WizKid’s latest release was a huge hit internationally, as his newest music video “Come Closer” accumulated over a million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours. This may be partly attributed to the feature of Canadian rapper/superstar Drake, who contributes his voice to the single. While Drake does not actually appear in the video, YouTube viewers may have been entranced regardless by zebras and fire dancers that appear in the clip. WizKid, maybe one of the most famous Nigerian Afrobeat musicians in the world, is known in the U.S. for previously working with Drake on the hit song “One Dance”, which garnered Drake his first ever number one single in the country as a lead artist.
WizKid is working on his major label debut after signing a multi-album deal with Sony Music International while lending his talents to guest spots on songs by Wale and Justine Skye. This excellent showing by his YouTube views counter is a sign that WizKid is poised to push Afrobeat into the Western mainstream, and he recognized that when posting a celebratory “Africa!” on Instagram. As for people questioning why Drake failed to appear in the video, WizKid said on Twitter that “Drake was on tour when we did Closer. No bad blood.”
WizKid, whose real name is Ayo Balogun, grew up as a son whose father was against his dream of pursuing a musical career. “My dad used to fight me every time. ‘Don’t go to the studio, stay at home and study.’ I just had my dreams and I followed them here,” WizKid said in a recent interview with Channel 4 in England. However, he and his father have since reconciled, and WizKid says that his dad is now proud of him. WizKid also expressed his hope that Afrobeat breaks into the mainstream, and highlighted the progress it has already made in influencing Western artists such as Drake and Alicia Keys.