Born on February 5th, 1980, Tiwatope Savage, popularly known as Tiwa Savage, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. She has been dubbed the “Queen of Afrobeats.” She traveled to London at the age of 11 to pursue her secondary education after being born in Isale Eko. Five years later, she began her musical career by singing backup for artists like Mary J. Blige and George Michael. Tiwa Savage joined Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2009 after finishing his studies at Berklee College of Music and competing on The X Factor UK. Motivated by the growth of the Nigerian music business, Savage moved back to Nigeria and signed with Mavin Records in 2012. She appeared on the 2012 compilation album Solar Plexus from the label.
Once Upon a Time, her debut studio album, was released on July 3, 2013. It was supported by seven singles: “Kele Kele Love,” “Love Me (3x),” “Without My Heart,” “Ife Wa Gbona,” “Folarin,” “Olorun Mi,” and “Eminado.” The album was up for two awards: Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and Best R&B/Pop Album at The Headies 2014. The second studio album by Tiwa Savage, R.E.D, was released on December 19, 2015. The single versions of “My Darlin” and “Standing Ovation” were both released. In June 2016, Savage and Roc Nation came to a management and publishing agreement. In September 2017, she released Sugarcane, the title of her debut EP. Sugarcane and R.E.D have been nominated for Best Album at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
Tiwa Savage became the first female winner of Best African Act at the November 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards. In May 2019, she announced both her record deal with Universal Music Group and her separation from Mavin Records. Celia, Savage’s third studio album, was made available in August 2020. It led to the creation of the singles “Attention,” “Dangerous Love,” “Koroba,” and “Temptation.”Her second long play, Water & Garri, was released on August 20, 2021. Savage describes the EP’s fusion of soulful R&B and Afrobeat the “most spiritual journey through music so far.” In March 2022, Savage announced the Water & Garri North American Tour to support the EP.At a graduation ceremony conducted at Canterbury Cathedral in July 2022, she received an honorary degree from the University of Kent.
Afrobeats, R&B, pop, hip-hop, and English are all present in Tiwa Savage’s dual-language singing in Yoruba and English. Savage’s contributions to the Nigerian music scene have resulted in a number of accomplishments. She has contributed money to the building of schools in Nigeria and has worked on initiatives to increase youth empowerment and breast cancer screening. Tiwa Savage established the We Are Tired charitable foundation as a project to aid and represent victims of sexual assault in Nigeria.
Formative years, beginnings of a profession, and songwriting from 1980 to 2009
Tiwatope Savage was born in Isale Eko, Lagos State, Nigeria, on February 5, 1980. Her family relocated to London when she was 11 years old. She played trombone for her school’s orchestra band while she was in secondary school. Savage joined The Royal Bank of Scotland after graduating from the University of Kent with a degree in accounting. She provided backing vocals for the English singer George Michael when she was 16 years old. She has provided vocals for artists like Mary J. Andrea Bocelli, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, and Ms. Dynamite. Tiwa Savage enrolled in the Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in professional music in 2007. She recalled how the younger students’ fervor and ambition encouraged her as she spoke fondly about her time there. She continued by saying that she needed the college atmosphere.
Tiwa Savage competed in the UK version of The X Factor in 2006 and made it to the final 24 but was eliminated as the 12th contestant. She found it difficult to handle the spotlight while participating. She said, “You must always be aware that people are watching.” It was a very painful time when I learned that I wasn’t making it to the final 12. But until you get home, you still need to learn how to contain that. After all, you don’t want to just let everything out. People admire you and want to see that you are strong; they do not want to see you falter.
2009 saw the signing of a contract between Tiwa Savage and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. She had the opportunity to pen songs for Babyface, M.A., Kat Deluna, Fantasia, and Monica. Thanks to the agreement. Her contribution to Monica’s soulful ballad “Catch Me” earned her songwriting credit. The American recording artist received a Grammy nomination in 2010 for her work with Fantasia on the song “Collard Greens & Cornbread”. The songs “Oh Yeah” by Jaicko and “Push Push” by Deluna, which feature Snoop Dogg and Akon, were both written by Tiwa Savage. On the 2009 album I Look to You by Whitney Houston, she provided background vocals. Motivated by the growth of the Nigerian music business, Savage moved back to Nigeria and signed with Mavin Records in 2012.
