Because international travel is restricted in some countries at the moment, the artists took to a stage far from New York City, where Fallon’s studio performances usually unfold.
Instead, the two sang their collaboration “Essence” in an empty stadium on a stage built atop a long runway, decorated with tall screens and cool-toned lighting. As the two walked out dressed head-to-toe in suave attire, Wizkid dropped his oversized black fur coat to reveal a matching latex-looking set, and Tems showed off a printed bodysuit with a black corset overtop.
Complete with sultry dance moves and stellar vocal performances, their live rendition of the summer smash was just as raw and amusing as the recorded track.
The Nigerian Afropop artists are just two of the many emerging names in the budding Afrobeats genre that made its mark in American pop culture this year. In an interview with Billboard in early August, Wizkid attributed the success of his track to the expansive genre, saying, “Afrobeats just spreads love around a room when you play it.”
“Essence” made its initial appearance on Wizkid’s 2020 album Made In Lagos, and gained listenership throughout the year. Just a few months ago,“Essence” topped the Billboard Hot 100 after Justin Bieber remixed the track.
Tems released her EP If Orange Was a Place in September and appeared on Drake’s “Fountains” off of his latest album, Certified Lover Boy.
Watch Wizkid and Tems’ performance below.