Essence‘, his latest song, became an instant hit, debuting on Billboard Hot 100. He got a Grammy award for his role in Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’. ‘Made In Lagos,’ his 2020 album, is also doing great numbers. Tickets to his North American tour are a sellout. A lot is going on for Big Wiz right now that it’s easy to forget he just turned 31.


But the road to the top hasn’t always been rosy. Wizkid had his share of the many struggles newbies grapple with.

In Banky Wellington’s words, “Wizkid would just go to any studio where they would let him hang out all day.

“He would hope for the end of the day, waiting for engineers or the producers to just take pity on him and say, ‘oya, come record for 15-30 minutes’.


“All day, he would work on hooks and melodies while coming up with things in case he was given an opportunity to jump on the mic for a few minutes. He didn’t have time to be thinking about what to write at that moment.

“And so that became his process. Now, he’s one of the fastest songwriters that I’ve ever encountered in my life. He’ll sit and listen to the music. He’ll start freestyling a melody that will become a song the whole world will want to sing.

“I’ve written a lot of songs but I take time. He has this ability honed from years of not being able to afford studio time. He would say, ‘man, when they give me 15 minutes, I got to be ready to go and knock it out of the park.’


“I think that says something to everybody. No matter where you are just developing yourself, develop your skills. Work on it, get better. Get so good that once you are given an opportunity to knock it out, you score a home run.”

With a huge fanbase, a slew of awards, and honorary mentions, Starboy has now etched his name on the sands of time as one of Africa’s biggest music exports.

As Wizkid or Big Wiz marks his 31st birthday, here are seven songs of the Afrobeat star you should listen to.

7. ‘Essence’


6. ‘Joro’

5. ‘No Stress’


4. ‘Fever’

3. ‘Smile’


2. ‘Ghetto Love’

1. ‘Ojuelegba’

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