Over the years, Wizkid’s rise to prominence was greatly influenced by his unique voice, lyrical weight, charisma without sidelining his good looks. His releases under his former record label, E.M.E records, really established him as a master of the art of pop/dancehall music genre in Nigeria and beyond. One of those releases include his widely received lead single, ‘Holla At Your Boy’, off his debut Superstar album.
The exploration begins…
However, things started changing when he departed his maiden record label and decided to go solo. In 2013, Wizkid announced the establishment of his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment. It was at this point, Wizkid started exploring new sounds and welcoming both foreign and local collaborations. This switch saw him adopt a Caribbean-influenced concept in his 3rd studio album, Sounds From The Other Side.
Wizkid literally transitioned from the conventional pop/dancehall music (with elements of reggae) he was attributed with, to predominantly sampling Afro-inspired sounds.
Critics, trolls and fans on ‘the new Wizkid’ sound
The transition didn’t go down well with so many whose earbud are grounded and fixated with his customary style. This group of people condemn his newly adopted style and are in the habit of trolling any body of work he puts out. The most popular critic suggests his lyrical depth is at its low when put in contrast with his rise to prominence. Likewise
Like my friend, an ex-Wizkid stan would say, ‘the Wizkid we know now is not the Wizkid we knew then’.
An unbiased view will agree with this critic. The potency of his lyrics don’t cuff a sensation like it used to. It seems like more efforts are being channeled into the beats and the vibes that come with it.
Contrary to the opinion of the decline in the depth of his lyrics, there exists a cult of his fans who never finds fault in whatever he does. They reckon with the transformation as an evolution in his sound. They believe the sound embraces the Afro style and with consistency can a niche be properly established all around the world.
Wizkid testing waters with Soundman EP ahead of fourth studio album
Following the release of his ‘unanticipated’ Soundman EP, the narrative about his lyrical depth thickened. In what seemed like a response to a menacing critic, Wizkid’s delivery in the 7-track EP turned out better than expected. Music critic scored the EP average, however, it’s ironic for a body of work that has hit over 40million streams across all platforms without a dime languished on promotion.
Yet, WizKid might be finessing a sound that has the potential to be the prevalent sound trend in the next few months – Vibe sound in which most recent releases have been hinged on. Low tempo, lush delightful beats resonating with your feels.
You sense SoundMan EP was an experimental project released to spike up interest before his fourth studio album, Made In Lagos is unveiled. With this in mind, you might be right to claim his sound is evolving, the SoundMan touching on diverse sounds and being a master at it. It makes him versatile, expanding his sonic palette and opening him up to collaborations from different genres. That’s the beauty of it.
Could ‘Made in Lagos’ album be pivotal in upholding his stance as a music maestro? *crossed fingers*
Altogether, Made In Lagos will ultimately be a decider. Many wonder if it will toe the line of Sounds From The Other Side – entirely new sound or will it be a reflux, an assemble of his sonic exploration. If it ends up being a success, the criticism about his sound and choice of lyrics will simmer but then the magnitude of the opposite will be huge.