How Nigeria’s Wizkid fashioned a new sound that won global appeal

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During the summer of 2012, one of the biggest UK chart hits was Oliver Twist, the feelgood pop and Afrobeat mashup that mirrored the lascivious desires of D’Banj, the energetic Nigerian singer then on the roster of Good Music, whose frontman Kanye West had a cameo appearance in the video.

This summer, it’s another Nigerian singer, Wizkid, whose name is a fixture all over the charts.

With two songs – the groovy reggaeton hit Daddy Yo and a collaboration with the Canadian rapper Drake on Come Closer – on the Billboard and UK charts alongside Drake’s One Dance (the 2016 summer anthem), which he lends his vocals to, and Tinie Tempah’s Caribbean-influenced Mamacita, which he elevates with a well-delivered hook, it’s officially Wizkid season. All of this has culminated in a staggering seven nominations at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards tonight even as he prepares to join a star-studded cast at the UK Wireless Festival in London this summer.

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