped pioneer, but Nigerian star Wizkid, born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is determined to keep his music rooted in Africa. “It’s important for me to keep it original,” he tells Apple Music, “from my videos to my production—to make sure it’s from me, and it’s from home.” That authenticity attracted stars including Tay Iwar, H.E.R., and Skepta, with a 2021 deluxe edition adding Buju and Justin Bieber. Though Wiz was already Apple Music’s most-played artist in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Tems-featuring “Essence” catapulted him into global history in 2021, becoming the first song with lyrics in Yoruba to hit Billboard’s Global 200 chart. He also won the 2021 Apple Music Award for Artist of the Year — Africa. “People need to pay more attention to music out of Africa,” Wizkid says. “It’s food for your soul.”

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