Dubbed Nigeria’s Best-Dressed Pop Star by Vogue, Nigerian megastar and global superstar, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better know as WizKid is taking the world by storm. With his latest project, Sounds From The Other Side just over a month old, Ayodeji has truly put the spotlight on the feelgood pop and Afrobeat mashup - also known as the African beat. With features like Drake, Major Lazer, Chris Brown, Ty Dolls $ign, Trey Songz, just to name a few and with 44 awards, including the 2017 BET Award for Best International Act and Billboard Music Award for the Top Streaming Song, 2017 Grammy nominated WizKid really highlights how big African music is worldwide.
Africa has always provided the world with beautiful music. From the mellow tones of Manu Dibango of Cameroon to the smooth sailing melodies from Oliver Mtukudzi of Zimbabwe. Africa has never slacked in that department. However with the rise of globalization and the wildfire spread of technology and access to media, America has been seen to control the world’s pop-culture. Millennials from Africa would rather listen to a musician from the west rather than their local musicians.
Seeing that is the current case in Africa, most African musicians try to mimic and copy the American style of music just to fit in and this can be heavily noted in the Hip/Hop genre. For this culturally, Africa has been seen to let go of their original sound and sadly rubbing away the culture we have grown to know, have and cherish.
There is a flip side to this coin. WizKid has stuck to his Nigerian afrobeats and has not altered his original sound or voice. He stuck to his guns and did what a true artist does - he stayed original and followed his talent. Today he is a household name in most of Africa and now a major player in American pop-culture for his music is known worldwide. He truly did take Nigeria, and Africa to the world. He is a great role model for many people and a true represnatiion of his country and continent. With having overcome the pop-culture barrier he defiantly has paved the way for many aspiring artists in Nigeria and Africa. For that, I salute him.