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Nigerian musicians Wizkid, Tems’ song Essence makes Obama’s 2020 list of top songs



Nigerian Afrobeats star Wizkid’s hit ‘Essence’ featuring fellow musician Tems is among former US president Barack Obama’s playlist of favourite music in 2020

The annual list is now available on Spotify(link is external) and comprises 30 tracks crisscrossing genres. The selection forms part of his tradition that started during Obama’s tenure as President and arrives days after he shared his favourite films and TV shows of the year. It also features South African house DJ Prince Kaybee’s hit ‘Uwrongo’ featuring Shimza, Black Motion and Ami Faku. Other songs on the list are from musicians such as British rapper J Hus, Puerto Rican act Bad Bunny and US legends Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

“Here are some of my favourite songs of the year,” Obama wrote on Twitter and Instagram(link is external) on Saturday. “As usual, I had some valuable consultation from our family music guru, Sasha, to put this together. I hope you find a new song or two to listen to.”

‘Essence’ is taken from Wizkid’s fourth album Made in Lagos. The LP, which the artist deems as his best offering yet, also guests African musicians Burna Boy, Terri and Tay Iwar, as well as US singer H.E.R, the UK’s Skepta and Ella Mai and Jamaica’s Damian Marley. The album was also recently listed among Guardian UK’s 50 best albums of 2020.

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This is the second time Wizkid and Tems have made an Obama playlist this year, following their appearance on his 2020 summer playlist released in August. Wizkid made that playlist with ‘Smile’ featuring US R&B singer H.E.R. Tems was selected for appearing on the remix of Khalid’s ‘Know Your Worth’ alongside Davido.

Other artists who have made the playlist before include Ghana’s Shatta Wale, Nigerian stars Burna Boy and Rema, all-female supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique.

Meanwhile, Tems, alongside her manager and Omah Lay, were recently arrested in Uganda for flouting COVID-19 rules in the country during a December 12 concert in Kampala. The two appeared in court a few days following their arrest and were released after authorities dropped all charges against them. 

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