It’s been a long four years since Wizkid’s last New York performance and incredible show at the legendary SOB’s in downtown Manhattan. So the man with a ton of international hits set foot in Brooklyn this past weekend (Sept. 11) for the BRIC Celebrate! Brooklyn Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell with his Made In Lagos Tour to light the spot up with tunes.
What Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun—who is from Lagos, Nigeria—has been able to do is remarkable, as his music crosses genres and creates a soothing vibe on any platform. Yet, seeing him in person, live, is the way to go as he commanded the stage over the weekend with songs like: “Come Closer,” “Bad Energy,” “The Matter,” “Tease Me, Don’t Dull,” “Pakuroma,” “Soco,” “Show Me The Money,” “Caro,” “Blow,” “Smile,” “True Love,” “Ginger,” and “Ojuelegba – Africa National Anthem,” among so many more.
He left the Brooklyn crowd wanting for nothing in his effort of giving energy for three hours with his longtime sound selector, DJ Tunez. With Afrobeats becoming more and more of a dominant sound, Wizkid is currently embarked on his first full worldwide tour, hitting London as well. But the young king was focused on the show at hand with high energy and crowd engagement while they sang “Show Me The Money” word for word.
In a strong showing of his star power, Wizkid didn’t have any openers for his show. He did have an incredible list of celebrity guests that came to enjoy the night: Jidenna, Vic Mensa, King Promise, Paedae of R2Bees, Winnie Harlow, Swizz Beatz, Leomie Anderson, Joan Smalls, Nana Kwabena, KDDO (formally known as Kiddominant), LAX, and Tunji Balogun newly appointed CEO of Def Jam (responsible for Wizkid signing to RCA in 2016).For the height of showmanship, the crowd lit their phones up during the performance of “Smile,” and the quick rendition of “Killing Me Softly”—which transitioned into “Blessed”—was epic. Starboy FC came out in full force with Nigerian flags waving high. Wiz rocked a slightly burnt rustic orange outfit styled by Karen Binns.
The concert was produced by Duke Concept, the same producers of tours for the likes of music stars Burna Boy and Davido. Temi Ade, Head of Operations at Duke Concept had this to say about the hugeness of this tour:“This tour is monumental because first, it’s long overdue; Wizkid does not miss. His latest album is a critically acclaimed global hit with celebrities from every industry consistently praising and connecting with the music,” she said. “Second, African artists really don’t get their flowers.
The music industry has kept us in a sub-category that doesn’t fairly represent the magnitude of influence and support [of] African artists. Which has always been odd to us because the numbers have been consistently been competitive with mainstream artists. This tour represents a paradigm shift that’s been brewing for a while.”When Wizkid soaked in all the love from the crowd, which praised him emphatically, he closed out the marathon show with the song of the summer, “Essence” originally featuring rising star and Nigerian sis, Tems, and later remixed with Justin Beiber.
Ade gives more perspective to the notion that Afrobeats artists are worthy of more praise in mainstream and live showing convos. “Honestly, the importance is no different from any artist. African or not, artists and fans need to have that real-life live connection,” she explains. “Connecting with fans in real-time is what brings the music to life. The energy exchange between an artist and fans at live events is one of the beautiful and genuine moments that we’ll never get tired of seeing.”
Just know that Wizkid is here to stay and this tour is his official coming-out party.
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