Wizkid is, without a doubt, the biggest artist coming out of Africa right now.
Since landing on the scene with 2010’s “Holla At Your Boy” and rising to higher levels with his debut album, Superstar (2011), and the excellent tour de force, Ayo (2014), the young Starboy has been steadily staking his claim to the throne of new African pop.
With his smash hit singles, top tier collaborations, and awards—he most recently took home 3 Billboard Music Awards and a BET Award—Wizkid is the leading African artist currently knocking at the doors of global pop stardom.
As we wait on his third solo release, Sounds From The Other Side, which is due July 14, we look back at some of Wizkid’s biggest hits to date, including solo singles and his many notable features.
“Pakurumo” was way ahead of its time. Wizkid’s addictive Superstar single, produced by Samklef, offers up an original take on the syncopated afrobeats-dancehall-reggaeton fusion that’s become the backbone of so many pop songs nowadays—and it still bangs in 2017.
“Jaiye Jaiye” ft. Femi Kuti
Afrobeat meets afrobeats in “Jaiye Jaiye,” the lead single from Wizkid’s second album, Ayo. In this high-energy Sarz-produced track, the Nigerian star is given a helping hand and saxophone lines by none-other-than Femi Kuti.
“Caro” ft. L.A.X
“Caro” is an undeniable jam. The Legendury Beatz-produced single was the first official recording released by Wizkid’s own imprint Starboy Entertainment. A collaboration between Wizkid and L.A.X, the song was such a massive success that it was added to Ayo as a bonus track.
“Pull Over” with Kcee
One of the many smash hits Wizkid’s been a part of as a featured artist, “Pull Over,” alongside fellow Nigerian Kcee, was inescapable when it dropped and can still be heard dropping in DJ sets.
“Show You The Money”
“Show You The Money” was released as the sixth single from Ayo. The heavy dance track, which was produced by Shizzi, was paired with a music video that follows Wizkid to Surelere, the neighborhood he grew up in.
“Slow Down” with R2bees
Wizkid takes the first verse and choruses of this Killbeatz-produced jam alongside R2bees. “Slow Down” showcased the supreme West African potential of Nigerian-Ghanaian musical collaborations.
“In My Bed”
Wizkid’s “In My Bed” would become the seventh single of the tour de force that was Ayo. The pairing of South African outfit Uhuru ‘s beatwork with the Nigerian star’s pleads for a girl to come home with him have made this one a DJ staple on dance floors across the globe.
“The Matter” with Maleek Berry
Wizkid’s had a long relationship with British-born Nigerian producer-of-moment Maleek Berry. In 2013’s “The Matter,” the two linked up for a banger. As one perceptive Youtube commenter mentions, “when this song comes up in the club everyone suddenly becomes African.”
“Ginger” with L.A.X
Like “Caro,” 2014’s “Ginger” proved to be another heat-making collaboration between L.A.X and Starboy.
The song that kicked off Wizkid’s global rise. “Ojuelegba,” produced by frequent collaborators Legendury Beatz, is a rags-to-riches story of a struggling artist. The single is “inspired by his experiences and sojourn in and around this part of Lagos, Nigeria (Ojuelegba),” Wizkid’s team mentions. “Ojuelegba” was famously remixed by Drake and Skepta in 2015, sparking the relationship between the Toronto and Nigerian stars.
Follow ‘The Essential Wizkid’ playlist on Spotify
“Soweto Baby” with DJ Maphorisa & DJ Buckz
Nigeria meets South Africa in “Soweto Baby,” a hard-grooving collaboration between Wizkid and SA’s DJ Maphorisa and DJ Buckz. Maphorisa and Wiz would link up again a year later for “One Dance.”
“Bend Down Pause” with Runtown & Walshy Fire
Wizkid was featured on Runtown‘s massive “Bend Down Pause,” which also featured Major Lazer‘s Walshy Fire, who calls this track “the very first time that Nigeria and Jamaica have ever linked up.” Whether that’s true or not, this song was lighting up parties on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Final (Baba Nla)”
“Final (Baba Nla)” foreshadowed something big was coming from Wizkid. Released in late 2015, this sugary joint, produced by Legendury Beatz, is built on flute samples and keyboard jabs. It’s as addictive of a track as we’d come to expect from Wizzy.
“One Dance” with Drake & Kyla
Drake went full afrobeats in “One Dance,” one of the lead singles off his album Views. Wizkid co-wrote and co-produced the massive track alongside its producers, Nineteen85, South Africa’s DJ Maphorisa, and Noah “40” Shebib. The track samples Filipino R&B singer Kyla‘s “Do You Mind” and features Wizkid on the post-choruses. “One Dance,” of course, went on to be the best performing single of 2016, reaching number 1 in 15 countries and breaking the record for the most streamed song ever on Spotify.
“Like This” with DJ Henry X
Wizkid continued his 2016 hot streak with “Like This,” a collaboration with Amsterdam-based Ghanaian producer DJ Henry X. The track pairs breezy synthesizers with a sturdy back beat and Wizkid’s carefree vocals about enjoying his holiday lifestyle.
“Mamacita” with Tinie Tempah
In “Mamacita,” Wizkid connects with London rap star Tinie Tempah for a Latin-tinged ode to a lady. Wizzy shows off his Spanish in the chorus and takes over the track near the end.
“Shabba” ft. Trey Songz, French Montana & Chris Brown
Wizkid tries on some American hip-hop and trap sounds in “Shabba,” his collaboration with Trey Songz, French Montana and Chris Brown.
“Daddy Yo,” was Wizkid’s first solo single after signing a record breaking deal with RCA Records/Sony, and the first we heard from Sounds From The Other Side. The track sees the Nigerian Starboy tackling some heavy reggaeton beats alongside Ghana’s Efya, who holds down the chorus.
“Come Closer” with Drake
“Come Closer” saw Wizkid and Drake link up again after the massive success of “One Dance.” The song, which first leaked as “Hush Up The Silence,” has been getting heavy rotation on airwaves across the globe since it dropped.
On one of our favorite new ones on Sounds From The Other Side, Wizkid enlists the help of Major Lazer for the heavily-addictive and mellow cut, “Naughty Ride,” which sees Starboy singing to the object of his affection atop sultry production.