For the October issue of GQ Magazine, Afrobeats superstar Wizkid born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun has revealed that meeting new artists gives him more excitement than meeting his music peers.
According to Wizkid also Big Wiz, whenever he is in the room with an up-and-coming artist, he feels he is learning from them and they are also but with his peers it also feels different.
Talking about how he chose Tems on his world hit ‘Essence’, he said, ” You know, I’ve known Tems…I can’t even actually remember how we met, but I know I brought her out for one of my shows in Lagos. We had talked about working and I went back home to record. She came through to the hotel and we laid down the idea. It was just effortless. Just lay down the melodies, and she didn’t even think anything of it. She felt like we had to do another record, but I already knew we had magic.”
He says, “I love meeting new artists. When I’m in a room with a new artist, it feels like, Oh, my God. It feels like I’m right there when the magic is just about to take off and take form. It’s so exciting to me. When I get in the room with a new artist, it’s like you’re learning from me, I’m learning from you. I even get more excited about getting in the room with new artists than my peers or my friends that I know. I can’t explain it.”
He compared that, unlike his peers “When I’m in a room with someone like me, there are expectations. People want to hear, ‘Oh, yeah, there are these two names, so we definitely want to hear this type of sound on this. We want to hear big work.’ ”
He hinted that he is working on a new album which he is not in a rush to drop, “I am working on a new album, but I never like to be, like, in a rush,” says Wizkid coolly. Sometimes it takes me a year, two years, to make an album. I always record in terms of albums, not just songs. I like to make music that way because it gives you a sense of direction.”
Pressed on what that direction might be, he simply states, “Well, in the next album, I’m just trying to enjoy myself with the music now, because of the reception from the fans for my last album. I just keep evolving with the sound.”
Before Made in Lagos—his latest album and the one pushing him to new heights—was released, Wiz had hinted that the follow-up would be his last “as Wizkid,” though whether this might mean full-on retirement, or simply a change of name, is impossible information to extract from him. In fact, guessing the concept of his next and possibly the last album has become the favourite pastime of just about every Afrobeats commentator, with Wiz in the eye of the storm.