Afrobeats star Wizkid has shared a remix of his song ‘Essence’ featuring fellow Nigerian singer Tems. The updated version of the record, featuring a new verse from Justin Bieber, is available on all major streaming platforms.
The release follows renewed international success of the original version, which is off Wizkid’s 2020 album Made In Lagos. The previous version of the track debuted at No 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July. Since then, the track has enjoyed a progressive ascent, reaching No 54 in the week ending 14 August. In December, ‘Essence’ made it onto Barack Obama’s Spotify playlist.
‘Essence’ was co-produced by Legendury Beatz and P2J. Thematically, it caters to amorous passions. In April, a DK-directed video was released for the song.
“Thank u for letting me jump on the song of the summer,” Bieber said on Instagram to announce the record.
Wizkid told Billboard: “This is the first time where it feels like a song is competing on the level of a similarly promoted song from Western artists in the pop genre. And I hope that’s the lasting influence of the record – that it opens doors for more people with different styles and different textures.”
The remix arrives two days after Nigerian-American music executive Tunji Balogun was announced as the new chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. Balogun is responsible for signing Wizkid to RCA Records in 2016.
“That song has become emblematic of being back outside,” Balogun told Billboard. “Then, a narrative on the internet started about the song being the song of the summer – and we took that energy and ran with it.”
Justin Belieber’s involvement on ‘Essence’ is expected to shoot the record to new chart heights, as was the case with his appearance on the remix of Latin pop hit ‘Despacito’. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee summer anthem reached No 1 on the Hot 100 in 2017 and remained in that position for 16 weeks, tying the record for longest-running No 1 song at the time.
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