Maybe it’s the new school Fela thing, but Wizkid and Burna Boy seem to have a connection. No, they’re not frequent collaborators or friends as such. Even though Wizkid has appeared twice on Burna’s album. First on his debut album, on a track called “Jah’s Love Is True” and later on his 2015 sophomore, on “Single”, which by the way wasn’t a single.
I’ll tell you what, the collaborations were just out of necessity. In 2014, ’15, if you’re an artist coming up, and you have the resources, you should definitely put Wizkid on your album. Long before then, M.I Abaga, Olamide, Banky W and big guys have had Wizkid grace their projects. So, if there was any certified way to make a killing, it definitely was featuring Wizkid. But the tracks they made were not spectacular and didn’t really take off. And most people don’t even know they linked up, back in the day.
However, they’re not rivals. In fact, Wizkid came to limelight about three years before Burna made his first big hit, “Like To Party.” In 2008, Wizkid made his appearance on M.I Abaga’s “Talk About It” LP on the single, “Fast Money Fast Cars.” And within three years, he had won the Next Rated Award, and made a classic album, “Superstar.”
It would take Burna more than three years after that to break into the mainstream market, with his afro-dancehall style. He cracked the nut made “Like To Party,” “Tonight” and a couple of others that gave him critical acclaims. He lost the Next Rated to Sean Tizzle, in 2014. (He wasn’t happy about it.)
Wizkid, since inception has been going from heights to heights and Burna was always close behind. In 2016, the world started discovering Wizkid on another level, he fine-tuned his talent and upped his artistry, become the face of Afrobeats, worldwide. He reached his peak, not long after. A MOBO Award and “Sounds From The Other Side” later, Wizkid became a Legend.
Burna wasn’t far behind. He took off, some months as Wiz was cooling off, and by summer 2018, he was the hottest artist on the continent. A year before, you’d have said that was Wizkid. He won “Artist Of The Year”, “Song Of The Year” and also took in a BET. Peak!
Wizkid likes Fela’s music, just as much as Burna does. Heck, who doesn’t? And, time and time again, both of them have made noticeable efforts in sampling the late Afrobeat Legend. Take “Sweet Love” for example, Wizkid was singing “Shakara”, refining it in his own way to make the song better. Or, “Soke” where Burna Boy even went political and addressed pressing issues.
While the Star Boy usually remakes Fela’s music by taking on some of his lyrics that stick, Burna will often just mimic his style, vibing what is only reminiscent of Fela Kuti. In a way, that makes them both alike. But it’s not even what makes everyone love them.
Their originality is the key. In today’s industry, there are a thousand new guys who sound like Wizkid, but Wiz doesn’t even sound like anyone before him. His sound has evolved over the years, and it still is original.
Burna Boy? Well, not everyone can even have that voice, to start with. And also, not everyone with that kind of voice is a good singer. Burna can pitch! And what he’s done with himself and his craft is just incredible.
Somehow, the conversation seems to try to compare Wizkid to Burna in a way that pitches both of them against each other? But, no, they’re different original artists with super talent. Determining which one is better than the other, is a dead end. My advice? Listen to some Wizkid, some Burna, and Enjoy your life!