In this short interview barely exceeding 14 minutes, dorodiva, Tiwa Savage, disclosed quite a bit of information. She touched on topics such as record deals, touring, motherhood, music, Jay Z, and even food. Even though some topics were left untouched (e.g. T Billz, Seyi Shay friction, etc.), Tiwa was very generous and transparent in regard to everything shared in this interview.
Although Tiwa may be a new artist to some in the Western World, she has been in the music game for quite some time. The industry vet arrived on the music scene as a songwriter and backup vocalist for A-list entertainers. Now that Tiwa has finally secured an international platform, she is ready to take on the world and be an extension of the African sound. Aside from dropping several gems industry newcomers can benefit from, and sharing personal facts, Tiwa took time to clarify a few misconceptions.
Tiwa Savage is simultaneously signed to Mavin Records, Sony/ATV, and Roc Nation. Each label plays its role within the Tiwa Savage brand. Mavin is her record label, Roc Nation is strictly for management, and the Sony/ATV contract is a publishing deal.
Since Tiwa’s signing to Roc Nation, she has embarked on a US tour performing in six cities. This “Road to USA” tour featured DJ Big N and budding rapper/singer, Iceberg Slim.
Tiwa also touched on motherhood while being on tour. Her mother assists watching Jamil, or baby JamJam, to make the load lighter. Also, it is a bonus that her son is very well mannered. Perks of motherhood have been skipping lines in the airport and preference for seats on the train. Ultimately, being a mother is generally rewarding.
Being Labeled ‘Female Artist’:
Tiwa applauded the ONE Africa Music Fest for its ambition and successful debut. Her sentiments are that the festival was major for African music, and only marks the beginning. Success will be assured if ONE Africa and musicians alike keep the momentum going with more events. She also addressed her role in it as the only woman headliner. Tiwa is not interested in being labeled the best female act or comparable titles, but rather aims to be the best competitively. Furthermore, she feels that there should not be gender restricting categories like best male/female, but instead best artist, thus including all artists to compete.
As Tiwa reminisced about the recording process of her R.E.D. album, she beamed with pride. It was an emotional journey; not only because of the album’s content, but because she did most of the recording while seven/eight months pregnant! Her favorites are “Adura,” “If I Start to Talk,” and “Say It.” Tiwa describes them as the most meaningful songs on the project. Specifically, Say It speaks against problematic relationship issues. She even found a supporter and ally of her work across the water. Ebro Darden of the popular radio station, Hot 97, interviewed Tiwa on Beats 1 Radio. She says their professional relationship happened organically.
After several weigh ins from industry greats, still nobody knows what to call our sound! However, Tiwa leans toward the all-encompassing Afropop. Although we cannot quite define our sound, Tiwa knows hers! Despite being managed by the American label, Roc Nation, Tiwa affirms she will not change her sound. She believes that now is the time to be a proud African musician since afropop is now crossing over. Roc Nation founder, Jay-Z, also agrees that Tiwa should retain her signature sound.
Fun Facts: Tiwa is obviously talented, but would not have made it this far if she was not so disciplined. However, even the most focused people have their vices. Tiwa admitted she has a weakness to Agege bread and butter. She also craves Ewagoyin bread. Runner-Ups to her bread choices are Jollof rice and of course, Pepsi. For those wanting to get on Tiwa’s good side, you all now know what to gift her.