Wizkid aiming for longevity like Bob Marley which is why songs like “Essence” stuck in our heads.
There’s no doubt that Bob Marley’s influence on music remains untouched. Even modern-day geniuses in music have admitted their admiration of the reggae icon. The latest act to admit that he would like to reach Bob Marley’s status is Afrobeats giant Wizkid.
The singer made the revelation in a recent interview with the The Guardian. The “Bad To Me” singer admitted that he did not know that the charismatic reggae singer died at just 36 years old but explained that he was amazed at how much the “One Love” singer was able to achieve.
Like Marley, he wants whatever he creates to live on in people’s hearts forever. The Afrobeats superstar also revealed that he was recently inspired by Marley’s story after he went to see the Marley musical, Get Up, Stand Up!
“I was like: ‘Yo, we’re watching a Bob Marley play and this guy died decades ago.’ I didn’t even know that he died at 36. He did so much at a young age. It just reaffirms what I do; I have to keep taking this to the highest heights. Because I know one day they’re definitely going to create a play about me,” he continued.
Elsewhere in the interview, Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, also shared about his creative process when creating music. He shared that he records music daily and is very particular about how it sounds—something that has certainly served him well, considering the magnitude of his global success.
The “Mode” singer said that he records daily, and when he doesn’t like how something sounds, he’s not opposed to scrapping entire albums. He repeats this process until he is totally satisfied with the sound.
The Nigerian native, who is the youngest of 11 siblings, also revealed that he was raised by a Christian mother and polygamous Muslim father who had three wives. He grew up in Surulere, Nigeria, in a home dominated by women since he was the only boy.
This experience also led him to pick up music as a hobby, but the Afrobeats veteran added that music became more than just a hobby for him and represented his escape. One of the reasons that he doesn’t play around with his music is because he believes that it was either music or a life of crime.
He already has a lot of accolades, including having the first Nigerian song to feature on the Billboard Hot 100. Even though he had been raising eyebrows for a while, it wasn’t until his hit “Essence” that the world became familiar with, and fans grew in obsession with his sound.
The track, released in 2020, spent an impressive 21 weeks in the UK charts and peaked at No 16. It was also the track that cast another musical talent, Tems, into the limelight.
The blow-up hasn’t steered him, of course, though, and he continues to deliver hits while trying to stay humble, which is why his fourth studio album has been aptly titled “More love, less ego.”
Wizkid’s recognition and admiration of the Jamaican reggae icon, who is credited as one of the reggae artists that introduced Rastafrainaism to the world, can also be credited to the tireless efforts of the Tuff Gong International brand, which is managed by Cedella Marley. She, along with the rest of Bob Marley’s children, has continued to fly their father’s flag well beyond his death, ensuring that his name and message live on.