Home Entertainment “Everything I’ve Learned, I Learned From Lagos”: WizKid Talks ‘Made In Lagos’, Nigerian Politics, And His “Special” Next Project – British Vogue

“Everything I’ve Learned, I Learned From Lagos”: WizKid Talks ‘Made In Lagos’, Nigerian Politics, And His “Special” Next Project – British Vogue

7 min read
0
0
80

“Everything I’ve Learned, I Learned From Lagos”: WizKid Talks ‘Made In Lagos’, Nigerian Politics, And His “Special” Next Project

“It was very intentional, that record,” says Afropop supreme Wizkid of Made In Lagos. Released in October, his sensational fourth LP featured artists from across the Black diaspora, connecting from Nigeria through the US, UK, and Caribbean with features that included H.E.R., Skepta, and Damian Marley, along with more of his nation’s greats, like Tems and Burna Boy, in one of the best albums of the year. But, even with the stellar mix, many of the most memorable tracks are Wizkid solo. It has never been hard to see why they call him Starboy.

A deliberate show of unity, those features proved “how artists from different parts of the world can come together and make amazing music, which is something I’ve always been about”, he says over Zoom, wearing a black graphic T-shirt and his trademark sunglasses from a family holiday in Ghana. “I can literally make music with anyone.” Mixing flavours of R&B, grime, and reggae with Afrobeats, Made In Lagos’s addictive stew of sunshine sounds functioned as a timely beacon of Black light and joy for its 50 million streamers, at the end of a year that saw protests rise across the globe in response to state-sanctioned killings of Black people: Black Lives Matter, then #EndSARS.

Far from a response, this album was first promoted for release three years ago. When protests started in Nigeria, it got pushed back another two weeks. During that time, “I wasn’t even thinking about the album, I’m not gonna lie – I literally forgot about the whole thing,” he says. “I was hurt. I was angry. I felt it was time that the government actually did something about the police and SARS brutality in the country.” Instead, he was protesting on the streets of London, boldly calling out President Buhari on social media, and ended up verbally sparring with Buhari’s aide.

“When I said I was gonna make an album named Made In Lagos, I didn’t know how important it was,” he says. “As each day passed by, I think the meaning of the album got stronger for me. I was like, I have to make this one of my best albums… That’s where I was born, raised, my whole life. Everything I’ve learned, I learned from Lagos.” By the time it was ready for release, “I wanted to bring some light into the world, so I’m glad it came out like that. I’m happy that people love the music, and I’m hoping and praying for a better Nigeria. It’s crazy out here.”

Although Wizkid doesn’t, and will likely never, make political music (“I hate it because I feel like it goes over their heads, you know? I love to make feel-good music,” he explains) the impact has been huge. Indisputably the man — though just a child when he started out — that catapulted, and firmly kept, the current iteration of Afrobeats on the global stage, the music has helped to rehabilitate the much-maligned image of the continent, more accurately shining a light on its creativity and excellence. In recasting negative Western perceptions, for the African diaspora, including African-Americans disconnected from their ancestral roots, it has encouraged reconnection and heightened pride.

“That’s why we make the music,” he agrees. “To touch people in different ways, make them feel proud of their culture and where they’re from.” It’s a conscious part of the process. “I always say to my friends and my peers, you have to be aware of the impact this music makes.” It has reshaped the UK scene, giving rise to one of our own greatest musical exports, the hybrid genre, Afroswing. Wiz himself is “a big fan – I love everyone who makes it”.

Charis Administrator
Sorry! The Author has not filled his profile.
×
Charis Administrator
Sorry! The Author has not filled his profile.
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Charis
Load More In Entertainment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Recruitment: Nigerian Army fixes June 28 to July 11 for screening

Nigerian Army fixes June 28 to July 11 for screening The Nigerian Army has announced the d…