QUICK REVIEW: ‘AYO’ (ALBUM) BY WIZKID
Ayodeji Balogun is still known as Wizkid. His achievement since the release of his first single, “Holler At Ur Boy” in 2010, to his debut album, ‘Star Boy’ in 2011, is immeasurable. He has won several awards, performed at sold out concerts within and outside Africa, and not forgetting the endorsements, plus, his fan base keeps growing per second.
Wizkid has had his share of drama in the music business, and I suppose it’s the same for other celebrities. It comes with the job. So, we’ll press the skip button to his sophomore album, simply titled – ‘AYO’ (meaning’ Joy’, in the Yoruba language).
The album, which opens with the highly celebrated “Jaiye Jaiye” (ft. Femi Kuti), shows a great deal of growth in Wizkid’s music. It may contain his monotonic style/delivery, but the production of every song ensures to engage you all the way.
Playing through the album, you will come across a song, titled, “In My Bed”. This song would pass for a confused rendition, as Wizzy starts on a mid-tempo note, with chants of “Oh baby wind your waist, oh baby you make me craze, girl I’m loving you every day, let nothing come our way…” only for the beat to slow down, and for him to go “I want your body sleeping in my bed… you got me going crazy, oh girl I cannot explain it, your body is so insane, oh girl I cannot replace you…” then suddenly, the beat and lyrics switches up again with a totally different rhythm and him chanting “Balogun Eleniyan, Tinubu Eleniyan, Fashola Eleniyan…” and so on. The lyrical flow later switches to thanksgiving to the Almighty. This track just sounds like they merged three songs together, but it shouldn’t bore you.
‘AYO’ is a 19-track album with a variety of songs and sounds, but predominant in the production of this album, is Highlife, Afrobeat and Juju. Even the Reggae and Pop songs on the album, are produced with a lot of traditional percussion. The album shows that Wizkid is fine-tuning and defining his music as Nigerian or traditional.
The ‘Ayo’ project, bears a couple of collaborations, both local and international. There’s Femi Kuti on the earlier promoted “Jaiye Jaiye”, Lax on “Caro” and Phyno on “Bombay”. There’s also Seyi Shay on “In Love”, Banky W on “Dutty Whyne”, Yemi Sax on “One Question”, Akon on “For You”, Tyga on “Show You The Money” and Wale on “Murder”.
Top on Ayo’s production table, is Legendury Beatz; he produced four songs on the album, followed by Shizzi and Dr. Frabz; they produced three tracks each. Sarz, Uhuru, Spellz, and Del B produced two songs each, while Maleek Berry produced one, “Murder”.
Released on the stables of EME and Starboy Entertainment, the album ‘Ayo’, may not be weighty in terms of lyrical content, but the general composition and production is laudable compared to Wizkid’s debut album.
‘Ayo‘, is not about the teenager, who was messing about in school or dreaming about some strippers in the club; it’s about a grown man, who understands and knows how to feed a party thirsty crowd.