For over a decade, the songstress Tiwa Savage has stayed at the top and remains consistent in a supposed male dominated industry. She stands as one of the leading female acts taking Afrobeats to the world.
However, Tiwa Savage has no doubt had her own bumpy rollercoaster ride in the music industry and life in general.
In all, with three music albums including her most recent, ‘Celia’ featuring British, singer Sam Smith, she also has a couple of hit songs and international deals to her name. Crowing it all with both local and foreign accolades, Tiwa is definitely an icon to so many fans and even budding music artistes. You won’t be wrong if you call her a classy, bougie ‘Savage’ in the music industry.
Name: Tiwatope Savage
D.O.B: February 5, 1980 (age 40)
Years Active 1996–present
Labels: 323 Entertainment, Mavin Records, Universal Music, Motown Capital Island
Projects: Once Upon a Time, R.E.D, Sugar cane, Celia
Tiwatope Savage was born on 5th February 1980, in Isale Eko, Lagos State, Nigeria. Her family relocated to London when she was 11 years old. While attending secondary school, she was a trombone player for her school’s orchestra band. Savage graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Kent, and started working at The Royal Bank of Scotland.
At age 16, young Tiwa started doing backup vocals for English singer George Michael and lent vocals to other musicians such as Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, Kelly Clarkson, Andrea Bocelli and Ms. Dynamite.
In 2006, she participated in the UK edition of The X Factor and advanced to the final 24, but ended up being the 12th person to be evicted. Tiwa decided to enroll at Berklee College of Music to better develop her craft and graduated with a degree in professional music in 2007.
In 2009, the songwriter signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The deal allowed her to write for Babyface, Fantasia, Monica and some others. Having received songwriting credits for her contribution to Monica’s soul-tinged ballad “Catch Me”. Her collaboration with Fantasia on the song “Collard Greens & Cornbread” earned the American recording artist a Grammy nomination in 2010. She also performed background vocals on Whitney Houston’s album I Look to You (2009).
Inspired by the growth of the Nigerian music industry, Savage moved back to Nigeria and established the now defunct 323 Entertainment record label with her former manager and husband Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun, to whom she got married to in 2014 and divorced later on in 2016. She joined Mavin Records in 2012.
Tiwa Savage’s debut studio album Once Upon a Time was released on 3rd July 2013. The tracks: “Kele Kele Love”, “Love Me”, “Without My Heart”, “Ife Wa Gbona”, “Folarin”, “Olorun Mi” and “Eminado” supported the album. In this album, she featured General pype, Sarkodie and Iceberg.
“This album is straight from my heart and it’s something that I’ve worked so tirelessly for. A lot of people wondered why it took me so long a time to drop my own album. That’s because we had to go through a lot of legal processes to clear some of the samples that we used, and that took us some months. Also, we wanted to work with notable producers outside the shores of the country like Oak who produces Rihanna. So, we had to work around his schedule and waited for them to have our time. But this album is something that I really took my time with because I didn’t want it to be the usual Nigerian album that contains just party tracks from the beginning till the end.”
-Tiwa Savage, speaking to Vanguard about her debut studio album
On 19th December 2015, Savage released her second studio album R.E.D, an acronym for Romance, Expression and Dance. The album features guest appearances from Don Jazzy, Olamide, Dr SID, Iceberg Slim, 2face Idibia, D’Prince, Busy Signal and Reekado Banks. While producers- Don Jazzy, Baby Fresh, Altims, Spellz and P2J took production credit. The album was supported by two singles: “My Darlin” and “Standing Ovation”.
In February 2016, she released a deluxe edition of the album R.E.D and features guest vocals from Wizkid and P-Square. Savage recorded the album while pregnant with her son Jamal. The album was made available for free digital streaming on MTN Music on 21 December 2015.Within 24 hours of its release, it became the MTN music streaming platform most-streamed album.
On 29 July 2016, the oga madam officially announced her deal with Roc nation through her Instagram account, making her the first Nigerian artist to be signed to the label.
In September 2017, she released her debut EP Sugarcane.It housed features with producers and guest artists such as Wizkid, Spellz, Baby Fresh, Maleek Berry and P2J. The ‘Extended Play’ centres on love and was recorded in English and Yoruba.
In November 2018, Savage won Best African Act at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards, becoming the first woman to win the category. Safe to say that Tiwa is the standard right?
Universal Music Group announced the signing of Tiwa Savage to a seven-year publishing and distribution deal on 2 May 2019. With this announcement came her exit from Mavin Records.
In July 2019, Savage was featured on “Keys to the Kingdom”, a track she co-wrote for Beyoncé’s soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift. She appeared on the track alongside Mr Eazi.
On 18th August, 2020 the boss lady released the track list for her third studio album Celia and on 28th August, 2020, she released Celia. A 13 track album that features Afrobeats heavy weight Davido, English singer Sam Smith, Jamaican songstress Stefflon Don, Naira Marley and Dice Ailes. Fans have had mixed feelings towards this album since its release.
Well, not only is Tiwa Savage a singer, she’s also an actress. She has starred in a couple of TV series and stage plays. Coupled with her delectable and stunning personality. Reason why she’s not your regular female artist.
The boss lady is an all round entertainer and inspiration to many. From Afrobeats360, we say keep soaring Tiwa Savage.
Cheers for being our Artiste of the week!
Meanwhile here’s for any of our MTN or Airtel readers:
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