Here is a definitive timeline of Wizkid’s releases since Ayo, just in time for Sounds From The Other Side
Primed for an extensive listening reach
Primed for an extensive listening reach
If you’ve been a fan of Wizkid since his Superstar debut, it’s safe to say you’ve never been starved of new material to reference during best Nigerian artist Stan wars. He has left his mark on Nigeria’s soundscape with notable releases that have helped shape his career and position him as the toast of Nigerian music. Since Ayo, his last album released in 2014, the starboy has kept up a consistent string of hit singles that led to an RCA recording deal announced in March, this year. And as we anticipate his Sounds From The Other Side international debut, here is a definitive timeline of all Wizkid releases since his last album.
December 2, 2014: Wonder
Perhaps inspired by the growth of his fan base from Nigeria to other parts of the continent, Wizkid already saw his potential to be the artist all Africans can get behind. The single produced by Del. B with loud Afropop drums and spacious synth harmonies that Wizkid uses to deliver a love song confessing that he isn’t satisfied with the amount of love he was currently getting. He samples the Kuti’s “Wonder” track with a similar message for Africa’s unity.
December 8, 2014: Sound It
Wizkid had just released “Wonder” the previous Monday and was already waiting with a new single this time produced by Sarz. The dance number was another Afrobeat song from an artist who seemed confident enough to risk re-branding his sound though no one was complaining about the sound he’d promoted with this debut era.
January 29, 2015: Amin
As much as Wizkid has grown, he is always so quick to remind his listeners how far he has come. Recognizing how enjoyable “suffer-head” stories are, he has cashed in on the theme to make music appreciating his fans and other forces responsible for getting him out of the slums to the superstar life he’s currently living. “Amin” listens like a typical Wizkid freestyle over Afrobeat instrumentals where he thanks his fans and stunts on his haters.
May 12, 2015: Expensive Shit
Wizkid’s “Jaiye Jaiye” featuring Femi Kuti was such a hit that he couldn’t resist another go at the Afrobeat genre. At this point it was becoming obvious that his romance with the Afrobeat wasn’t just a one off thing for his Ayo album, but an aesthetic that will shape his brand. Though Femi Kuti wasn’t featured on “Expensive Shit”, his absence was made bearable by the Sarz produced beat that listened like a continuation of his album’s lead track. The dance number plus its complimenting video was a staple both on radio and on TV in most African states because it sounded good and because of his reference to Fela’s song of the same title.
November 13, 2015: Final (Baba Nla)
New artists were emerging and giving Wizkid a run for his money. Tekno’s “Duro” was already making rounds and Davido already started getting international recognition with his “Fans Mi” featuring Meek Mill. “Final (Baba Nla)” was released at a strategic time to show that while he seemed to be obsessing over the Afrobeat rhythm, Wizkid could still spin a decent Afropop song. Produced by Legendury Beatz, the single put Wizkid back in the airways for the genre he debuted with and he made sure to let everyone know he could do no wrong singing, “Everything way I give am/final”.
June 30, 2016: Shabba
Though Nigerian music had already started to enjoy international attention thanks to artists like D’banj, Drake’s “Ojuelegba” cover featuring Skepta was a game changer of sorts because of how big Drake is. Wizkid established the international direction his career was about to take with “Shabba” featuring Hoody Baby and UK rap group, Section Boyz. He released an official version a day after featuring even more international acts like Chris Brown, Trey Songz and French Montana.
October 17, 2016: More
The move to sign Ghanaian artists R2Bees, Mr Eazi and Efya to StarBoy Worldwide confirmed just how big an artist Wizkid is in Africa. They were already heavyweights in their own rights but with Wizkid’s co sign, Mr Eazi was able to successfully cross over between the two countries and grow a viable fan base in both. The R2Bees feature on “More” is the first collaboration as a label and fans through the continent were anticipating more of such (no pun intended).
December 23, 2016: Daddy Yo
Rumors had already started to go around about Wizkid’s RCA record deal but while there was no official announcement, he released “Daddy Yo”, a song that seemingly came out of nowhere to turn the game on its head. With a fresh new sound that saw him embrace electronic dance music with more vigor than is typical of Nigerian acts—especially one with an Afrocentric aesthetic. The dance-hall number features label mate, Efya and is perhaps the collaboration that helped establish her place in the music scene with her memorable “Wizzy boy, make me dance/ Daddy Yo make me dance” hook. The Caribbean dance melodies of “Daddy Yo” was primed for an extensive listening reach as he blends Afro-percussions with EDM in way that appeals to a foreign audience without losing his African sound.
April 18, 2017: Ghetto Youth
After the success of “Daddy Yo” on streaming sites and on local radio, talks of Wizkid’s next album was already on everyone’s lips. He already gave a name plus a speculative release date for his third studio album and now he just had to ensure that the single didn’t get over played and lose it’s play value. “Ghetto Youth” was released to keep fans entertained while we wait for the album and his freestyle that listened like a cut that didn’t make it to the Ayo album worked for listening pleasure with its refreshing afrobeat melodies.
Going by all these hit singles released since his last album plus his increasing international accolades, his likelihood to get a Grammy isn’t that big of a reach anymore.
Featured Image Credits: Instagram/wizkidayo
You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu