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MUSIC


WIZKID A cool guy, calm and collected...


Wizkid (real name Ayo Balogun) is only 21 and has already won a MOBO award, the youngest to win ‘Best African Act’, back in 2011. With the right blend of swagger, talent and a good team behind him, his song ‘Pakurumo’ caused a stir on these shores as well as back home in Nigeria. With his recent signing to Akon’s Konvict Muzik label, Flavour talks to Wizkid about his skyrocketing career...


Would you say you’re a superstar in the making? Am I? You tell me, what do you think?


You’re doing well for yourself; you’ve had countless hits… I’m trying, I’m trying…


Then would you say being a superstar is the aim?


The aim is to take the music global, so I’m just doing my thing and taking it one step at a time.


Are you waving the flag for Africa as a whole or just Nigeria? I’m proud to be African so I’m definitely flying the flag for Africa and Nigeria, as well as people who support the brand Wizkid.


Is there a separation between Wizkid and Ayo Balogun?


It’s kind of hard to separate Wizkid and Ayo Balogun because I have to be Wizkid every time, there’s no time off. There really is no difference; that’s why I try to be myself in what I do.


So who is Wizkid?


Wizkid is just a young kid pursuing his dreams. I’m trying to take the music [Afrobeats] global and not just rep for Nigeria, but Africa as a whole. You know, I’m just a cool guy – cool, calm and collected.


What’s the hardest thing about striving to make your dreams come true at such a young age? It’s actually being young – because doing this and being young is crazy.


Do you feel it’s about time the UK & US started to pay attention to Africa and its artists? Yeah. I mean, if you listen to the music, we’ve really stepped it up when it comes to production and things like that. Africans are working extra hard and I think we deserve everything we’re getting right now.


How did the signing with Akon come about? Akon heard my stuff in ATL, and he kept on hearing me on the radio on V-103, they hit us up. The next time I came to London we met and we talked


some business, and it is what it is right now.


What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on stage? I’ve thrown up before when I was performing once. A fan came to hug me and hugged too tight – I had to throw up. They [fans] probably didn’t even know what it was; they probably thought I went to change [laughs].


What motivates you to perform when you do get sick?


Money [laughs]. I know I’m not just performing but performing to my fans. It takes a lot for people to buy tickets to your show and then you don’t show; that’s just not nice. The fact my fans are behind me and want to see me perform, that keeps me going.


So who’s the most famous person you have in your phone? I know a lot of famous people, but I don’t know I don’t want anyone to be offended. I’ll say Akon.


What’s in the future for Afrobeats? Definitely bigger than where it is right now, you know with the likes of 2Face, D’banj and P-Square – the music is cutting across. .


Follow Wizkid on Twitter @wizkidayo


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Interview: Denise ‘CMyPassion’ Kodia


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