The rise of Afrobeat music across the world following Wizkid’s place on Drake’s Come Closer has been interesting to say the least. The talent exists and we’ve always known it even if some skeptcism existed. As the boy from Ojuelegba takes the world, it is important to acknowledge that as much as his craft has been important, his management and a perfect understanding of the business side of things has also been crucial.
In 2015, Wizkid announced Sunday Are as his manager in Africa via the Instagram post above. However, they had already been working together for about a year. Quickly following Are’s entrance, Wizkid began to take on shows across the continent. With Mr. Are, an adept talent manager of the highest repute who had experience with the likes of Lagbaja and D’Banj coming into the fold came a more consistent display of Wizkid at big shows across the continent. In addition, there was better documentation of what was going on with montages and professional images being employed to brand Wizkid as an act who could pull a crowd almost anywhere on the continent.
These branding moves had a mission of showcasing Wiz as a dominant act in Africa while he made strides across the Atlantic with strategic collaborations. That could explain why his video for Sweet Love is a collage of shows across Africa and came shortly before his worldwide debut single with RCA Come Closer.
With experience managing acts like Chris Brown and Pia Mia, Pollock came into the mix on Wizkid’s team armed with an understanding very few possess. With Pollock came much more interaction between Wiz and some of America’s premier acts as she leveraged her relationships to extend the Starboy name in the Western market.
Pollock’s entrance into the mix is probably most relevant for the Wizkid push we’ve seen in the US and her background as an image consultant when coupled with his talent have opened doors many did not envisage would be accessible in the near future.
Dumi Oburota has always considered himself a connector. With a background in party promotion, he entered the management scene in 2005 and became Tinie Tempah’s manager and facilitated his break out. When Wizkid signed with Disturbing London in 2012, Oburota began to play a role in his career. Oburota has been in some form responsible for ensuring Wiz is surrounded by a team that ensures he is well served across various territories, which could explain the later entrance of Are and Pollock.
Oburota focuses primarily on guaranteeing Wiz maintains consistency in their processes while he forges relationships which are instrumental to ensure that their vision can be brought to life.
Written by Wizkid News, with additional words from Tomi Idowu.