Ayo (Wizkid album)

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WIzid - Ayọ (Joy) album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 17, 2014
LabelStarboy Entertainment
Empire Mates Entertainment
Wizkid chronology
Empire Mates State of Mind
Sounds from the Other Side
Singles from Ayo
  1. "Jaiye Jaiye"
    Released: May 2, 2013
  2. "On Top Your Matter"
    Released: October 25, 2013[1]
  3. "One Question"
    Released: February 14, 2014[2]
  4. "Joy"
    Released: June 9, 2014[3]
  5. "Bombay"
    Released: June 9, 2014[3]
  6. "Show You The Money"
    Released: July 16, 2014[4]

Ayo (Yoruba: Joy) is the self-titled second studio album by Nigerian recording artist Wizkid. It was released on September 17, 2014, by Starboy Entertainment and Empire Mates Entertainment.[5] It is the follow-up to his debut album Superstar (2011). The long-awaited album was postponed twice due to difficulty in track selection.[6] Preceding the album's release were six singles: "Jaiye Jaiye", "On Top Your Matter", "One Question", "Joy", "Bombay" and "Show You The Money". As one of the executive producers of the album, Wizkid collaborated with record producers such as Sarz, Shizzi, Uhuru, Del B, Dokta Frabz, Maleek Berry, Legendury Beatz and Spellz. The album features guest appearances from Femi Kuti, Seyi Shay, Yemi Sax, Akon, Banky W., Phyno, Tyga and Wale. Ayo was met with mixed reviews from music critics, who had a difference of opinion about the album. Some critics complimented the album's production, song arrangement, and sound quality, while others were disenchanted with its lyrical theme.

Background and development[edit]

Wizkid started recording the album after the release of the compilation album, Empire Mates State of Mind (2012). The album was initially meant to be a mixtape. In an interview with MTV's The Wrap Up, Wizkid said the mixtape would include production work from Rodney Rhymez and Maleek Berry, as well as a guest appearance from Wale.[7] Wizkid later told Ok!Nigeria TV the mixtape would feature Tinie Tempah and would be released in April 2013.[8] On April 9, 2013, Wizkid announced via Twitter that he would release the mixtape after he released his album on June 12.[9] On June 26, 2013, Wizkid posted a picture on Instagram revealing most of the album's track list.[10] The photo revealed features with Femi Kuti, Efya, Don Jazzy, Seyi Shay and Banky W..[11] In October 2013, Banky W. revealed the album's title and commented on the delayed album. He told HipTV the album would be titled Chosen.[12] In December 2013, Wizkid spoke to iCR8Media about the album and said he worked with Don Jazzy, Dokta Frabz, Legendury Beatz, Maleek Berry, Spellz and Sarz on the production side of things. He also said he collaborated with Olamide, Efya, Seyi Shay, Shaydee, Banky W., L.A.X and Dammy Krane.[13] In May 2014, Wizkid told Fuse.com.ng that the album would drop on June 12, 2014, a day that acknowledges the annulled June 12, 1993 Nigerian presidential election. Wizkid also told Fuse.com.ng that the album would be self-titled Ayo, meaning Joy.[14]

On September 6, 2013, Wizkid revealed the album's official cover and track list on Instagram. A week earlier, he told Olisa Adibua the album would be his last body of work under Empire Mates Entertainment.[15][16]


To promote the album, Wizkid released several promotional singles and headlined different concerts. On July 29, 2013, he released his first ever collaboration with Wale titled "Drop". The song was produced by Legendury Beatz.[17] Wizkid's second collaborative single with Wale, titled "Nobody But You", was released on October 24, 2013. The song was produced by Maleek Berry.[18] On December 17, 2013, Wizkid premiered the Legendury Beatz-produced "Eledumare", which was performed at the 2013 Felabration concert.[19] On March 24, 2014, MTV Base reported that Wizkid was invited as a special guest for some shows in Tinie Tempah's tour of the UK in 2014.[20]


On May 2, 2013, Wizkid released the album's lead single "Jaiye Jaiye", featuring Grammy nominated Nigerian musician Femi Kuti. The song was produced by Sarz and mastered by Foster Zeeno.[21][22] The music video for "Jaiye Jaiye" was released onto YouTube on October 26, 2013, at a total length of 4 minutes an 11 seconds. The video was shot and directed by Sesan in Lagos.[23]

"On Top Your Matter" was released as the second single on October 25, 2013.[1] It was produced by Del B. The music video for the song was shot and directed in Johannesburg by Sesan.[24] On February 14, 2014, Wizkid released "One Question" as the album's third single. The song features saxophonists Yemi Sax and was produced by Dokta Frabz. It was released to celebrate Valentine's Day 2014.[25] Wizkid performed the song for BBC's Destination Africa in March 2014.

