Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun was born on July 16, 1990, he is well known by his stage name “Wizkid”
is a Nigerian recording artist, songwriter, and performer. He rose to prominence with his song “Holla at Your Boy“. In 2009, he signed a record deal with Banky W’s imprint Empire Mates Entertainment. His work and contribution to the Nigerian Music Industry has earned him several achievements, including a BET Award, a MOBO Award from 2 nominations, three The Headies Awards from 8 nominations, a Channel O Music Video Award from 6 nominations, three Nigeria Entertainment Awards from 11 nominations, a Ghana Music Award from 7 nominations, two Dynamix All Youth Awards from 3 nominations, two City People Entertainment Awards from 4 nominations, and a Future Award, among others. In addition, he has been nominated three times at the MTV Europe Music Awards
as well as four times at the World Music Awards. He was ranked 5th on Forbes and Channel O‘s 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter.
Wizkid was born in Surulere, a residential and commercial area of Lagos. He comes from a large family, and is the last of six children. In an interview with Tim Westwood, he said that his father has three wives. Wizkid started singing at age 11; he released Lil Prinz, a 7 track album. During an interview with Adesope of Factory 78 TV, Wizkid described his life in a nutshell. He said that he formed a group called the Glorious Five with a couple of his church friends. The group successfully dropped an album prior to dismembering. Wizkid later met OJB Jezreel, a record producer who prevented him from recording for a year. While visiting Jezreel’s studio frequently, he watched 2 Face Idibia record Grass 2 Grace and watched Sound Sultan record Jagbajantis. A year later, Wizkid started recording. His first song featured OJB Jezreel. The song was met with great reception throughout Surulere. Wizkid cited Naeto C as one of the people who mentored and coached him while he was 15 years old. Wizkid also told Factory 78 TV that his parents weren’t receptive of his music from the onset.
He had to work hard and spent lots of time in the studio in order to gain his father’s trust. Wizkid has a great relationship with Banky W. He told Factory 78 TV that Banky W was one of the first people that believed in him. He said that he and Banky became friends prior to starting a professional relationship. He co wrote Banky W’s “Omoge You Too Much”, a song off the The W Experience album. In 2006, he collaborated with Naeto C and Ikechukwu. In 2009, Wizkid became a household name within Nigeria’s musical landscape; he was featured on M.I‘s “Fast Money, Fast Cars” and Kel’s “Turn by Turn”.