The Nigerian Hip-hop market was undergoing a mass renaissance at the time Wizkid jumped onto the scene; this soon translated into fame and profits under his then boss — Banky W. But, like most Nigerian artistes to hit the scene of recent, pluck some little fame for themselves only to fizzle out after sometime, we assume his won’t be any different. In fact, I remember walking past some shops one early morning when I overheard some persons discussing about Wizkid.
They were actually comparing him with another wave making artiste of that time. One of them swiftly said in Yoruba, but here in translation: “Is it that Whiz Kid sings in one direction that you are comparing with this versatile artiste”? Apparently, the person appeared to be right in his argument, back then, even though almost all, if not all of Wizkid’s tracks then were danceable songs they still had some sort of similarity with British boy-band, One Direction. What then happened along the way?
It is not enough to have the fame and have ladies entangle around you as an entertainer; it also requires that you decide how long you want to stay and be relevant in the industry. I believe Wizkid sat himself down to decide if he’s choosing singing as a career, or he is just there to have and enjoy the momentary fame and fizzle out with time.
He opted for the former and decided to learn the rules of the legends — learning how to withdraw. This is perhaps what many Nigerian entertainers lack. This is not just peculiar to Nigerian entertainers it has now become a global phenomenon. It seems everyone wants to keep putting themselves out there to keep the stereo booming, but with time, observation shows that listeners begin to feel their vibes as noise. Please, don’t get me wrong I am not saying all who withdraw hit the air-waves stronger at their come back.
However, if you learn to do all the necessary assignment — like sound research, building a self- brand by the kind of music you give out, collaborating with artistes of consequence not as a novice but as an actor; not because you just want to sell your track, but also to push your name globally and be ready to bear the consequence — hard work— you will soar.
Wizkid now known as Star boy has touched all of these and he appears to keep getting better. Wizkid’s collaboration with Drake and Kyla “One Dance” was amongst the tracks in Drake’s album — the album that was nominated as one of the Albums of the Year at Grammy 2017.
He has also collaborated with other top world stars; like, Chris Brown, DJ Henry, Tinnie Tempah, and others still on the way. He knows when to withdraw, what to do when he draws, and who to contact to get his job done. His come-back is usually in style.
I told myself that Wizkid is already in the Grammy’s — even though he was only featured, you cannot mention “One Dance” by Drake without acknowledging him. Wizkid, was also credited as the writer of the song which earned him an international award from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
ASCAP, according to Wikipedia, is an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization that protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, and compensating them accordingly. The award was given to Wizkid in recognition of his role as the writer of Drake’s chart-topping hit single “One Dance” which featured Wizkid and Kyla.
Aside being credited for writing the rave single, “One Dance” was also acknowledged by ASCAP for occupying the number one spot on the highly revered Billboard Hot 100 Charts for an outstanding 10 weeks in a row.
In addition, I won’t be surprised that Wizkid would one day invent a track that would clinch the Grammy’s. I see him doing that if he continues in this line of hard-work and calculated collaboration. He appears to be the only Nigerian entertainer that has a goal with music. Beyond the fame and the money he appears to be the only Nigerian artiste that seeks to create a landmark with music.
I see this taking him thirty years or more to accomplish. By then many of his contemporaries might have left the race. This simply implies that he might likely be the only contemporary Nigerian artiste that would keep his face steady in the Nigeria’s entertainment industry for the next thirty years — simply because he has set for himself something bigger that other artiste might not really be interested in.