Wizkid’s Essence…a made in Lagos beat swelling the Afrobeat movement
It’s no misfit to say that Wizkid’s latest music project, Essence, a track off his fourth studio album, Made in Lagos, is a success that has spiraled into a moment for him and Afrobeats, the culture that birthed and nurtured him.
In what has been described as a huge win for the Joro crooner and his partner on the song, Tems, as well as the Afrobeats culture, the song, on Monday July 12, debuted at No. 82 on the fiercely competitive U.S Billboard Hot 100 list.
The Billboard is the United States music industry standard record chart for songs published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the U.S.
With the song, Wizkid becomes the first Nigerian pop artiste to hold the distinction. It is his third appearance on the charts, after One Dance hit No. 1 in 2016 and Brown Skin Girl peaked at number 76 in 2019. It is Tems’ first career entry on the chart.
The latest achievement makes Wizkid the third African artiste to simultaneously chart on the Hot 100 list and the Billboard 200, after earlier exploits by Cameroonian saxophonist, Manu Dibango, in 1973, and South African legend, Miriam Makeba, in 1997.
Wizkid released the song last year October as the 11th track on Made In Lagos. The 14-track project features global heavyweights like Damian Marley, Skepta, H.E.R, Ella Mai and Burna Boy.
The single has become the global song of the summer, moving from a temper fan favourite to a mainstream monster, with celebrities like American stand-up comedian, actor, and producer, Kevin Hart, dancing to it. Also, American model and former Equestrian, Lori Harvey, was seen whining to the record on exotic beaches in candle-lit nights.
There are clips of huge crowds at festivals singing along to the song, a palpable lust for life electrifying the air. A stray on social media platforms like Snapchat or Tiktok, will open you to a world of summer revelers, sound tracking their sunny adventures, whilst major global influencers are creating content to its rhythms.
To cash in on the impulse, the RCA-signed superstar has announced a U.S tour, with nearly all stops sold out. In some cities, tickets resell for up to $300, while standing spaces go for as high as $149.
Wizkid’s success, no doubt, has further elevated the Nigerian music industry and the Afrobeats culture to the world, as major label executives that banked on the genre are smiling home.
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