Starboy singer, Ayodeji Balogun (Wizkid), and another Nigerian artiste, Faridah Seriki, get Grammy nominations, AKEEM LASISI writes
Not long after he kissed stardom with the song, Holla at your Boy, Ayodeji Balogun, popularly called Wizkid, prematurely left the university he was attending. It was a decision that caused a stir as some people felt that he was being dangerously exuberant.
But Wizkid followed his instinct and dream. Perhaps he saw what many did not see ahead. Perhaps it is a gamble ‘come true’. What is obvious now is that he has made a huge success of his career to the point that only a few can remember that he once had to drop out of the university.
After several breakthroughs that include some three major international awards this year alone, the artiste has zoomed back to the consciousness of the Nigerian music scene and beyond, with a Grammy nomination he just secured.
With the development, Wizkid has entered another ‘hall of fame’ following the likes of King Sunny Ade and Femi Anikulapo Kuti, who have been nominated for the Grammy two and four times, respectively.
The nomination did not directly come to him, say for his own work, but for featuring in Drake’s hit single One Dance.
The track is from Drake’s hit album, Views, which makes the Album of the Year category at the 2016 Grammy.
It, however, has a long way to cover as it is competing with the works of huge stars, such as Adele, Beyonce and Justin Bieber.
A nomination is not as sweet as outright win, but many people see it as a giant stride. A few years ago, Wizkid decided to go international by seeking collaborations abroad and promoting his works far beyond his fatherland.
That, again, is a gamble that has failed several Nigerian artistes who sought the greener pastures at what can be described as the peak of the careers. For instance, observers believe that the foreign adventures that the likes of Lagbaja, Adewale Ayuba and D’Banj embarked at various times caused major setbacks for them. Indeed, D’Banj warned his colleagues against such moves a few months ago. For Wizkid, however, it seems to be so far so Grammy – sorry, so good.
Wizkid is raising Nigeria’s flag alongside Faridah Seriki, daughter of a politician, Demola Seriki.
This is more surprising to many people as the singer, whose stage name is Kah-Lo, is not yet popular in the country.
The graduate of Hofstra Journalism in the United States of America was nominated for ‘Best Dance Recording Rinse & Repeat – Riton, Featuring Kah-Lo’.
To buttress the song’s popularity, it has been streamed 5 million times on Spotify and played 1.5 million times on YouTube less than a month after its release.
Ultimately some Nigerian artistes – even if of mixed descents — have won the Grammy. They include SEAL (Olusegun Samuel) an R&B , singer born to a Nigerian mother and Brazilian father. There is also Sade (Folashade Adu), Chamillionaire (Hakeem Seriki), Sikiru Adepoju and Kelvin Olusola.