Wizkid: Music has brought more recognition to Nigeria – BBC

Interview by Sinead Garvan, words by Sinead Garvan/Karlene Pinnock
(BBC) Newsbeat reporters

Studio Session: Wizkid and Band

Studio Session: Wizkid and Band

Music has brought more recognition to Nigeria than anything else, according to one of the country’s biggest stars.

Wizkid has told BBC Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Edu that the music coming out of the capital Lagos is “crazy”.

“Where sports used to do it, right now I feel like the music [is] – we’re doing it without a structure. So it’s crazy,” he explained.

The 23-year-old Nigerian was talking before his 1Xtra Live Lounge from Lagos for Destination Africa week.

Live Performer: Wizkid

Live Performer: Wizkid

The station has been celebrating some of the hottest artists coming out of Africa this week, with Wizkid one of the most successful of the moment.

As well as numerous awards, he was ranked fifth on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists.

He was also the first Nigerian artist to get one million followers on Twitter.

Work is now under way on the follow-up to his debut album Superstar.

The 23-year-old says it’s been a work in progress for the last two years and is likely to feature a few collaborations with the likes of Tinie Tempah and Young Jeezy.

“I got in the studio with a lot of people, I did a couple of sessions in the UK too just trying to get my sound right,” he said. “So once it’s right I’ll drop it.

“Lagos is crazy and fun and if you can make it [there] you can actually make anywhere.”

In his home country, Wizkid is arguably as popular as Justin Bieber.

On The TINA Grind: Fuse ODG

On The TINA Grind: Fuse ODG

For many UK urban artists, to make it in Africa has become just as important as breaking America.

Antenna singer Fuse ODG says travelling to Africa is about the experience.

“If I really wanted to make music for the world I had to get out of my box, I had to get out of south London in order to be inspired,” he explained.

The booming music industry in Africa is having an effect the other way too, with artists choosing not to travel outside their own country.

British producer Silvastone explains that some African artists are “living the American hip-hop life in their own country”.

Source: BBC.co.uk

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