Chances are a couple of years ago, your ears would have been flooded with the persistent sound waves of Drake’s monster hit, “One Dance.” But you might not be aware that the track features Nigerian producer Wizkid, a singer-songwriter, born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun.
A now globally-known star, he’s made waves as the first Nigerian to get 1 million followers on Twitter, and the first Afrobeats artist to appear in the Guinness World records for “One Dance.”
And as well as his far-reaching influence, the man has got style. So it’s only natural that the iconic Jeremy Scott would choose him as one of the global influencers to front the new CÎROC x Moschino campaign.
Starting with a limited-edition bottle design, the campaign also includes celebrations worldwide, from Brazil to Ibizan beach parties with the Nigerian wunderkind.
We chatted to the musician below…
How did you start out making music?
I started making music when I was about 11 years old with my friends back home in Lagos. We started a group and we used to perform in church.
Who did you listen to growing up?
I listened to almost everything. Like for example, I’ve always loved hip hop. I used to have a Snoop Dogg CD and was so amazed by the sounds and the flow. My dad used to play Fela Kuti and Bob Marley at home, and as I grew up listening to that, I got a deeper passion and love for music.
What inspires your songs?
I just live my life. My music is genuinely a piece of me. I like to feel good, and I’m all about positivity, so my music is mainly good vibes you can sing, dance, just enjoy overall. There’s a piece of me in every song, it’s genuinely me, so you can always experience a bit of who I am, where I come from, how I live in my music.
How was it working with Drake?
Big vibe, big blessing. When I make music, I do what feels right and what sounds good. Thats my way of creating. People tend to rock with it. Drake. That’s family. All love!
You’ve broken a lot of records – do you feel like you’re making history?
To be honest, I’m not really about all those nods, records, awards. I appreciate them and the people behind them as they acknowledge, respect, and appreciate my work. But at the end of the day, I’m truly just all about my music and leaving an impact on my fans, lovers of good music, or just people in general. I always want to make people feel good and share a bit of myself.
What do you think about Afrobeats and dancehall going mainstream in the charts?
I feel there is definitely a movement and a growing love and appreciation for the sound. I feel like the world is coming together and connecting more through our music. This new energy is doing and will continue to do a lot for our music scene back home in so many ways, and I’m really happy about that and the overall growing love and appreciation for who we are, and where we come from.
What’s been a career highlight?
Just seeing my fans, and interacting with them whatever way I can – online, at my shows, at my pop ups, etc.
What would you do if you didn’t make music?
Hmmm, my life without making music. I don’t know! Maybe I would have played football.
What’s next for you?
Just keep making music! I am actually getting ready to put out my new album, Made in Lagos. I’m super excited about this. It’s just fresh music, just me. I’m excited to share that with the world and let people get a flavour of Lagos. I can’t wait.
How would you describe your style?
I like to look good and be comfortable, so how I dress is important to me. My style is just me. I feel like it has a lot of different influences from everywhere I go and what I see and like.
What attracted you to the campaign between CÎROC and Moschino?
I’m excited and very happy to partner up with CÎROC and Jeremy Scott on this campaign. Looking forward to it. There’s a genuine connection with the brands and the love for what I do, and our scene back home. I feel like I can bring that to the table and I’m always happy to put on and represent for my culture in new spaces where it’s respected and appreciated.