Mavin Records first lady – Tiwa Savage is already reaping dividends of her management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint. She had a sit-down with the well-revered Vibe Magazine for an informing interview. Here are the 10 things we learned from the article.
1. She’s Tomboyish
When she’s not on stage performing or being Tiwa Savage the artiste she likes to sport comfortable outfits like tracksuits and sneakers. Her tomboy influence stems from the fact she’s the only girl in her family.
“I’m the only girl. I’m the last-born. I have three older brothers. Life was beautiful. I had two loving parents; my brothers were always very protective because I was the only girl. Because I grew up with only boys, I was very tomboyish and a lot of people don’t see that,” she says. “A lot of people see heels, makeup and being glammed up, but 90% of the time, I like sneakers, track suits and being cool and relaxed. Growing up was fun and [had a feeling of] being free. Strict at times, but fun.”
2. Her First Endearment To Music Was Because of A Childhood Crush
Like every other female, Tiwa was trying to impress her girlhood crush who was part of the music group in her school, so she decided to join the music group to gain his attention.
“Here I was: this kid fresh from Nigeria, strong accent, my mom shaved my hair off. I tried to get his attention. I went to this music teacher and said that I really wanted to do music. He looked to the corner of the room and said the trombone was the only instrument left. I picked it up, but eventually got bullied for it because it was always getting in the way on the bus. That was having the opposite effect of what I wanted because this guy’s now laughing at me instead of falling in love with me. So, I gave up and joined the choir.”
3. She Has A Degree From Kent University
When she informed her folks about her music aspirations, she was told to earn a university degree instead and she obeyed.
“When I did tell my parents that I wanted to do music, my dad thought that I just wanted to sing in the choir,” she recalls. “I told him I wanted to be a musician and initially he wasn’t really for it, so he told me to go to school and study in either business, engineering or be a doctor or a lawyer.” She obliged and agreed to earn a degree in Business Administration from Kent University.”
4. She Attended A Music School In The States
Having earned her Business Administration degree from Kent University, she decided it was time to pursue her dream of being a musician.
“I wanted to do music and he said that I have to go and study music. I’m glad he did because I ended up going to the Berklee College Of Music and I studied jazz and music business. It really comes in handy when I have to look at music contracts.”
She Got Her First Publishing Gig As A Freelancer
When she concluded her course at Berklee College Of Music, she was ready to take on the music industry. She set out as a solo artist but ended up being a songwriter.
“Songwriting kind of happened. I was in the studio trying to create a demo for myself. I finished the song and went back home. The next day, I was supposed to come and do some ad-libs on it and learned that when I left, Fantasia Barrino heard the song and liked it. Long story short, she took the record and I got a publishing deal. I had to start writing songs for other people, which is a learning process for me because usually I write songs just for myself. When you are submitting [music] for other artists, they make like the song, but they might say tweak a certain part. I had to learn how to tailor a lot of songs to different artists, but the beauty about being an artist now is that I can say what I want say and how I want to say it.”
6. She Once Took A Break From The Nigerian Music Industry Due To Criticism.
After she released the visuals to her debut single – “Kele Kele Love”, Tiwa got slated for being scantily-clad which prompted her to take a break from the Nigerian Music Industry.
“You get this acceptance and then you’re seeing all these headlines. Now I’m a really immune to it. I don’t care who you are, when you first start, there’s no way it will not affect you, so I ran back to Los Angeles. I was like, ‘I am not doing this anymore.’”
Briant “Bee-High” Biggs Is Partly Responsible For Her Roc Nation Deal
Jay-Z announced on Twitter that his cousin was in Nigeria scouting for talents, little did we know it was Tiwa Savage that will get signed on to Roc Nation.
“I know a lot of artists have gotten international deals, but for me the genuine passion for Africa was just there and it started with me and Bee-High and just him taking time to come to Nigeria several times. That speaks volumes,”
8. Roc Nation Is Interested In Pushing The African Culture To The World
According to Tiwa Savage, Roc Nation isn’t just interested in her music alone and they are interested in a lot more.
“I’m still very pro-African and you can’t take that away from me,” she points out. “There’s nothing you can do to change that. I think only time will tell and they need to be rest assured that Roc Nation is really trying to introduce the African culture to the world, not even just America. When I say culture, they’re not just interested in the music, they’re interested in the fashion, in the culture and in the movement. I think that is because everybody is kind of reconnecting back with each other. A lot of the Africans in the diaspora are connecting back home and they see that buzz and they’re just trying to assist in building that bridge.”
9. Her Third Studio Album Is In The Works
Tiwa Savage is already laying down tracks for her third studio album and she’s looking for that sound that will cater for all fans and cut across.
“It all starts with great music,” Tiwa says. “I love that at Roc Nation they’re giving me the liberty to create great music. Mentally, I’m just trying to create something that crosses over, but appeals to Africa. Once we get the right music, I think the music is going to determine what we do. Obviously, the press, the plugging in to radios, the strategic collaborations, all of that is in the works. It depends on the music that we determine which artist I collaborate with.”