One of Africa’s biggest artistes, Ayodeji Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid, has stated that he loves to prove himself when people underestimate him.
He revealed this during an Instagram Live session with the Tony Elumelu Foundation during the week. He said, “Some of the tough lessons that have shaped me to be the entrepreneur I am today is never to take (no) for an answer. When I started, I was probably the youngest person making music in Nigeria. And everywhere I went, I was the youngest person in the room. I learnt not to accept ‘no’ for an answer and that has helped shape me into the man I am now. When I think about anything, I go for it. Of course, I have mentors such as Mr Tony Elemelu (Big Daddy), and I think everybody knows that.
“Some of the business tips I learnt is to be open-minded and I always keep my ears to the ground because one does not know where a good business idea could come from. I also try to take my time before I make decisions.
I have learnt to be diligent with my work, thanks to the people I look up to. On the issue of being under constant pressure to prove myself, I’ll say that it actually fuels me more than anything in the world because I love it when people underestimate me. I just show you that I can do it.
There is not much story behind my success, other than the fact that I personally decided that I wanted to be excellent. I made up my mind to be an amazing artiste. Secondly, I don’t joke with my craft. I try as much as possible to always elevate my music, sound and business. I guess if one stays amazing towards one’s work, the world would steadily gravitate towards one. It is just hard work and persistency that has helped my music.”
The father of three, who described himself as a workaholic, also stated that he started his record label, StarBoy Entertainment, from his living room.
He added, “I am always working. You can never catch me not working. And when I am not working, I would be spending time with my family. I love them so much. I remember that I started the Starboy label with my friends― Mutay, Uzezi and Maleek Berry. We started it in my living room. It was the first time in Africa that just producers would be signed to a record label. I want to thank them, my brothers, for believing in me.
“Everyone I have worked with has been a case of being in the right place at the right time or having mutual friends. For me, when I hear something amazing, I would never turn my back against it. I think it is very important to identify talent once one sees it.”