Ten years on from Wizkid’s debut single, 2020 witnessed the Nigerian’s coronation as an undisputed Afrobeats icon. Global names including Justin Bieber and Damian Marley as well as emerging ones (see: Tems and producer P2J) helped Wizkid’s fourth album Made in Lagos strike a sonic balance to electrify bases at home and overseas, and unlocked fresh dimensions to his signature Afro-fusion. “That was where I’m from. And now you know it’s time for me to show the world what else we actually need at this moment,” Wizkid tells Apple Music. “And that’s a whole lot of love. I’m reminding myself, reminding the world, and reminding everybody.”
On More Love, Less Ego, the task is made smoother with P2J again by his side. Their percussive, midtempo palette makes for a rich, winning combo, and the duo lean into it here—with Wizkid’s pillowy vocals and the bright, unifying themes of passion and celebration the ideal complements. But, as the title suggests, a more emotionally exposed artist emerges across the album’s 13 tracks. “All the time, I want to show up as my highest self,” he says. “I’m really trying to show how God has blessed me with this talent and what I can do with it. And I’m here on earth to take this to the highest of my abilities.”
As Wizkid’s Grammy-nominated “Essence” galvanised the thrilling rise of Tems, on “2 Sugar”—a sultry, toe-tapping duet—Ayra Starr is the beneficiary of the Starboy’s magic touch. And it’s far from the only inspired collaboration. Wizkid’s cultural crosswinds take in talent including Jamaica’s breakout stars Shenseea and Skillibeng (“Slip N Slide”) and British Nigerians Skepta and Naira Marley (“Wow”) in a confident show of the diaspora’s effortless genre-fusing. Amapiano, meanwhile, is also explored on album highlight “Plenty Loving”—indicating another rich area for Wizkid to mine in the future.
“I’ve been in the clubs for the past couple months—travelling, doing shows, touring,” he says. “Of course, I’ve been partying to amapiano. I’ve been making that [sound] for years, with [DJ] Maphorisa back in South Africa. So I’ve made what I really love and just put it out there. I can do amapiano, I can do music from Mali, I can do sounds from anywhere, I’m African.”