Nigerian superstar singer, Wizkid, born Ayodeji Balogun, is a ladies’ man. Since he hit the limelight some years back with his debut track ‘Holla at your Boy’, he has continued to win many hearts with his good music and many women, as reports claim, have seen his birthday suit while warming his proverbial fluffy bed. Yet, he can’t seem to get enough! Wizkid For the Star Boy, there have been Sola Ogudu, Binta Diallo and Jada Pollock, each with a bouncing baby boy for the singer.
Three baby mamas and three sons, may look good enough for any randy man but not the ‘Pakurumo’ crooner as he has stated in a recent interview that he loves women too much to settle down with one. In the interview he admitted to having several girlfriends and claims all his girls know he has other girls. When asked if he will ever settle down with any particular one, his reply is one that will give no woman hope, not even Jada Pollock, who stuck by the singer when his two other baby mamas, Sola Ogudu and Binta Diallo labelled him ‘deadbeat’ father in the full glare of the public.
“That will be hard because I have a lot of women that are really, really dear to my heart” he said. Wizkid is known to have romanced many women in his illustrious career and may be a vain attempt to list them in this piece. However, rumour has been running rife that the latest woman rocking the Star Boy’ s world is MAVIN First Lady, Tiwa Savage.
At his sold-out Afrorepublik concert in London which held recently, Wizkid might have been telling us something that there’s actually something juicy going on between him and the ‘Kele Kele’ crooner as he introduced her on stage to join him to perform their popular duet ‘Malo’ with some intimate words. It wasn’t the normal introduction of a co-star, as the singer called Tiwa Savage “Someone special”, adding “Stay sexy for daddy.” After their epic performance the duo sealed the romantic night with a passionate kiss and a lingering hug, which many have interpreted as ‘a work in progress’.
As we anticipate for the big announcement, we take a look at how his album sounds from the other side has fared in one year
What is the impact of ‘Sounds From The Other Side?
This month July marks the one-year anniversary of Wizkid’s ambitious third solo body of work ‘Sounds From The Other Side’. In his fast-paced, chaotic career, SFTOS would be his most high stake solo project, an audacious attempt to announce himself properly on the American stage.The album or EP as it was touted at the time would be his most ambitious work ever, aiming to crack the usually receptively cold American market. As fate would have it, the frigid American music market had started flirting with sounds from the motherland. His bromance with international pop star/bad boy Chris Brown starting from 2012 would gradually ease Wizkid into the American market.
We can’t also forget about the rapper Wale. The two acts would collaborate often resulting in ‘Drop’, a lusty urgent track put out in July 2013 and ‘Murder’ that featured in Wizkid’s second solo effort.With his profile steadily rising in North America, Wizkid told DJ Abrantee he recorded a new song with Chris Brown ‘African Bad Girl’ on Capital Xtra in late 2014. Wizzy revealed the song would be the first single off his next project. This would be the first announcement of a new album after his sophomore LP ‘Ayo (Joy)’ which earned mixed reviews.
In July 2015, his globe-trotting efforts would pay off big time. UK Grime star Skepta who is of Nigerian origin linked the biggest rapper in the world Drake to Wizkid’s sensational single ‘Ojuelegba’. Drake who had heard of Wizkid jumped on the remix. The song would be released on his Apple Music station OVO Sounds.This singular move would take Wizkid’s name from conservations between taste makers to the artificial thick lips of the Jenners/Kardashians in California, Los Angeles.
With his international wave on the rise, Wizkid rearranged his rollout plans, a move not familiar to his longtime fans. By September 2015, Wizkid characteristically announced that he had scrapped his third album after being inspired by 2face Idibia’s legendary catalogue. To appease his fans he would put out a 10 track EP by October 2015.That EP would not come out in October. From late 2015 to July 2017, Wizkid would continually tease his fans with high stake project. The recording of SFTOS started from 2014-2017. The principal architects would be Sarz (his frequent collaborator), Major Lazer, Picard Brothers, Dre Skull, Del B, Spellz, DJ Mustard, Twice as Nice and DJ Maphorisa
To further concentrate on his album, Wizkid rented out an L.A mansion in March 2016. He and his cohorts, Legendury Beatz, Sarz and Efya would spend hours in the studio working on his big North American debut.This was also the period he debuted his new nickname Pablo, most likely named after Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The HBO series ‘Narcos’ would introduce the narco-terrorist to millennials.By March 2016, Wizkid would collaborate with Drake on a number of songs for his icy testimonial ode for the cold city of his childhood and upbringing Views. One of the lead singles for Views would be ‘One Dance’, a blend of Drake’s R&B/pop vibe, British pop and Caribbean influenced background vocals delivered by Wizkid.
“I think I put up something on my Instagram and Drake heard it and was like ‘yo dawg that sh*t sounds crazy. We need to do something for my album real quick” he told Ebro during his Beats 1 on Apple Music interview.The collaboration would further push Wizkid into the music scene in North America. The song earned Wizkid a Grammy nod and an ASCAP recognition.One of the other recordings from Wizkid and Drake’s collaborations was a rough sketch song called ‘Come Closer’.The track would leak in February 2017 and it was initially called ‘Hush Up The Silence’. Despite speculations that Drake wanted the song as a collaboration with him and his Jamaican buddy Popcaan, Wizkid would officially release the track as his featuring Drake on March 31, 2017.
Earlier on March 1, 2017, Billboard broke the news that Wizkid had signed “a multi-album worldwide deal with RCA Records/Sony Music International.” The stars were aligning for Wizkid’s official North America roll out.”Just from having conversations with them. I really just wanted to go with people that understand my dreams and my vision. From the first meeting with RCA, they just understood it.”It wasn’t really about money or about numbers, it was just about getting the vision to where it should be. That’s why I did that with them and they’ve been amazing people out there. I couldn’t ask for nothing better” he told XXL Magazine in July 2017. ‘Sweet Love’ an oft-teased track that almost made it mystical was released by Wizkid on March 1, 2017.
On April 6, 2017, Wizkid would release the ‘Come Closer’ video sans the presence of 6 God. The mysterious no-show of Drake wasn’t strong enough to deter the video to become a hit and a testament to the rising acceptance of African excellence and appreciation of melanin beauty. As of today, it has racked up an impressive 60 million views on YouTube.”I took like 4 days to make that video,” he told MTV Base in May of 2017. “I just want to DAPS and I was like ‘yo I’ve got a crazy idea and this is how I want it.’ I literally called the girls in the video.”The video and track itself were way better received than ‘Daddy Yo’ which had come out in December 2016 as a teaser of what was to come. Wizkid’s use of reggaeton was questioned by some of his fans.
On June 29, 2017, Wizkid would unveil the artwork for his all or nothing project. The album cover wasn’t well received and even Wizkid would poke fun at it. Still, this couldn’t stop the momentum of SFTOS.On July 14, 2017, Wizkid dropped the body of work that took him 3 years to record. Sounds From The Other Side was finally here.The initial critical reactions of the project were good. Here are some of the reviews of SFTOS by international media; Commercially in the United States, SFTOS sold 6,286 units in its first week. That’s broken down into 2,672 pure album purchase, 6,079 song downloads, 4,510,897 song streams. All of these made up the first week sales for Wizkid.It also debuted at number 107 on the Billboard 200 chart. There is no information available on the latest number of copies SFTOS has moved.
The release of Sounds From The Other Side, what is the body of work’s impact? Did Wizkid achieve his desire to crack the North American market? Numbers-wise Sounds From The Other Side did not make a commercial dent in America’s massive music recording industry. Conservatively speaking the project should have done at least 50,000 units with a single going at least Gold. Yes, Come Closer has been certified Gold in Canada (40,000 Units) and Silver in UK (200,000 units) but the aim was to crack the US. ‘Come Closer’ has yet to move 500,000 units in America even with Drake on it.The impact of Wizkid’s Sounds From The Other Side a year afterplay
Out of the array of new-gen superstars, D’banj had made the boldest move into North America. Out of his peers, he dared to seek a new frontier, the expansive and dominative American market.Expectations were high for the Koko Master. With Don Jazzy having production credentials on the iconic Watch The Throne collabo album between JAY-Z and Ye, it seemed the time had come for Nigerian pop music to be on the world stage.