Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun aka Wizkid has canceled his final U.S. tour dates due to an alleged illness. Wizkid released his third studio album on July 14, 2017, titled ‘Sounds from the Other Side.’ Since then, he has been touring across the U.S. and had performances scheduled for Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and Oakland. He allegedly missed his Chicago performance, and this past weekend, also missed his performance at the Made America Philly concert scheduled for September 2-3rd, 2017. Prior to his cancellation, Wizkid performed in the month of August in Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Miami, and London. His last performance was about seven days ago in London at the Notting Hill Carnival.
Now if many of you recall, last December 2016, Wizkid canceled his concerts for the rest of the year after he failed to show at a concert in Uganda. He explained in a series of social media tweets that his cancellation was due to his doctor’s orders and would go from December 2016 to January 2017.
In contrast, Wizkid’s alleged rival, and fellow Nigerian/Afrobeat mega star Davido, took a very rigorous world tour which began in June of 2017, and just completed his U.S. tour leaving only two more venues to perform internationally.
So it begs the question. What is Davido doing differently that Wizkid is not? Why after 5-6 performances, we have a cancellation from Wizkid but Davido has given us over 25 performances and literally around the world about the same time? Also, as Wizkid’s cancellations continue to increase, does he have an obligation, as we have seen in the Kanye West Sacramento concert cancellation fiasco, to take care of himself so he reduces the rates of his cancellation? I pose these questions in light of how braggadocious Wizkid has been, in too numerous public comments, interviews etc. to count about his lifestyle. At this point, is his lifestyle getting in the way of business and serving his fans?
Here is what Wizkid routinely shares with the public, and it doesn’t matter who is asking the questions, the answers stay consistent:
- He keeps a very late schedule and is often at the clubs into the early hours of the morning, sometimes till 7 am!
- He is a proudly heavy and routine drug user (smokes marijuana, heavily).
- He is a proud “studio rat” and keeps a grueling schedule.
- He travels extensively, mainly international travels. This needless to say means he often deals with jet lag from his time zone differences.
I would also add that it is safe to say and drawing a logical inference, that when you are on the road all the time and keep the lifestyle that Wizkid does, you also most likely do not eat right. Therefore, it is no surprise that your health becomes as affected as Wizkid’s has been in recent times. Your body will shut down on you if you refuse to treat it right and there is no creativity in the world that can fix that when it happens.
Now, we do know Davido smokes weed as well because he has shared that publicly and that he travels a lot. What we do not know are the other factors of diet, work schedule, and health. Either way, Davido is able to complete 25 shows without a breakdown while Wizkid cancels. So, is it time for Wizkid to reassess his health priorities?
Also, for all AML artists reading this, if you are touring in the U.S. especially if you reside or juggle two residences like Wizkid i.e. California and Lagos, it is probably a good idea to avoid traveling from the U.S., to the UK and back for a Notting Hill Carnival in less than 48 hours, no matter how much of a super star you are because such flights take a very drastic toll on the body, given the time differences and an already emaciated and unhealthy lifestyle.
Wizkid can’t be all about churning out records. He has to preserve his creativity and to do so means he needs to be responsible with how he manages his health. Otherwise, the inevitable will happen if he continues with his cancellations. He will become a high risk for any reasonable music business professional to do business with for fear that he will be unable to deliver.
By the way, I have said that as an industry, we need to begin having real discussions about health, particularly mental health. Our talents are killing themselves with the way they take care of their bodies and it is beginning to show. If the industry is to remain sustainable, we need to prioritize health.
My 50 kobo for all it’s worth.