From lewd ‘freestyles’ about sex and ejaculation to misfire attempts at creating love songs that also double as stoner anthems, we have had our ears just about full enough of Wizkid’s garbage to admit he may not be the smartest person to hand a pen and a paper.
Sadly, the idea of extra hands for songwriting in Nigeria is often done behind closed doors or spoken about in hushed tones like a weird sex fetish. Artists apparently prefer to make bad music than to hire someone with perspective asserted under their direction, even though It will cost close to nothing since there are no active royalty collection structures in Nigeria.
But juggling an active career of interviews, concerts, studio sessions and video shoots could take a lot of zest out of creating meaningful content in music which could be damaging for brands like Wizkid who are on the horizon of an international crossover. If Wiz intends to give his music a bit more weight in lyrics and diversity in melody, we have 12 apt recommendations
Kiss Daniel’s New Era album has placed him in the place of rhythm gods like 2face and 9ice, who already carry near-legend banners. The singer’s ability to interpolate between notes without breaking breath has a staggering wow factor that many won’t notice until they find themselves shell-shocked by the sheer ingeniousness of what they are listening to. This is the closest to an artist with talent worthy enough to wear Wizkid’s crown (if it ever comes off), and someone in the Starboy camp needs to start paying attention.
Since his debut appearance on the Mavin machinery via Dorrobucci, Reakado Banks has been haunted by a dark cloud of whispers suggesting his entire sound is a cheap sublet of Wizkid’s. The similarities are of course present, but it is definitely not as striking as many music pundits make it appear. Nonetheless, Reeky has proven his mastery of the same sinous melodies Wizkid’s catalog is already over familiar with. There should be nothing stopping Wizkid and Banks’ from tapping into this potential for some hits and songwriting credits respectively.
Though Nigerian artists are infamously known for borrowing tepid accents, General Pype’s Jamaican, patois is one of the better ones we have heard in the country. Wizkid has leaned towards the Caribbean atmosphere in the past and even more recently on his feature with Drake on One Dance which makes Pype a perfectly suited songwriter for him to work with.
Yemi Alade like Wizkid is an Afropop goddess whose ability to top charts relies more on a touch for smithing distinctively Afro-inspired earworms than actual content-heavy songwriting. Though Wiz has burrowed into originally Nigerian genres in the past, he is still lacking a certain deftness Yemi Alade surpassed after the release of her smash hit Johnny. At the moment, the two are the only equally matched gender equivalent of Afropop in Africa and Wizkid could gain a lot from establishing an open songwriting communication channel.
Timaya’s ability to make the most unlikely surprise hits from wafting cranky melodies around simple kpangolo drum arrangements has kept his music in rotation over the last few years. We’re sure a look in his unreleased catalog will glean some material Wiz can work some of that Starboy magic around to create brilliance.
Wizkid’s artistry already has countless hits and timeless numbers, what remains missing, however, are great ballads, a problem that can be solved by bringing Tiwa Savage on board. Numbers like Olorun Mi already hold hints of what she can do with mellow instrumentation and this is without ignoring the fact that she already has songwriting credits for a bulk of songs by American singers Monica and the Grammy-nominated Fantasia.
Undeniably, Burna Boy is at his best on songs with more Afrobeat-laced vibes. But this has not stopped him from woodworking hard-hitting hip-hop hooks for himself and occasionally as a featured artist with collaborator-in-crime AKA. We find it hard to believe that Burna does not already have something Wizkid can turn into gold.
Di’Ja is light on lyrics but smooth on rhythms that rely more on alternating pitches than instrumental pattern arrangements. Though she may not be the point of contact for raise-the-roof party anthems, she would be perfect for a reinvention of a sourly missed teen pop style Wizkid brought along with him in his Holla At Your Boy days.
Terry Apala is a great songwriter who understands Yoruba language and how to hop between beat switch-ups, a mark Wizkid also carries on energetic numbers with fast drums and big bang motifs. There is a synergy here, just casually waiting for Wizkid to pay attention.
Wizkid’s latest single Shabba delves into an unfamiliar trap music realm we have not heard in Afropop. But Zambian producer PatrickxxLee has already broken his music beyond the boundaries of mere trap into the nether regions of trip hop and grunge. If Wizkid is seeking sure bet methods of experimentation, we strongly advise a meeting with Patrick.
Unarguably one of the best lyricists in Nigeria, Jesse Jagz is a master story teller with the innate ability to paint vivid imagery over minimalist production and lyrics. With the success of Ojuelegba — the closest thing we have gotten to an introspective Wizkid since Oluwa Loni — Wizkid’s catalog is in the need of some seriously thoughtful songs, we believe Jesse Jagz can deliver by the minute.