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 in addition to emerging ones (see: Tems and producer P2J) helped Wizkid’s fourth album Made in Lagos strike a sonic balance to impress bases at home and overseas, and unlocked fresh dimensions to his signature Afro-fusion. “That was where I’m from. And now you recognize it’s time for me to indicate the world what else we really want at this moment,” Wizkid tells Apple Music. “And that’s an entire lot of affection. I’m reminding myself, reminding the world, and reminding everybody.”
On More Love, Less Ego, the duty is made smoother with P2J again by his side. Their percussive, midtempo palette makes for a wealthy, winning combo, and the duo lean into it here—with Wizkid’s pillowy vocals and the intense, unifying themes of passion and celebration the perfect complements. But, because the title suggests, a more emotionally exposed artist emerges across the album’s 13 tracks. “On a regular basis, I need to indicate up as my highest self,” he says. “I’m really trying to indicate 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 best of my abilities.”
As Wizkid’s Grammy-nominated “Essence” galvanized 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 removed from the one inspired collaboration. Wizkid’s cultural crosswinds soak up 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, can also be explored on album highlight “Plenty Loving”—indicating one other wealthy area for Wizkid to mine in the long run.
“I’ve been within the clubs for the past couple months—traveling, doing shows, touring,” he says. “In fact, I have been partying to amapiano. I have been making that [sound] for years, with [DJ] Maphorisa back in South Africa. So I’ve made what I actually love and just put it on the market. I can do amapiano, I can do music from Mali, I can do sounds from anywhere, I’m African.”