Biography

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born July 16, 1990), known by his stage name Wizkid (sometimes stylized as 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's most notable songs include "Holla at Your Boy", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Azonto", "Pakurumo", "Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Dance For Me" with EME, and "Jaiye Jaiye", among others. His discography resume includes collaboration with international and domestic acts such as Bracket, Angel, Lynxxx, Iyanya, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, R2Bees, Wale, Young Jeezy, Akon and Femi Kuti, among others. Wizkid's debut album, Superstar, was released in 2011. He is currently working on Chosen, his second studio album scheduled to be release in 2014.

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".

After releasing their compilation album Empire Mates State of Mind, EME acts toured the United States. The tour kicked off on July 4, 2012 and ended on September 2, 2012. EME acts performed in several different cities, including Houston, Dallas, Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, Providence, Calgary, Atlanta, Washington DC, and Chicago. Wizkid toured London in 2012 and performed at the HMV Apollo on June 4, 2012. On November 12, 2012, he performed at the BBC Radio 1Xtra Live 02 Academy in Brixton alongside Trey Songz, Tulisa, Kendrick Lamar, and Angel. On October 17, 2013, Wizkid performed at the 2013 edition of Felabration, a yearly concert dedicated to the late Fela Kuti. On November 2, 2013, he performed at the Guinness Colorful World of More concert alongside D'banj, Tiwa Savage, P-Square, Davido, Ice Prince, Burna Boy, Olamide and Phyno, among others. The concert took place at the Eko Convention Centre of the Eko Hotels and Suites. On November 23, 2013, Wizkid performed at the Guinness Big Eruption Concert. Wizkid was invited as a special guest for some shows in Tinie Tempah's tour of the UK in 2014

In 2012, Wizkid signed a one year endorsement deal with Pepsi allegedly worth $350,000 U.S dollars. He traveled to Beirut, Lebanon with Tiwa Savage for a Pepsi commercial shoot. On May 28, 2013, Premium Times reported that Wizkid signed a one year deal with MTN Nigeria. Moreover, the news source reported that Wizzy's Pepsi contract was renewed for another two years. On October 23, 2013, Bellanaija reported that Wizkid signed an endorsement deal with Guinness for the "Guinness World of More" concert. The concert was held at the Eko Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, on November 3, 2013.

On May 2, 2013, Wizkid and Star Boy Entertainment released the album's lead single "Jaiye Jaiye" featuring Femi Kuti. Wizkid told Showtime Celebrity that he collaborated with Femi Kuti in order to prevent people from depicting him as an artist whose lyrics revolve around girls, cars, and materialistic things. "On Top Your Matter" was released as the album's second single on October 26, 2013; it was produced by Del B. The music video for the single was released on February 13, 2014; it was shot and directed in South Africa by Sesan.

In July 2014, Wizkid revealed his collaboration with Barbadian singer Rihanna during his visit to The Beat 99.9 FM studio in Lagos.