If Nigeria’s biggest music export and Sony Music artist, Ayo Ibrahim Balogun better known as Wizkid naps a Grammy Award he wouldn’t be the first Nigerian to achieve the feat. However, Wizkid would be the first contemporary Nigerian music act in his generation to cart home the most prestigious music award in the globe.
Over the years, a handful of artists with Nigerian roots have scooped the highly rated music honor. Albeit,some of these Nigerians who have had the privilege of taking home the Grammy have not identified themselves enough with the motherland to be called Nigerian artists. While the others have only won the gramophone due to their input on the musical works of other non-Nigerian artists.
As a quick reminder the following Nigerians musicians have won at least a Grammy Award at one time or the other.
Sikiru Adepoju, Lekan Babalola, Hakeem ‘Chamillionaire’ Seriki, Helen Folashade ‘Sade’ Adu,
Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel better known as
Seal, Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix. Surprisingly, revered Nigerian musicians King Sunny Ade and son of Afrobeat pioneer Femi Kuti have been nominated two times and four times respectively without wins.
Hence, Wizkid winning a Grammy in the nearest future will be a big deal. Former label mate Skales and indigenous singer 9ice have both promised to bring home the highly converted award on their respective songs in the past. From the look of things, Skales and 9ice are both farther from the Grammy than Wizkid.
In reality the real star boy has come really close to scooping the Grammy award after earning a nod in the 59th edition. All thanks to his contribution on Drake’s “One Dance”. Nonetheless, the “Ojuelegba” crooner still stands a better chance to clinch the honor over any other contemporary Nigerian artist.
More than ever the logistics favors Wizkid. In the past 16 months the value of the lanky and boyish looking singer has soared in all aspects.
Who else has noticed Wizkid has been making very vital moves as he continues to push the Afrobeat sound to new territories. We all know he is now signed to global music giants Sony Music / RCA Records. Unlike what seem to be a flop last year for his familiar rival and fellow Sony Music act Davido, Wizkid has enjoyed so much attention from the music imprint.
In fact Sony Music had made promoting the star boy music beyond his locale into the American music market. The campaign has been so far successful. Besides the input by Sony, Wizzy has been reaching out to as many American & Caribbean music stars he can. From TY Dolla $, Chris Brown, Kranium, Trey Songz and Drake who refused to “Come Closer” twice and recently. Many more international collaborations which he has been featured are yet to be unveiled.
Wizkid has by far displaced some of the achievements of his elders in the game like 2face, D’banj, Psquare etc. He has won almost anything there is to win by any African or Nigerian artists. Perhaps just about two or three major awards including the Grammy are left for the Surulere born singer to pick up.
Judging from the global publicity of his third studio album “Sounds From The Other Side”, it’s safe to say the gramophone in not far from the singers reach. Some of songs like “Come Closer” from the SFTOS LP are enjoying decent airplay on the American airwaves.
A Grammy Award win for Wizkid would be a win for the artist himself and would also mean a liberation of the Afrobeat sound.