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Interview with Ibrahim Balogun aka Wizkid

Ibrahim Balogun aka Wizkid is one of the best examples of longevity in Nigerian music, whose creativity is easily reflected in his music. He chats with Chebet Korir about his relationships, transformations and upcoming projects

The romantic scenes with Tiwa’s Savage on your latest music video, Fever, have generated a lot of controversy. Was this deliberate?

Well, there is nothing much I can say about that, however, everyone should keep in mind I am a lover of art. What you see is what you will get. At the end of the day we are all entertainers and I use art to create good music.

To bring the intended effect, what factors do you consider when making songs touching on relationships?

I pull from my personal experiences and the things I witness in life. Also things my friends go through. Most importantly, as I earlier said, music is art and my main purpose is to entertain.

How was the experience working with American record producer Metro Boomin on his debut solo album, Not All Heroes Wear Capes?

The feeling was amazing, I mean, Offset, a member of Migos was also part of it and once two great minds come together, great things happen. The experience working with such minds blew me off. That’s just about it.

You’ve been to Kenya quite a number of times now. Any plans of working with Kenyan artistes yet?

Kenya is part of me, this being my fourth time to visit this great place. My visits here have taught me a lot about this country and the style of music that is being produced. I have not worked with a Kenyan act yet, but I am planning to do something with Le Band. They are good.

Your international market is really growing, but you’re still keeping true to your dance roots. How do you find the balance?

I think you have to approach them with the right intention more than following a certain rule. It is just experience. That’s what has given me a bigger appreciation for all the creativity that goes into my music making; not just creating or writing songs. It is all in the intention.

As a young musician, how do you ensure your transformations are for the better?

For me, it’s really about information. When I wasn’t as experienced as I think I am now, all I was thinking of was the ‘growth’. But over the years, the varying experiences have really given me the great fortune of understanding the importance of living in the now. I’ve always had that personality that nothing was never good enough. So, I strive to better my good.

Over time, have those goals you set years ago changed?

For sure, because sometimes when you see certain things you really don’t understand the steps that it takes to really obtain them. So, I tend to find many things around me changing, and it’s only for better. Not destructive.

Do you engage yourself personally in the kind of music artistes signed in your record label release?

Yes, of course, because that was the very essence of having the label. I am part of Starboy Entertainment and I must be there when “my” artistes create music. You know the aim when establishing it was to give up-and-coming artistes a platform to showcase their talent. So, I ought to make sure that what they give out is up to par.

Balancing between parenting and music can be daunting. How do you balance the two?

All I do day and night is for my children. I was actually in Dubai last week and I had my son on board. He also gets to experience my lifestyle and also enjoy himself. There is also a time for everything and my family comes first.

As the year comes to an end, what projects should we expect?

Well, I still feel like I am an upcoming artiste, so much to expect and so much to do. In terms of projects I will be releasing my latest album next month and I promise it will be epic!

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