Essence (song)

"Essence" is a song by Nigerian singer Wizkid, featuring fellow Nigerian singer Tems. It was released on 30 October 2020, as the fourth single from Wizkid's fourth studio album, Made in Lagos. "Essence" was produced by P2J and Legendury Beatz. The "sensual" song sees the duo express their desire for each other. A music video was released on 9 April 2021, shot in Accra, Ghana. "Essence" is the first Nigerian song in history to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Global 200.[1][2] The song received a nomination at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Global Music Performance.

"Essence"
Single by Wizkid featuring Tems
from the album Made in Lagos
Released30 October 2020
Genre
Length4:08
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Wizkid singles chronology
"Ginger"
(2020)
"Essence"
(2020)
"B. d'Or"
(2021)
Tems singles chronology
"Damages"
(2020)
"Essence"
(2021)
"Crazy Tings"
(2021)
Music video
"Essence" on YouTube

Background and compositionEdit

After the song garnered popularity, Tems said that although she was "happy" with her first recording of the song, she felt her verse could have been better. However, Wizkid and his team thought her vocals were great and ultimately kept it. Tems recalled hearing the song "in the most random places", while in Los Angeles.[3]

"Essence" is an Afrobeats/Afro-pop and R&B song.[4][5] Lyrically, it sees Wizkid and Tems yearning for each other's physical connection;[6][7] deemed a "flirtatious" song, the artists deliver "tongue-in-cheek showboating".[4] As observed by NPR's Sidney Madden, the song features Tems singing the chorus about how only her lover can give her the feeling of "lust and obsession and worship that she deserves", with the lyrics "You don't need no other body. You don't need no other body".[8]

Critical receptionEdit

 
Graffiti work in Bologna, Italy, quoting lyrics from the song

Henrietta Taylor of Nigerian publication DST lauded the collaboration, writing: "The Nigerian artists make a formidable duo in the glossy Afrobeats single, with the more established Wizkid giving rising-star Tems a platform to give listeners a glimpse of her knock-out vocals".[4] Praising the chorus as "the hook that keeps on giving", NPR's Sidney Madden opined that the song was not immediately appreciated, due to COVID-19, writing: "this song didn't really get the justice or even the fair playing field it deserved because we were all inside, we were all quarantined. But now that concerts and outdoor picnics and anywhere where the communal experience of music is appreciated is coming back, this song is going to be everywhere, and it's going to continue to go up".[8] Calling the track a perfect mix of Afropop and R&B, Pan African Music said the duo "present an ode to lust" as they "embody sexual desire, advocating a sense of reciprocity".[5] Regina Cho of Revolt deemed the song a stand-out from Made in Lagos, calling Tems's verse "sensual".[9] GRM Daily's Courtney W called it a "silky, smooth" offering.[10] Conversely, NME called the track "expendable".[11]

In 2021, "Essence" was ranked as the number one best song of 2021 by American magazine Rolling Stone.[12]

OtherEdit

"Essence" was included in Spotify's Song of the Summer playlist in June 2021,[13] and in Barack Obama's favourite songs of 2020 playlist.[14]

Music videoEdit

The music video was released on 9 April 2021.[15] Directed by Director K of PriorGold Pictures, and produced by Leke Alabi Isama,[16] it was shot in Accra, Ghana. It was the fourth video to be released from Made in Lagos.[11] The visual sees Wizkid and Tems lounging in the streets of Accra, while Wizkid is later seen riding in a car with two women.[11][16] The video was considered "colourful" and "scintillating", [4][6] with GRM Daily saying, "The visuals perfectly coincide with the track's blissful feel and include colourful fits, scenic shots and good vibes".[10] Rolling Stone said the artists "glow, Wiz bare-chested and draped in diamonds, Tems in slick braids and flowing garb".[7]

Justin Bieber remixEdit

"Essence"
 
Cover of the Justin Bieber version
Single by Wizkid featuring Justin Bieber and Tems
from the album Made in Lagos (deluxe edition)
Released13 August 2021
Genre
  • Afrobeats
  • R&B
Length4:23
Label
  • Starboy
  • RCA
Songwriter(s)
  • Ayodeji Balogun
  • Justin Bieber
  • Temilade Openiyi
  • Uzezi Oniko
  • Okiemute Oniko
  • Richard Isong
Producer(s)
  • Legendury Beatz
Justin Bieber singles chronology
"Stay"
(2021)
"Essence"
(2021)
"Don't Go"
(2021)
Justin Bieber version lyric video
"Essence" on YouTube

A remix of "Essence" featuring additional vocals from Canadian singer Justin Bieber was released on 13 August 2021, and appears on the deluxe edition of Made in Lagos.[17]

AccoladesEdit

Awards and nominations for "Essence"
Year Organization Award Result Ref(s)
2021 All Africa Music Awards Best African Collaboration Won [18][19]
Song of the Year in Africa Won
2021 African Entertainment Awards USA Best Collaboration Won [20]
Best Video Won
Song of the Year Won
2021 Soul Train Music Awards Best Collaboration Won [21][22]
Video of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter's Award Nominated
2022 Grammy Awards Best Global Music Performance Nominated [23][24]
2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards Hip Hop Song of the Year Nominated [25]
2022 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album Won [26]
Outstanding International Song Won [26]
2022 3Music Awards African Song of the Year Won [27]
2022 BET Awards Best Collaboration Won [28][29]

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from Tidal.[30]

