Wizkid dropped the deluxe version of his fourth studio album Made in Lagos a few days ago, featuring 3 brand new songs. The chart-breaking project has been touted as Wizkid’s best album since after he debuted Superstar in 2011.
Thanks to Essence featuring Tems, Made in Lagos has become the blueprint for making Afrobeat projects that span beyond the African border without fear of wavering-clout due to first impressions. In order words, Essence is an evergreen record.
No wonder American singer Justin Bieber called it the ‘song of the summer.’ Rolling Stone magazine, in a recent publication echoed Bieber’s sentiments, and gave a detailed breakdown of how the song that could eventually become the song of the year came to life.
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” – writes Rolling Stone’s staff writer Mankaprr Conteh about the original track.
In July, Essence debuted at Number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number 84 on the RS 100. However, the record has continued climbing the charts, thanks to a remix with Justin Bieber.
According to Conteh, Essence and its big remix were indeed the brainwork of several big players that wanted to leave an indelible mark on music.
Starting with Jada Pollock: Wizkid’s manager of six years, Mutay Oniko: One half of the production duo Legendury Beatz, who created the original instrumental that would become Essence, Wizkid himself, Tems, Uzezi Oniko: Mutay’s brother and partner in Legendury Beatz, P2J: The Nigerian producer who helmed or co-produced most of Made in Lagos. He provided additional production to Legendury Beatz’s “Essence” instrumental, Tay James: A DJ and Justin Bieber’s personal A&R. He helps Bieber connect to producers, songwriters, and sounds, and Mike G: Wizkid’s North American agent, helping him book tours, festivals, and other entertainment opportunities, all had significant parts to play in delivering what has arguably led Afrobeats to its Holy Grail.
To get the entire details, the roles that these guys played, and how Essence and its remix came to be, check out the publication here one Rolling Stones.