Released in October 2020, Wizkid’s ambitious album, ‘Made in Lagos’, may have just set him apart as an afrobeat legend.
Wizkid (real name Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun) closes this year with a bang. First, with the release of his latest album, ‘Made in Lagos’, which has been receiving rave reviews, and then his award as the Best International Act at the 2020 Music of Black Origins (MOBO)on Thursday. It’s the thirty-year-old singer’s fourth MOBO win. He has won the MOBO Best African Act and Best International Act Award.
Back to Wizkid’s fourth studio album, ‘Made in Lagos’: The singer who is known for fast-paced dance hall music seems to lie back this time around and do something really different and mellow. Like he said in an interview on The Norte Show, “I made it for the world.”
Released in October 2020, Native magazine described ‘Made in Lagos’ in a review “as the most highly anticipated album in contemporary Nigeria music history.” So, it’s no wonder it made The Guardian UK’s 50 best albums of 2020 where it’s described as his most sophisticated work yet.
The Guardian UK’s review reads in part: “He (Wizkid) reinforces the idea that Nigerians do it better. He still has a global vision, uniting Kingston (Blessed, featuring Damian Marley), California (Smile with HER), London (Skepta, Ella Mai) and home – Essence, featuring Nigerian R&B singer Tems, is a Lauryn Hill-ish stunner, and fellow African giant Burna Boy duets on Ginger. But Wizkid’s sound here is slinkier and more sophisticated than before, with more sexy sax than a Kenny G single – thanks to some pristine production, largely from Nigerian Londoner P2J (and from promising Ghanaian beatsmith Juls on Tru Love). These are superbly crafted songs for under the sheets, wherever you are, but as Afrobeats continues to grow, Wizkid wants the world to remember where it came from and where it’s going next.”
The Afrobeats star started getting some attention when he dropped his first song, ‘Holla at Your Boy’, the lead single from his debut studio album ‘Superstar’ in 2011. Also, songs like ‘Tease Me/Bad Guys’, ‘Don’t Dull’, ‘Love My Baby’, ‘Pakurumo’, and Oluwa Lo Ni’ were released as singles from the same album. Years after he became the first Nigerian musician to have over a million followers on Twitter.
It’s not every singer who gets to beat previous records. But it seems Wizkid may have done just that. And yes, in a year as challenging as 2020.