2010–2013: Record deal, endorsements, and Once Upon a Time
In December 2011, Tiwa Savage and IllRymz co-hosted the second season of Nigerian Idol. She made her acting debut alongside Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the For Coloured Girls theatrical adaption. With her former manager and husband Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun, with whom Savage became engaged on February 5, 2013, they founded the 323 Entertainment record company. She started working with Mavin Records in 2012 and was one of the featured artists on the collection Solar Plexus. She made connections with musicians Keith Harris, Derek Pate, Scott Coleman, Radar Ellis, and Darien Dorsey while she was a student at Berklee College of Music. In a conversation with author Brenda Pike, she confirmed working with producers Chuck Harmony, Warren “Oak” Felder, and Sossick, among others. She promised that songs in her native tongue would appear on her debut studio album. In 2012, Savage appeared on the “Oyi” remix. She first cut her own version of the song before working with Flavour.
In recognition of the 52nd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, Tiwa Savage sang “Arise, O Compatriots” to Ndani Sessions. She worked on the “Higher” Ovation Red Carol theme song alongside Waje, Praiz, Timi Dakolo, and Pamela Egoh in November 2012. Once Upon a Time, Savage’s debut studio album, was started in 2010. In May 2013, she hosted an album listening event at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi. She unveiled the album’s whole track listing and named Iceberg Slim, Sarkodie, and General Pype as featured performers during the listening party. On July 3, 2013, the album became available to Nigerians. It was made accessible on iTunes a day before its official release. In order to highlight the inspiring tales from her life, Tiwa Savage gave her album the title Once Upon a Time. She claimed that by sharing with other up-and-coming artists how she previously harbored aspirations of being a celebrity as a little child in Isale Eko, she hoped to inspire other budding artists. For the sake of promoting the album, seven singles—”Kele Kele Love,” “Love Me (3x),” “Without My Heart,” “Ife Wa Gbona,” “Folarin,” “Olorun Mi,” and “Eminado”—were made available. Additionally, it contains political songs like “Middle Passage,” which is about the difficulties faced by African men living abroad. The 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards had Once Upon a Time up for Best Album of the Year. Additionally, it was a 2014 Headies nominee for Best R&B/Pop Album.
Tiwa Savage has worked on numerous initiatives in Nigeria aimed at breast cancer screening and youth empowerment. She participated in the fundraising efforts for a group that constructs schools in her hometown. In July 2013, Savage agreed to an endorsement agreement with MTN Nigeria, purportedly for $30 million. Additionally, she agreed to endorse Pepsi, Forte Oil, and Maggi.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, Tiwa Savage dropped the Spellz-produced song “Love in Yellow” on January 31, 2014. Retro R&B and funk are heard in the tune. Don Jazzy’s production of Reekado Banks’ “Turn It Up” single from 2014 included Savage. Savage, Don Jazzy, Dr. SID, D’Prince, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, and Di’Ja contributed vocals to the “Dorobucci” single, which was released on May 1 by Mavin Records.
On May 19, 2014, Foston Musik launched Tiwa Savage’s “Girlie O” remix featuring Patoranking. WizzyPro is credited with song production. The music video for the song was shot and directed in London by Moe Musa. Along with Miguel, Flavour N’abania, Davido, Mafikizolo, Uhuru, Oskido, and Professor, Savage performed at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards on June 7, 2014. On May 28, 2014, the Moe Musa-directed “Wanted” music video debuted. In it, Tiwa Savage may be seen caressing herself suggestively while donning a body suit. Following the release of the video, there was a significant public backlash on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among other social networking sites.
