How Wizkid, Tems, and Justin Bieber teamed up to make the globe-trotting song of the summer

Africa’s heavyweight Wizkid just dropped the deluxe edition of his fourth album, Made in Lagos, imbuing the final days of summer with more tropical grooves. The original version of the album arrived last fall, earning adoration from critics and fans alike. And that appreciation only grew with time.

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For many, the record’s breakthrough single “Essence” became the soundtrack to an optimistic reemergence after a dark and isolated winter. The track, replete with rhythm and longing, offered an exciting alliance between Afrobeats veteran Wizkid and the promising up-and-comer Tems; the pair’s chemistry captivated listeners far beyond the bounds of their native Nigeria. Last month, in a rare moment for Afropop, “Essence” broke onto elusive American charts, debuting at Number 82 on the Hot 100 and Number 84 on the RS 100. Thanks to a recent remix featuring Justin Bieber, the song is now barreling to the top of both. 

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