Afropop star Wizkid on ego, alter egos and elections: ‘I make a lot of club records but I feel like a pastor’
His success has come in waves over a decade, but the Nigerian singer is closer than ever to household-name status. He talks about his upbringing, his struggles with fame – and his disillusionment with Nigerian politics When I meet Wizkid at Metropolis recording studios in London, I am suddenly an awed 18-year-old again. The Afropop juggernaut soundtracked my university years, yet I’m struck by how youthful he appears, apparently having barely aged since I screamed myself hoarse watching him perform at London’s Hammersmith Apollo a decade ago. The only difference is that now, the 32-year-old Nigerian musician’s wrists are weighed down by Van Cleef bracelets and a diamond-encrusted watch. And his music is no longer the preserve of a smattering of fans across the diaspora. Wizkid, born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is slouched in an office chair, zen but visibly sapped from a day of interviews, a new album release and recently welcoming a second child with his manager and partner, Jada Pollock. They met in 2012; he has four children altogether. “Now I’m more careful with what I put in my songs,” he says with a laugh. “Because my kids listen to my songs.” Continue reading...
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