“Essence” is still heating up.
It marks Wizkid’s first No. 1 as a lead artist following similar success with his presence on Drake‘s “One Dance,” which topped the chart in 2016. As for Tems, it is the 26-year-old songstress’ first appearance on the chart.
Per MRC data, it is the first time artist has hit No. 1 on the chart without having any prior Top 5 tracks since DaBaby‘s “Suge” nabbed it in 2019.
“Essence” first arrived almost a year ago on Wizkid‘s Made In Lagos album. It was one of a handful of R&B-centric cuts that could have equated to similar success for Wiz. Among them were the H.E.R.-assisted “Smile” and the Ella Mai-assisted “Piece Of Me.” Months later, as the quarantine began to scale back, “‘Essence’ pushed through as the soundtrack of choice post-lockdown.
“[‘Essence’] has become emblematic of being back outside,” former RCA Executive VP A&R Tunji 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.”