Popular singer, Ayo Balogun, aka Wizkid, speaks about his career, Love child and his lifestyle.
About my career
Although I am hardworking, I would not be where I am today if God had not made it possible. It has been hard work all the way. I am just thankful to God. Initially, I prayed to God to bless my work. I have always believed in hard work. If you work hard, you will be rewarded. I just kept working hard and staying on my lane and doing my thing. I wouldn’t say I saw this success coming. But I kept praying to God to make it happen for me and He did. I don’t intend to stop now, just because I have achieved this ‘little’ success. I am just on my first album. I am not fulfilled yet. I am not even close to getting fulfilled. I have not started anything. I feel that God has a big plan for me. I have to live up to expectation. That is why I am always working. My album is ready. I dropped my album last year. It is going to be another two years before I release another one. The new album reflects a more mature Wizkid at work. I will be involved in a number of collaborations.
About Empire Mate Entertainment
I am not a greedy person. I am very open with the people I work with. All the people on the EME label act like members of one family. What we have is not just a working relationship. I am not scared or worried about the other artistes signed on to EME. When Banky W and I started the records label, our dream was to make EME an empire. It was after my album became successful that we started having new artistes. If Banky W didn’t pull me up, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It is all about talent at EME. There is no rivalry here. That is not how we work. Before I release any song, I let my label mates listen to it. Even if there is a beat I have, I let them listen to it. This is a family thing. We work together. There is no rivalry among us. If we had any competition, it would not augur well for the growth of the label. All we have is love. I am grateful to God for taking us this far. We are not competing with anybody, even outside EME. We are doing our thing and getting our money.
Davido and I
There is certainly no friction between Davido and I. We are friends, just as I am friendly with other Nigerian artistes. I think some people are just saying what comes to their minds. When I emerged as a singer, people were comparing me with Wande Coal. The sky is big enough for every bird to fly. He (Davido) has not stolen my fans. Nobody has said that he has lured my fans away. I am still performing at shows and getting well paid for it. I am not competing with him either. My fans still show me love. But then, in Nigeria, all of us actually have the same fans. If I mount the stage, people will scream. They will do the same thing if Tuface appears on stage, too. This shows that the sky is big enough for all of us. You cannot be alone in the music industry. We need more people. This is not a one-man show.
My kind of music
When I go into the studio, I try to record a song that would sound different when you play it in a nightclub or on the radio station. I had to create my own type of music. I had expected people to think of my music as different from what they are used to.
It is not often that I wish I wasn’t involved in entertainment. But when I think of not doing what I used to do anymore, I feel bad. I cannot walk freely on the streets again. But then, the other rewards I get from being an artiste make up for such moments. You cannot have everything at once.
Back to school
I have planned my career. If I have to go back to school, it means I have to study music business. I want to learn more about my business. Although I have my lawyers handling stuff for me now, I really want to know more about music. If I have to have my own company in future, I will be able to handle it. Definitely, I will go back to school one day. Right now, everything is fine. If I have to go back to school, it has to be on a part time basis. I have concerts to attend and I am always going on tour. It will be difficult for me to go back to school and study full time.
I feel blessed when people cluster around me. Although it can get crazy sometimes, it is still a blessing. I used to walk freely on the streets before and nobody gave me attention. But the story has changed now and I think it is a good thing. I don’t have to feel bad about it.
No love child
It was rumoured that I had a love child. Even if I had a child, I don’t think it is something I should be ashamed of. Instead, I would come out plainly and declare that I am a father. Everybody makes mistakes. But it was just a false rumour. I don’t have a child anywhere. Besides, women hang around every male artiste. It comes with the job. Girls will definitely fall in love with any successful musician. They may find you attractive just because you are talented. I handle women my own way.
I want to be a good father to my children when the time comes. I intend to have a great family. Right now, I am working to have a better life. I always try to plan ahead. It is too early to ask me if I have seen the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. I am not even involved in any relationship.
My family gives me plenty of support and love. They are always with me. When problems come, they are the ones I run to.
I know that many people have not been able to manage fame. So they get hooked on hard drugs and other vices. People don’t know that I am under pressure most of the time. In spite of this, I have managed to go this far.
Music business in Nigeria
Music business should be for those who have the talent. Many people think music is just a very easy way of getting out of the streets and making money. Some think it is a short cut to popularity. But there is more to it. You can be great in whatever you set out to do as long as you are talented. You can make shoes and you can become an international shoemaker. You can be an international caterer. You must not follow the bandwagon. People are just biased. They feel they can sing in the studio. If it is not God’s plan for them, it won’t work. Some of my colleagues are in the wrong business. But the presence of such people will always make you look good in the industry. We need such people around so that people will see the better ones and know that they are really good.
This is different from the concerts we are used to having in the country. The concert is coming up very soon in Lagos. We are bringing in a lot of things on the stage. We want to make sure that we have a great show. Other guest artistes will also perform at the concert. Definitely, the whole EME stars will be on the stage. The idea to have this show was a collective thing. Expect lots of fun at the show.