Is ‘Essence’ by Wizkid and Tems The Song of Summer ’21?

Wizkid and Tems

Last year during an interview with British media house, Nation of Billions, Wizkid was trying to talk up his upcoming album at the time ‘Made In Lagos.’ He told the interviewer that his last album, ‘Sounds from the Other Side,’ was mad but the next one? When it drops the whole world will understand.

It has now been around 8 months since Wizkid released this album and at first, there was criticism from some fans who thought that some of the songs sounded too alike, some weren’t happy with the new sounds and some were just Davido maximalist.

However, after around a week of its release, the project began to break records! ‘Made in Lagos’ made its debut in the top 10 of Spotify’s Global Album chart and in doing so became the first African Album to debut on the chart. It took Wizkid just 9 days to amass over 100 million streams on ‘Made In Lagos’, a significant milestone for an African artist. The project is approaching a year in age but the vibes are not slowing down.

One of the moments that’s really pushing ‘Made In Lagos’ right now is the track ‘Essence’. Wizkid’s album has some very solid songs with features from A-list acts like Burna Boy, Damian Marley, and H.E.R., but right now the song that’s standing out and doing the most numbers features a lesser-known talent.

‘Essence’ just might be the most popular song on that album right now. Much of that is due to the uniqueness of Tems’ voice, and the effortless chemistry between her and Wizkid that’s just enveloped into a sweet melody that connects with people from all over the world. ‘Essence’ was released as a single on April 9th this year with accompanying visuals that were shot in Ghana.

Since then, the song has basically gone viral. Some of the biggest celebrities in the world, from Kylie Jenner to Kevin Hart have all shared videos of themselves vibing to the tune. The song has become the first African song to reach the U.S. Apple Music Top 30 songs chart! The song is charting everywhere even in South Korea as it sits at No.22 on South Korea’s Spotify Viral 50.

I would say one of the most significant indicators for how well the song is doing would be the recognition from Billboard. Billboard magazine’s charts are the music industry standard record charts in the United States for songs. Their rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in America. Essence debuted at no.19 on Billboards Bubbling Under Hot 100, becoming the first Nigerian song to do so. Additionally, in their list of best 50 songs released this year, ‘Essence’ made the list at number 31. More recently, the song made its debut at No.88 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Tems’ first entry on the Billboard charts.

Billboard had this to say about the song’s inclusion:

A standout on WizKid’s Made in Lagos, “Essence” stays true to its title, capturing the feel of the entire album in one infectious track. The Nigerian superstar recruits emerging singer Tems, who opens the euphoric, hip-swaying song with an ascending verse (“I wanna leave you in the morning/ But I need you now”) and equally-to-the-point chorus (“You don’t need no other body”). Although the album was released in 2020, WizKid released “Essence” as a single in April, along with an accompanying music video — reviving the track just in time for the summer.”

Is ‘Essence’ the song of Summer 2021? It just might be. Afrobeats has been gaining popularity worldwide in recent years and Wizkid has been one of the artists successfully flying the flag for the genre. ‘Essence’ is that song that everyone wants to hear and vibe to, no matter where they are from. That is a really powerful thing and a special moment for Afrobeats.

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