Nigerian pop superstar Wizkid is taking the global music charts by storm with the success of his new single “Essence”—now bolstered even further with a remix version featuring multi-platinum artist Justin Bieber and fellow Afro-pop singer Tems.
Currently making waves in the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Global 200, “Essence” has received glowing reviews from various music publications worldwide, with NME praising its Afro-Latin production and Afrobeats percussion for evoking “a sense of homecoming.”
According to Fader, Bieber’s contribution to the infectious summer jam “switches things up” and adds a bit of pop sheen to the mix.
Prior to the highly anticipated collaboration with Justin Bieber, Wizkid’s “Essence” has already been blazing on top of the charts, securing a No. 1 for the Nigerian pop star on the US World Digital Song Sales chart and UK Afrobeats chart. The song has made it on Spotify’s Song of the Summer playlist in June 2021, and in Barack Obama’s favorite songs of 2020 playlist. It has also caught the attention of several Hollywood celebrities and music personalities, including Kevin Hart, Kylie Jenner, Doja Cat, Jordyn Woods, Saweetie, Diddy, Winnie Harlow, Angela Simmons.
Wizkid himself is no stranger to the international music scene. The chart-topping R&B/Afrobeats artist has appeared alongside with Drake on the No. 1 worldwide bop “One Dance” and on Beyoncé’s Grammy Award-winning track “Brown Skin Girl,” from the album The Lion King: The Gift.
With Bieber providing added star power to the remix, the song is expected to grow more audience in streaming and mainstream radio. Rolling Stone’s Mankaprr Conteh writes,
“The song is proof that Afropop acts — long honored in Black immigrant and adjacent communities — can shake the room in the States, in a major way, and on their own terms.”
Wizkid and Justin Bieber’s “Essence” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via RCA and Sony Music.
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