In a recent interview Ayodeji Balogun popularly dubbed Wizkid shared light about himself, his music and commented on the accusation made against him by an undergraduate who claims he stole the song Pakurumo from her. Excerpts
YOU are like the new kid in the block now. How does that make you feel?
(Laughs) I give God all the glory. It has not been easy, but I want to thank God that my work is being appreciated and has been bought by my fans within and outside of the country.
How did you manage to achieve so much within a short period of time?
My drive and focus for turning my life experiences into incredible music did it for me. It all started in 2010, when I released my first singles, Holla at your Boy, Gidi Girl and Ori Mi with label mate, Skales. Then there was my hit song, Tease Me which was just a studio freestyle that got leaked online and turned into a big hit in different parts of Nigeria. I will say it is the grace of God coupled with hard work.
Let’s talk about your performance at the finale of BBA Amplified. Were you surprised at the recognition you got, when you came on stage?
Yeah yeah, I was surprise. But I was also happy that I had that recognition there too. I was told that my song Holla at your Boy is very popular and is being played regularly on their national radio. For me, that is kind of big. I feel so blessed that I have been able to break across Nigeria. With this, who knows, I could get a Grammy.
Were you serious when you said you will be quitting school because you cannot combine it with music?
I am sorry, it was a misconception. I did not say I will be quitting school, because I can never do such a thing. My parent would never allow that. What I did is to take a year break from school, for my tour. Once I am done with that, I will be going back to complete my studies.
How long is the tour expected to take?
It is just for a year. I will be taking a transfer to study Music Business outside Nigeria to gather experience and to know more about music too.
What would you say attracted Banky W to you?
Well, it was funny how we met. It was not like anybody introduced me to him. He knew about me and I about him, because he is Banky W. We went for a show one time and he invited us for an after party at his place. You know we were there for about an hour and he didn’t know that I was Wizkid.
When people were greeting me and he was like, are you Wizkid? And I was like yes, and he said he has been looking for me for months. We talked and he offered me a better deal which I went for.
Holla at your Boy made you popular. What were you doing before that?
The thing is I have always been doing music. Like every normal kid, I was in school doing my thing. By that, I mean I was recording songs and going to the studio to try and improve on my music. I also did some collaboration with the likes of Banky W, Jesse Jagz, Kel MI, and some other big names before Holla at your Boy.
You claim not to indulge in drugs, how then did the story of you carrying drugs come about?
That is not the first negative story about me and it definitely will not be the last. One thing I have learned about being a celebrity is that you get to get rumours about you everyday. And because you cannot go to people to explain to them what you are doing, it is only proper to give room for that.
Don’t you think it can affect your career?
Well, it is just rumours like I said. Sometimes bad publicity is good publicity as well. That way, more people get to know you. I don’t do drugs and my people know me and what I can do. Did you hear that I have been to Scotland before? I have never been there.
A 300L English Language student of Adekunle Ajasin University Ado Ekiti claims that you stole her song titled Pakurumo. How true is that?
(Laughs) What is the name of the school again? I saw the story on the internet. I have never been there and I don’t even know the girl they are talking about. I have never been to Ado Ekiti before.
It is funny, that is why I said earlier, that they keep coming. I go to sleep and wake up in rumours everyday. Nothing like that ever happened. I am sure that somebody just sits down and cooks up that too. It is funny; I don’t even know what to say.
So how did you come about Pakurumo?
Pakurumo is a word that I have been hearing since I was young so I decided to make a song with the term.
So who is the lucky lady?
Right now I am very single, but liking someone at the moment.
Is Wizkid still with his parents?
No! Wizkid lives with his label boss, Banky W and label mate, Skales for now, but visits his parents at least twice a week.
So far, how many awards do you have to your credit?
So far, I have received the Promising Artiste of the Year, Dynamix All Youth Awards 2010 and the Best New Artiste City People Awards 2011. I have also been nominated for Promising Artiste of the Year, Dynamix All Youth Awards 2009,Song of the Year; Dynamix All Youth Awards 2010, Best Pop Single for Holla at your boy”; The Headies 2011, Next Rated; The Headies 2011, and MTV Base Brand New Artiste of the Month (January 2011).