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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Grass to grace story of sensational musician Wizkid

History will be kind to the likes of Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid. Many have called the Starboy a national treasure and frankly, he has earned that name for putting Nigeria on the map with his passion for music.

Ayo was born on July 16, 1990 and grew up in Surulere in his family home with a Christian mother and Muslim father along with 12 female siblings. The young boy was majorly influenced by music from King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley which he admitted to being the cushion to his heart while growing up in a polygamous home. As an aspiring musician, he had to convince his father of his passion by making frequent visits to the studio. He got lucky when Naeto C mentored and coached him at 15 to activate his fullest potential.

At age 11, Interestingly, the young boy was already shooting for the stars and made his first album with one of Nigeria's celebrated music icons, late OJB Jezreel. The seven-track album was a collaborative one with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. With the stage name, Lil' Prinz, in 2006, Ayo gained the support of family and friends when he released the album in church.

Little did Ayo know his breakthrough was to activate eight years after. Thousands of Nigerians first came to know Wizkid after he was discovered by singer, Banky W in 2009. Wasting no time, he was signed on to record label Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E). Who much is given, much is expected, in 2010, the 19-year-old at the time, officially launched his career with the release of Hola At Your Boy, which gained him the award for Next rated at the Headies. With the song he immediately gained the attention of many young Nigerians who fell easily for his cuteness and swag. 

Unrelenting, he followed it with release of his first studio album in 2001 titled Superstar. The album had major hit singles such as Tease Me/Bad Guys, Don't Dull, Love My Baby, Pakurumo and Oluwa Lo Ni, all which rocked Nigerian charts for weeks.

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