News Brief

Did The Weeknd Jack Wizkid's Name for His New Album 'Starboy'?

Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd's new album title 'Starboy' is the exact same as Wizkid's long-used name. Coincidence?

The Weeknd has announced the title of his new album and it's got us a bit confused.


Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeeknd revealed today that his new album—the record that he recently mentioned Amharic "will definitely be key" on—will be titled Starboy.

Tesfaye, who's of Ethiopian heritage, has also shared the Nabil-shot cover artwork for his follow-up to last year's chart-topping Beauty Behind the Madness.

There's only one problem—we already have one widely-known and acclaimed Starboy on the scene: Wizkid.

The Nigerian super star has been using the name for himself and his projects ever since he launched Starboy Entertainment back in 2013.

Wizkid's signed the likes of Maleek Berry and Legendury Beatz to his Starboy imprint. He's also released major hits, including, "Ojuelegba and "Final (Baba Nla)," through Starboy Records.

Most notably, Wizkid's collaborated with Drake, an early supporter of The Weeknd and fellow Toronto star, on the massive global hit "One Dance."

Wizkid's been quick to respond to the album title announcement on Twitter. Although he also quickly deleted a strongly-worded tweet.

Is it just a coincidence The Weeknd's new album title is the same as Wizkid's long-used name?

We're not so sure.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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