On June 9, 2014, "Joy" and "Bombay" were released simultaneously as the album's fourth and fifth singles. Both songs were produced by Dokta Frabz. Wizkid performed a cover of Bob Marley and the Wailers' "No Woman, No Cry" at Koga Studios for BBC's Destination Africa, and merged "Joy" with the cover.[26] On June 13, 2014, the music video for "Bombay" was released onto YouTube at a total length of 3 minutes and 23 seconds.[27]

On July 16, 2014, "Show You the Money" was released as the sixth single. The song was produced by Shizzi. The music video for the song was directed by Patrick Elis and features cameo appearances from Ehiz and Dokta Frabz. Lekan Oladimeji of P.M. News gave the video a 6.5 rating out of 10, adding that "though a video that lacks a sense of direction, low creativity and could have been achieved with next to no technical know how, it remains a video you might want to see time and over again as there’s always something to smile about."[28]

Bonus song and other releases[edit]

"Caro", the collaborative single by Wizkid and L.A.X, was added to the album as a bonus. The song was produced by Legendury Beatz. The music video was directed in London by Moe Musa and uploaded onto YouTube on August 20, 2013.[29] "Caro" was nominated for Hottest Single of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.[30] It was also nominated for Song of the Year at the 2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards.[31] On September 22, 2014, Wizkid released the music video for the song "In My Bed"; it was shot and directed in Miami by Soto Jose.[32] The following month, on The Tide's Top 10 Songs Of The Week, "In My Bed" charted at number five.[33] The music video for the song "Ojuelegba" was released on January 5, 2015; it was shot and directed in Lagos by Clarence Peters.[34]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Nigerian Entertainment Today3.5/5 stars
TooXclusive2/5 stars

The album has received generally mixed reviews from music critics and consumers. Oscar Okeke of Lobatan gave the album an A rating, concluding: "Whatever the criticism on the depth of his lyrical content , it is near impossible to fault Wizkid on his mastery of rhythm and his understanding of the audience he plays to. His eponymously titled album ‘AYO’ Wizkid reminds us why he has earned our respect and why he continues to rule over the realm of sound, money and girls."[35] Tola Sarumi of NotJustOk assigned a rating of 4.5 out of 10 stars, adding that the album relies profoundly on the popularity of previously released content.[36] The duo at Should You Bump This described the album as lacking direction, as well as referring to it as a "sack of undiluted disappointment."[37] Jim Donnett of TooXclusive gave the album 2 stars and described it as "weak".[38]

Ayomide Tayo of Nigerian Entertainment Today gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, concluding: "On ‘Ayo (Joy)’, Wizkid shows that he either doesn’t have what it fully takes to make creative gambles for an artiste of his calibre or he is pretty much comfortable in flogging a dead horse until it has no more skin or flesh. Whatever the case maybe, his highly anticipated second album delivers little joy to his fans who have waited so long."[39] Dayo Showemimo of Nigerian Entertainment Today gave the album 3.5 stars, stating that "Wizkid remains the same old Wizkid we all know on this album, the style of singing is the same, no wow factor, no climax, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing spectacular in Wizkid’s delivery."[40] Rolling Stone magazine included the album on its list of the "15 Great Albums You Didn't Hear in 2014", and stated that Wizkid "uses deft, nimble flows to glide over complex beats and he writes hooks that will keep you humming for weeks."[41][42]


Ayo won Best R&B/Pop Album and was nominated for Album of the Year at The Headies 2015.[43][44] The album was also nominated for Album of the Year at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.[45]

Year Awards ceremony Award description(s) Results
2015 The Headies Best R&B/Pop Album Won
Album of the Year Nominated
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Album of the Year Nominated

Track listing[edit]

1."Jaiye Jaiye" (featuring Femi Kuti)Ayodeji BalogunSarz4:06
2."Show You The Money"BalogunShizzi3:11
3."In My Bed"BalogunUhuru3:50
4."Mummy Mi"BalogunSpellz3:17
5."Ojuelegba"BalogunLegendury Beatz3:36
6."Kind Love"BalogunDel B3:51
7."On Top Your Matter"BalogunDel B4:44
8."In Love" (featuring Seyi Shay)
  • Balogun
  • Deborah Joshua
9."For You" (featuring Akon)
  • Balogun
  • Aliaune Thiam
10."Dutty Whine" (featuring Banky W.)
  • Balogun
  • Banky Wellington
Legendury Beatz4:13
12."Omalicha"BalogunLegendury Beatz3:22
13."Bombay" (featuring Phyno)
  • Balogun
  • Azubuike Nelson
Dokta Frabz3:20
14."One Question" (featuring Yemi Sax)BalogunDokta Frabz4:55
16."Show You The Money" (remix; featuring Tyga)
  • Balogun
  • Michael Nguyen-Stevenson
17."Murder" (featuring Wale)
  • Balogun
  • Olubowale Akintimehin
Maleek Berry4:02
18."Joy"BalogunDokta Frabz3:15


Credits adapted from the back cover of Ayo

  • Ayodeji Balogun – main artist, executive producer, writer, performer
  • Segun Demuren – executive producer
  • Banky Wellington – executive producer, featured artist, writer
  • Osaretin "Sarz" Osabuohien – producer
  • Sheyi "Shizzi" Akerele – producer
  • Uhuru – producer
  • Del B – producer
  • Dokta Frabz – producer
  • Maleek Berry – producer
  • Legendury Beatz – producer
  • Ben'Jamin "Spellz" Obadje – producer
  • Femi Kuti – featured artist
  • Yemi Sax – featured artist
  • Deborah Joshua – featured artist, writer
  • Aliaune Thiam – featured artist, writer
  • Azubuike Nelson – featured artist, writer
  • Michael Nguyen-Stevenson – featured artist, writer
  • Olubowale Akintimehin – featured artist, writer

Release history[edit]

Country/Digital platform Date Version Format Label
  • iTunes
September 17, 2014 Standard


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