Tiwa Savage, Mi Casa, Lola Rae, Sarkodie, Diamond Platnumz, and Davido worked together on the song “Africa Rising” in June 2014 for the same-named DStv campaign. The campaign aims to motivate Africans to take part in neighborhood-based social investment projects. South African production company Callback Dreams shot and directed the “Africa Rising” music video. At the Africa Rising launch event in Mauritius, the musicians gave the song a performance.
R.E.D, which stands for romance, expression, and dance, is the title of Tiwa Savage’s second studio album, which was released on December 19, 2015. Don Jazzy, Olamide, Dr. SID, Iceberg Slim, 2face Idibia, D’Prince, Busy Signal, and Reekado Banks all make cameo performances on the album. Don Jazzy was primarily responsible for producing it, with assistance from Baby Fresh, Altims, Spellz, and P2J. The songs “My Darlin” and “Standing Ovation” contributed to the album’s promotion. Wizkid and P-Square contributed vocals to the deluxe edition, which was released in February 2016. The 2016 Nigeria Entertainment Awards’ Best Album category included a nomination for R.E.D. When Savage was expecting her son, she was recording the album. On December 21, 2015, MTN Music released the album a free digital streaming option. Within 24 hours of its release, it overtook other albums as the most streamed on the music platform. The album was promoted by I-am-Red.com.
In June 2016, the news outlets stated that Tiwa Savage has partnered with Roc Nation for management and publishing. The first singer from Nigeria to sign with the organization, she made it public by posting the news on her Instagram account on July 29, 2016.
2017 to 2019: Sugarcane, the MTV EMA, and a record deal with UMG
On the Liberty Stage at Jay Z’s Made in America Festival, Tiwa Savage performed. Young Paris was included throughout her performance to play “Best of Me” (Remix). Savage’s debut EP, Sugarcane, was released on September 22. Collaborations between producers and special guests like Wizkid, Maleek Berry, Baby Fresh, Spellz, and P2J are among them. It features love-related topics and was recorded in both English and Yoruba. In the 2018 Nigeria Entertainment Awards’ Best Album of the Year category, Sugarcane was nominated. Savage admitted to The Fader magazine that she had no intention of releasing the EP but chose to do so as a result of having recorded so much music for her forthcoming album. Afropop, funk, house, pop music, R&B, and trap are all combined in Sugarcane.
At The O2’s Indigo venue, Tiwa Savage performed as the headlining act on August 24, 2018. The event’s general admission tickets were sold out hours beforehand. Don Jazzy, Reekado Banks, Di’Ja, Dr. SID, WSTRN, Awilo Longomba, Mystro, and the Alternate Sound Band all gave additional performances during the show. Savage had a pop-up store on Berwick Street before the show. Savage became the first female winner of Best African Act at the November 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards. The catchy song “One” by Tiwa Savage was made available on November 15, 2018. It touches on themes of thankfulness and was produced by Killer Tunez. The song was defined as a “Afrobeat song with a soft tempo and smooth rhythmical flow” by Akinpelu Oluwafunmilayo for Legit.ng. At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, which was held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 2, 2018, Savage gave a performance. The first news about her festival performance surfaced in July 2018.
On December 7, 2018, the video for “One” was made available. It was filmed under Clarence Peters’ direction on a small beach in Osoroko, Lagos. The “One” music video was removed from YouTube in January 2019 after claims of copyright breaches. On March 2nd, 2019, YouTube reinstated the video after being unable to confirm a copyright violation. Tiwa Savage was added to the roster of performers for the 2019 Wireless Festival on March 13. Savage signed a seven-year publishing and distribution deal, according to a statement released by Universal Music Group on May 2, 2019. She also acknowledged leaving Mavin Records. Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna and Efe Ogbeni of Regime Music Society will be in charge of executive producing all of her projects for the label. Future songs by Tiwa Savage will be made available through the label’s operations in more than 60 nations.
