Wizkid & Skepta on being a father and a star

"But when you get a kid, that’s the blessing. It changes you and everything."

With one of our very own, Teezee recently joining the Dad Club, Father’s Day this year is a particularly poignant celebration for us here at The NATIVE. Honouring paternal bonds that have helped steer, support and supervise our lives, Sunday June 20 is the day dedicated to the father figures in our lives – whether they be biological fathers, older mentors, siblings and family members, or even mothers who did the parenting job of both.

Celebrated on the third Sunday in June, yearly– as declared in 1972 by American president Richard Nixon – in American histories, early iterations of Father’s Day include the daughter of a civil war veteran marking the day to honour her dad who raised six kids as a single parent, or before that a commemoration of the loss of hundreds of fathers and men who died in a mining accident on July 5, 1908. Across Africa, Father’s day is typically observed on the third Sunday of June, although some countries such as Mozambique – which celebrates Father’s Day on March 19 along with their former colonising nation Portugal – and Egypt (June 21) recognise different days.

This Father’s Day, NATIVE are joining in the festivities, hosting our Father’s Day Wellness Hub to offer the dad’s among us the respite they surely need.

NATIVE Presents WizMag: 4-Pack Deal £65

Back in November, fresh off the success of ‘Made In Lagos‘ which included another seamless collaboration between Wizkid and Skepta, the “Longtime” friends sat down for an exclusive interview to appear in Wizkid’s special edition WizMag. During this conversation, Skep and Wiz chopped it up with The NATIVE about everything from the evolution of their friendship, the youth-led EndSARS movement which had just reached its bitter conclusion at the time, and their favourite #MIL tracks. After all the career talk, Wizkid and Skepta were also keen to remind us why they do it all in the first place: their kids. Sharing earnest sentiments about fatherhood and the immeasurable impact having children has had on their respective lives and careers, to celebrate Father’s NATIVE are unveiling this exclusive segment from our Special Edition WizMag, guest edited by Wizkid himself. Read the extract below.

Tobi: From your perspective as a musician, how has fatherhood affected you, or changed the way you approach things, even creatively?

Skepta: I don’t know, it’s a game changer in so many ways but I feel like fatherhood reinforced what I already knew. You know, as Wiz is, we’re the kind of people that everyone around us is good, you know what I’m saying? If you come around us, you’re good. So, you know, when it’s your blood now, it’s just that extra special person to give your energy to. Before, I was a bit confused as to why everywhere I go, I’m “big bro.” Even people older than me would call me big bro. 

Wizkid chuckles

Skepta: How comes I keep taking on that position? But I get that [now]. We’re just blessed with that kind of energy and we’re always going to look after people because of the way we’ve grown up; it was hard. We come from mad places, if we can give to others, we will. So with the fatherhood ting now, it’s just a blessing in the sense that at least every time I step out of my house, if I’m staying in the studio till stupid o’clock, I can look and know that it’s for someone that’s my blood.

Wizkid: Facts

Skepta: It makes it worth it, man. It makes all the hours worth it.

Wizkid: Facts man, yeah. He’s said it all. I had my first child when I was 21, so I kind of had to be 30 years old immediately. Fatherhood just puts everything into perspective. We’re young, we’re all moving fast in a world where you’re just trying to create your own lane. You don’t really know where everything is going to go, so when your kid comes, you realise that this is the essence of everything, you know? From the first time I got that call that I was having my first son, I changed the way I move, the way I hustled. Everything changed. That was when I actually started putting everything together. Before, I was just all over the place – with niggas, in the studio, [in] hotels – mad life. But when you get a kid, that’s the blessing, it’s just in front of you. It helps you man; it changes you and everything.

Skepta: Obviously Wiz was a father before me innit. I remember when I was finally having my daughter – you can probably hear her in the back –  he just told me “you’ve got it.” You feel like when you have a child, it’s going to stop your money, it’s going to stop your swag, it’s going to stop the way you move. You worry that you’re going to turn into a parent, the same parent that you’ve had on your nerves this whole time. But I remember him telling me “you got it, you’re still going to be you, just a super-version of yourself.” That was one thing I remember, if we’re talking about advice, I remember him telling me “you got it.”

Wizkid: Yeah, I remember that conversation.

Skepta: Which was good to hear from a worldwide artist that’s a dad!

Wizkid laughs

Skepta: You get me, I’m like rah, this guy has got mad swag. If he can do it then I can definitely do it.

You can buy a copy of our WizMag, as well as posters and other merch via our shop.thenativemag.com, and sign up to our Father’s Day NATIVE Wellness Hub here.

Featured Image Credits: Elliot Simpson/NATIVE