By Titilayo Olurin
My favourite song by Wizkid is definitely ‘Jaiye Jaiye’, from his self-titled studio album, ‘Ayo’, where he featured Afrobeat legend, Femi Kuti. The afrobeat fusion, Wizkid’s effortless delivery and, of course, the “Atiti baby” line are just some of the things I love about it.
‘Ojuelegba’ is another song by the ‘Pakuromo’ crooner that I totally enjoy. Who doesn’t? For a long time, the song enjoyed massive air play for its soft, smooth and soothing beat and positive, reassuring lyrics.
With its near perfect portrayal of the streets of Ojuelegba, the song reflects the reality of Wizkid’s grass to grace story. Well, maybe not exactly grass, but we have to admit that the music star has come a long way from walking the streets of Ojuelegba in search of record deals to winning numerous awards and working with international acts like Drake, Skepta, and Chris Brown.
His collaboration with these international stars has not only helped promote Nigerian music on the global music scene but has also demonstrated Wizkid’s hard work and consistency. Granted, other African artistes including Dbanj, Psquare, and Davido have had collaborations with international stars, but the fact that Wizkid was the only Nigerian tagged in the Grammy Awards nominees list in 2016 for his collaboration with Drake and Kyla on ‘One Dance’ shows that he is by far the most consistent. His collaboration with Drake on his ‘Ojuelegba’ remix was also so widely accepted that it was ranked number 12 on the list of the 107 Best Songs of 2015 compiled by ‘The Fader’ Magazine.
His most recent accomplishment, however, is what has got my undivided attention. He was, a few days ago, nominated for seven awards at the upcoming 2017 Billboard Music Awards and again, he is the only Nigerian artiste nominated this year. This is indeed a feat I am certainly impressed with. I am, in fact, excited!
Now this excitement is definitely a deep contrast with the skeptism I had of him after his first single ‘Holla at your boy’ hit the airwaves in 2010. I was not quite sure if the young protégée of Banky W under the EME record label would be a one-hit wonder we would quickly forget or a singing phenomenon whose name would remain etched in our memory.
It is obvious that the latter is the case for this exceptional music star, and although I am sometimes torn between feelings of love and indifference for him, I can say confidently that he has worked hard enough to deserve some respect. So what do you think, folks? Do you share my sentiments?