Tiwa Savage contributed to the song “Keys to the Kingdom” for Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album, and it was released in July 2019. She shared the stage with Mr. Eazi during the song. Tiwa Savage’s debut song with Motown Records, “49-99,” was made available on September 5 of this year. The phrase “49 sitting, 99 standing” from Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s 1978 smash song “Shuffering and Shmiling” is referred to in the song. “49-99” is a song that has been described as a fusion of afrobeat, R&B, and pop music. It has syncopated percussion, humming backing harmonies, and sharp snares. The “49-99” video, which was directed by Meji Alabi, uses vibrant images and symbolism. The iconic photographs of Congolese schoolgirls shot by photographer Eliot Elisofon in 1972 are mentioned in one of the video’s sequences. Another shot features Tiwa Savage spread out with long strands, which is similar to Diana Ross’ late 1960s appearance with flower accents.
Both “Attention” by Black Jheerze and “Owo Mi Da” by Pheelz were released by Savage on November 19, 2019. She criticizes her love interest for not giving their relationship enough attention in “Attention,” whereas in “Owo Mi Da,” she hurls insults at an unidentified borrower. On “kó,” a slow-building ballad from Coldplay’s eighth studio album Everyday Life (2019), Tiwa Savage provided background vocals.
In the middle of 2017, while Tiwa Savage was getting ready to drop Sugarcane, the media started referring to her as the Queen of Afrobeats. As Tiwa Savage joined Motown in 2019, BellaNaija and the Namibian Sun used that term. In 2020, The New York Times referred to Savage as the Queen of Afrobeats, and on the cover of its May 2021 issue, Allure magazine proclaimed Tiwa Savage to be the Queen of Afrobeats. May7ven and Yemi Alade had previously each been referred to as the Queen of Afrobeats by various media outlets. According to Savage, other female performers in the genre, such as Alade and Simi, have put in just as much effort to earn the title. When Tems won the BET Awards in June 2022, Tems’ supporters and Tiwa Savage’s supporters disagreed on social media as to which artist was the Queen of Afrobeats.
2020–2022: Celia, Water & Garri, a charity organization, a Billboard cover story, and an honorary degree
Alongside Mr. Eazi and Davido, Tiwa Savage was a part of the “Africa Now” cover story for Billboard magazine in May 2020. Lakin Ogunbanwo and Seye Isikalu took the photos for the cover story, and Daniel Obasi and Quinton Faulkner did the style. Interviews with the three artists are included in the piece, which was written by Gail Mitchell. The artists discussed a range of subjects on a video conference call, including living in quarantine and the definition of afrobeats.
Tiwa Savage established the We Are Tired charitable foundation in July 2020 as part of a campaign to aid and represent Nigerians who have been sexually assaulted. She first used the foundation’s name as a hashtag to criticize the government for its rape incompetence. Tiwa Savage spoke with the police commissioner of Lagos State in order to help disseminate phone numbers for victims to report sexual offenses.
Tiwa Savage revealed the release date of her third studio album, Celia, on August 28, 2020, along with the track listing on August 18, 2020. The 13-track album has 13 different artist collaborations, including those with Sam Smith, Stefflon Don, Davido, Naira Marley, and Hamzaa. Celia is the name of Savage’s album, which she gave in honor of both her mother and all women. Tiwa Savage revealed to France 24 in July 2020 that the album is a fusion of Afrobeat, soul, and R&B. The four singles “Attention,” “Dangerous Love,” “Koroba,” and “Temptation” were all created by Celia. It was listed as the tenth best album of 2020 by Time magazine. Antoinette Isama called the album a “sonic journey” in a review for Essence magazine and said that it “shows us how Savage stays in the pocket of what makes listening to R&B so warm, with the complex melodies and messages that align with afrobeat music.”
On August 20, 2021, Tiwa Savage’s second extended play, Water & Garri, was made available. Five songs make up the EP, and Nas, Brandy, Tay Iwar, Rich King, and Amaarae all contribute vocals as guests. The singles “Tales by Moonlight” and “Somebody’s Son” provided support; the latter includes Brandy on vocals and reached its top position of number 19 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs chart. The EP fuses soulful R&B with Afrobeat, which Savage calls the “most spiritual journey through music so far.” In support of the EP, Savage announced the Water & Garri North American Tour in March 2022. The tour kicked off on May 15, 2022, in Brooklyn, New York, and ended on June 19, 2022, in Toronto. Variety magazine praised her performance and tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. in a review of her Brooklyn appearance.
