Mavin First Lady, Tiwa Savage talks about her foray into music and her journey so far with A Nation of Billions in an interview. The “All Over” talked about her time in the UK & US and how she moved back to Nigeria to become one of the biggest female music acts in Africa.
The mother of one shared her experience on X Factor UK.
“Oh my goodness X Factor was bittersweet,” she says with a small laugh when I ask about her time on the show. “It was a heartbreaking experience at that time. Obviously, because I didn’t get through – I think I got eliminated just before the final 10, and I was heartbroken. But then, I say sweet because I feel like if I’d gotten through I probably wouldn’t be doing the type of music I’m doing now. I probably would be doing strictly Pop music or R’n’B music. So I think God knew what He was doing.”
Tiwa shared her experiences from the X Factor UK to studying music in the United States at Berklee College of Music and working “amazing artists”.
“It was a situation where I got a glimpse of what was to come and I was able to go back and really prepare myself. I always say this: ‘Opportunity favours the prepared’ – I don’t know if I was prepared mentally then. And also, I had to really go back. Go to Berklee College of Music, learn music. Moved to America, learned how to write songs. Worked with a lot of amazing artists that I’ve always looked up to – all my life.”
The “All Over” crooner talked about the African Sound which is getting more and more global recognition and how she manages to maintain the Afrobeat sound despite other influences, “I don’t really mind as long as it has the Afro in it, you can call it Afropop, Afrobeats, Afrobeat, Afrosoul.”
“Just like in reggae music, yes it has evolved but it’s still reggae music – it still has the elements and energy – anywhere in the world you listen to it you know the genre of music it is so I just hope we can maintain the genre and maintain that in Afrobeats. Like when you have a pot of stew, the main ingredient is the meat – the main ingredient is the Afrobeat sound, but I colour it with maybe R’n’B adlibs, maybe soulful background vocals or maybe lyrics here or there. I don’t really mind as long as it has the Afro in it, you can call it Afropop, Afrobeats, Afrobeat, Afrosoul.”
On Jay-Z’s foray into Africa and subsequently signing up with Roc Nation, the mother of one explained why the deal all made sense.
“because they are the ones more so interested with what’s going on with Afrobeats and the movement. From my personal experience, especially signing with Roc Nation – they are more interested in maintaining what it is that’s gotten me this far and what has gotten us this far. So, they’re not really trying to change the sound.
I would say maybe branding and artist development – in terms of, our music industry is completely different in Africa than it is in the US or UK – so it’s just learning a different infrastructure – the product is still the same. It’s just working on the branding or packaging a little bit. I have to maintain that otherwise, what’s the point really? You’ll lose the essence of the movement and this movement is bigger than one artist. It’s a revolution.
So we have to be mindful that we’re representing a continent and we’re representing new artists that will come up after us and they have to maintain that sound as well.”
Source: A Nation of Billions