  • Wizkid – vocals, songwriting
  • Tems – vocals, songwriting
  • Justin Bieber – vocals, songwriting (remix only)
  • Legendury Beatz
    • Uzezi Oniko – songwriting, production
    • Mut4y – songwriting, production
  • P2J – songwriting, production
  • Heidi Wang – assistant engineering (remix only)
  • Benjamin Rice – engineering (remix only)
  • Colin Leonard – mastering
  • Leandro Hidalgo – mixing
  • Josh Gudwin – recording, vocal production (remix only)

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Certifications for "Essence"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[57] 2× Platinum 160,000 
New Zealand (RMNZ)[58] Gold 15,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[59] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[60] 3× Platinum 3,000,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Release history and formats for "Essence"
Country Date Format Label Ref.
Various 3 October 2020
[9]
United States 23

March 2021 29 June 2021

Contenporary Hit RadioUrban radio [61]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Chart peaks in Canada, Global 200 and the US Hot 100 measure combined data between the original and the Justin Bieber remix version.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Wizkid's 'Essence' Enters Hot 100". Billboard. 15 July 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  2. ^ "New Around the World: Wizkid & Tems Spotlight Nigeria on Global 200". Billboard. 22 July 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  3. ^ Bassey, Ekaete (12 June 2021). "I could have done better on Wizkidxs Essence Tems". The Nation (Nigeria). Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Taylor, Henrietta (12 April 2021). "WizKid - Essence feat. Tems [Video]". DST. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b "WizKid and Tems embody sensuality on "Essence"". Pan African Music. 12 April 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Wizkid And Tems Release Scintillating Video For "Essence"". The Guardian (Nigeria). 9 April 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b Mankaprr, Conteh (9 April 2021). "Wizkid and Tems Lounge and Glow in 'Essence' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b Madden, Sidney (8 July 2021). "Our Songs Of Summer For 2021". NPR. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  9. ^ a b Cho, Regina (9 April 2021). "Wizkid and Tems unleash official video for "Essence"". Revolt. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  10. ^ a b W, Courtney (9 April 2021). "Wizkid & Tems Deliver Silky Vibes In Visuals For Big "Made In Lagos" Cut "Essence"". GRM Daily. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Richards, Will (11 April 2021). "WizKid shares video for new Tems collaboration 'Essence'". NME. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Wizkid, Lil Nas X, & Megan Thee Stallion Top Rolling Stone's Best Songs of 2021". 6 December 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  13. ^ Shafer, Ellise (29 June 2021). "Olivia Rodrigo, Rauw Alejandro and BTS Lead Spotify's Song of the Summer Predictions". Variety. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Barack Obama 2020 Playlist". Wonderland Magazine. 21 December 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  15. ^ BN TV (9 April 2021). "New Video: Wizkid feat. Tems – Essence". BellaNaija. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  16. ^ a b Bartee, Richardine (9 April 2021). "Wizkid, Tems release highly-anticipated video for 'Essence'". Grunge Cake. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Justin Bieber Jumping on a Remix of WizKid's 'Essence,' His Personal 'Song of the Summer'". Billboard. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  18. ^ Obey, Yinka (25 November 2021). "AFRIMA 2021: Wizkid, Iba One win big, Manjeru makes history, full list of winner". Legit.ng - Nigeria news. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  19. ^ "2021 AFRIMA Awards – See Full Winners List". tooXclusive. 22 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Wizkid wins five awards at 2021 AEAUSA". The Nation Newspaper. 28 December 2021. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  21. ^ "H.E.R. Is Top Nominee at 2021 Soul Train Awards; Maxwell & Ashanti to Receive Special Awards: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  22. ^ "H.E.R., Chris Brown and Jazmine Sullivan lead nominations for 2021 Soul Train Awards". Revolt. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  23. ^ "64th Annual GRAMMY Awards". Grammy.com. 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  24. ^ Cohn, Gabe (23 November 2021). "Grammy Awards 2022: The Full List of Nominees". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  25. ^ "iHeartRadio Music Awards". iHeartRadio. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  26. ^ a b "53rd NAACP Image Awards". Naacpimageawards.net. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  27. ^ Kotey, Nii (27 March 2022). "3Music News: 3Music Awards '22: Here are all the winners". 3Music TV. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  28. ^ "BET Awards 2022 Nominees Revealed: Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and More | Complex". Complex. 1 June 2022. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  29. ^ "BET Awards 2022 Nominees Announced". BET. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  30. ^ "Credits / Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition / Wizkid". Tidal. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  31. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  32. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  33. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
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  35. ^ "WizKid feat. Tems – Essence". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  36. ^ "Wizkid feat. Tems – Essence". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  37. ^ "Local & International Streaming Chart Top 100: 20/08/2021 to 26/08/2021". The Official South African Charts. Recording Industry of South Africa. Archived from the original on 8 September 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  38. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker, vecka 34". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  39. ^ "Wizkid feat. Justin Bieber & Tems – Essence". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  40. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  41. ^ "Official Afrobeats Chart Top 20 – Week of 31 January 2021". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  42. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  43. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (U.S. Afrobeats Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  44. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  45. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  46. ^ "Wizkid Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  47. ^ "Rolling Stone Top 100". Rolling Stone Top 100. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  48. ^ "Wizkid Chart History – World Digital Songs Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  49. ^ "Billboard Global 200 – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  50. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 – 2021". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
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  52. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
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  55. ^ "Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs – Year-End 2022". Billboard. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  56. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 2022". Billboard. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  57. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Wizkid – Essence". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  58. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Wizkid – Essence". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  59. ^ "British single certifications – Wizkid – Essence". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  60. ^ "American single certifications – Wizkid – Essence". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  61. ^ "Urban/R&B Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on 29 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.