[Entertainment]: AFROBEAT MUSIC TO THE WORLD: THE STEADY RISE OF ESSENCE

“I feel it coming, time is of the essence”. These are the lines from one of the most successful Afrobeat songs ever released and a familiar tune you will most definitely come across if you listen to your radios, go to shows or quite active on social media platforms in 2021. The song is titled ESSENCE and is originally performed by (Ayodeji Balogun) aka Wizkid and (Temilade Openiyi) aka Tems. 

Ayodeji Balogun popularly known as Wizkid dropped his fourth studio album titled “Made in Lagos” on the 30th of October 2020. Essence featuring Tems is the eleventh track on the album with production credits to London based producer, P2J and assistance from Wizkid allies, Legendary Beats. The Song sees Wizkid and Tems converse on the romantic theme of love and attention, as Tems sings passionately that her lovers need no other body asides herself, and Wizkid complements the chemistry with enough sexual innuendos.

The track is one of the standout tracks from Wizkid’s Made in Lagos Album generating positive reviews from fans and critics alike. It was however the release of the Director K directed music video for the track in early 2021 that sparked fresh global interest in the song. The video has amassed over 10 million views on YouTube. 

Like wildfire, the song and music video began to generate attention and airplays across the world especially in the United States of America, all thanks to the sweet melody, lyrics and production plus RCA and Wizkid’s Team dedication to finally hype and push his project in the much-deserved manner. The song was included in Spotify Song of the Summer playlist in June 2021 and in Barack Obama’s 2020 playlist of his favorite songs. The song has been the face of Apple Music Today’s hits and on repeat, YouTube Afrobeat now, AudioMack Trending, and other numerous playlists on a wide range of music streaming platforms across the globe.

The song has gotten cosigns from Top celebrities across the world including but not limited to Jhene Aiko, Saweetie, Kevin Hart, Ciara, 6lack, Wale, Kylie Jenner, Jesse Lingard. Kidathegreat, Karrueche, Diddy, Don Toliver, Young Paris, Big Sean, Snoop Dogg, a lot of NBA stars, Media Houses, Award shows and many more respected voices and organizations in the global entertainment industry.

On July 12, 2021, 'Essence' became the first ever Nigerian song to crack the Billboard Hot 100 chart debuting at number 82 on the chart and is currently at number 59 on the chart. Essence has also peaked at no 8 on the United States Apple Music Top Ten Charts. The track has over 30 million streams on Spotify and has amassed over 15 million streams on Apple Music. 

Many listeners and critics have tagged Essence the song of the summer and a strong contender for a Grammy award come 2022. All these achievements globally for a song without a foreign artiste production or guest verse. The billboard hot 100 is especially a milestone considering how difficult it is for foreign artistes to crack into the chart not to mention an artiste from the shores of Africa.

Essence is still being massively streamed across the world and some critics have envisioned at least a top ten spot on the billboard hot 100 and a number one spot on the US Apple Music Top ten charts. We wait and see what becomes of Essence in the next few months as we celebrate the milestone for Afrobeat Music.

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