#MadeInLagos or London? Wizkid’s new album speaks to a surprising audience

There was a slight feeling of deja vu 11:11 pm, October 29, when there was no development concerning the release of Wizkid‘s new album. It turned out that the 11:11 pm was meant for fans in the UK. That appeared to be a premonition for the fourth studio album of award-winning music superstar born Ayo Balogun.

The wait had gone on long enough. It’s been close to three years since Wizkid starting whetting appetites with this planned album. The postponements, singles dropped instead of a whole body of work continued to raise eyebrows until ‘Made in Lagos‘ eventually became a reality.

Grammy-nominated Wizkid is not just a regular artiste, so, expectations and stakes being higher than usual are only normal.  

For starters, the long-waited collaboration between Wizkid and Burna Boy happened on the second track of the album, Ginger. Other artistes who featured on the album include longtime acquaintance of Wizkid, Skepta; Damian Marley; H.E.R; Ella Mai; label mate, Terri and Tems.

Listening through the album, one cannot but be impressed with the quality and fusion of sounds as Wizkid shows that he has not only evolved but also that his style now transcends regular pop and Afrobeats. Gone is the Wizkid of Jaiye jaiye, Pakurumo or even Ojuelegba; this is the No stress version. Made in Lagos appears to be the successful version of the experiment gone wrong in Sounds from the other side.

However, a good number of the tracks, bar Ginger and Terri-featured Roma, would be more appreciated by a foreign audience; somewhere in the US and the UK.

There also seems to be a disconnect between the album title, cover art and the songs that comprise ‘Made in Lagos’. One would expect a track, at least, something Ojuelegba-esque that would talk about his beginnings and the significance of Lagos in moulding Wizkid the man and the artiste. The closest thing to this was the intro voices on ‘Blessed’ which we hear ‘cold mineral, cold pure water’.

The album itself tells a tale of an artiste who has used the springboard of Afrobeats to adapt to foreign influences, rather than emphasise his music roots.

Overall, in terms of sounds and styles, Wizkid’s delivery on the album is top-notch, but when put in the context of the initial ‘Made in Lagos’ art impression and the indigenous fanbase, then ‘Made in London’ could be better suited.

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