At a graduation ceremony held at Canterbury Cathedral on July 15, 2022, Tiwa Savage was presented with an honorary degree by the University of Kent. For her inspirational and extensive musical career, she received a doctor in music award. At the event, Savage sang a cover of Sounds of Blackness’ “Optimistic” and gave an acceptance speech.
2023: The movie Water & Garri
Tiwa Savage and Meji Alabi co-produced the upcoming movie Water and Garri, which they revealed on Instagram in February 2023. Water & Garri, Savage’s second extended play, served as the film’s title inspiration. Savage will not only co-produce the movie with Alabi but also take the major role. The movie, which was filmed in Cape Coast, Ghana, will also have supporting performances from Mike Afolarin, Andrew Bunting, and Jemima Osunde. Together with Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna, Tiwa Savage will serve as the movie’s executive producers and write and perform the soundtrack. The movie tells the tale of Aisha, a fashion designer living in the United States who travels home to face her past guilt.
Tiwa Savage Private life
A man named Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun was Tiwa Savage’s husband. The pair wed in a traditional ceremony at the Ark in Lekki on November 23, 2013. The Armani Hotel in Dubai is where the couple’s white wedding took place on April 26, 2014. Savage and Balogun made the announcement that they were expecting their first child together on January 1, 2015. Savage gave birth to their baby six months later. Balogun accused his wife of adultery and his mother-in-law of witchcraft on April 28, 2016. Tiwa Savage went into great detail about her husband’s lengthy social media writings about their marriage in a 45-minute interview with This Day newspaper and Pulse Nigeria. She refuted her husband’s allegations of infidelity and charged him with financial irresponsibility, drug abuse, and abandonment. She said that their marriage had ended.
Tiwa Savage’s father passed away on July 19, 2021, from an unspecified illness.
Tiwa Savage Conflict with Seyi Shay and video leak
In a saloon in Lekki, Lagos, on June 8, 2021, Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay allegedly got into a verbal altercation. In a widely shared video, Savage was seen objecting to Seyi Shay’s greeting. This was followed by verbal sparring between the two musicians. Seyi Shay allegedly released a music in 2017 in which he refers to Savage by a number of nasty terms.
In October 2021, Tiwa Savage admitted to blackmail over a video of her and her partner having sex that had been released to Angie Martinez of Power 105.1. The footage was unintentionally published to Snapchat by Savage’s partner, who quickly removed it. However, someone managed to get a hold of the video before it was deleted and threatened to make it public if they weren’t paid. Savage declined to pay the man and instead chose to talk in public about the stolen tape in attempt to control the narrative. On the 2022 single “Loaded” by Asake, on which she was featured, Tiwa Savage brought up the incident again.
Awareness and Impact on other artists
Tiwa Savage was listed among the top 100 inventive and inspirational women for 2017 by BBC. She was named to the Women4Africa 2022 Goldlist as well. Many musicians, including Ayra Starr and Brettina, have named Savage as a major musical influence.
King Charles III’s coronation will feature music by Tiwa Savage
On Sunday, May 7, 2023, the coronation concert and Big Lunch will be held. Tiwa Savage will entertain attendees at the coronation concert with stars including Steve Winwood, DJ Pete Tong, Lang Lang and Lucy, Paloma Faith, and Olly Murs, according to the Telegraph UK.
With numerous sources of income, the well-known British-Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress has been able to rapidly increase her net worth to over $9 million as of the 2023 update.
She derives the majority of her income from her professional work (as a singer, songwriter, and actor) as well as from her other enterprises. She does this through selling records, performing live, promoting brands, serving as a brand ambassador, and receiving presents from fans.