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Nigerian music is not losing its evolution sound, Tiwa Savage



Mavin Records first lady, Tiwa Savage, has said Nigeria music is not losing its evolution sound. The Kele Kele Love singer made this known in an interview she granted ‘A Nation Of Billions’ magazine, where she was the face of the cover of the latest edition. She talked about her earlier music years up till the present.

The singer, whose latest single, ‘All over’ — a romantic tune — has been getting good reviews and reception, also spoke on her experience as a X-Factor contestant. She recounts her ordeal and how losing out became a blessing in disguise for her career.

“Oh, my goodness X-Factor was bittersweet; 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. So I think God knew what He was doing.”


On developing her music skills in the US and UK before moving back to establish herself in the Nigerian music scene, Tiwa said: “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.”

“Also, I had to really go back…to Berklee College of Music, learn music. Moved to America, learned how to write songs. Worked with a lot of amazing artistes that I have always looked up to all my life, and that is where I discovered the buzz that was happening in Africa because when I was in America, everyone would say ‘Tiwa, where are you from?’ And I’d tell them oh, I’m from Nigeria and they’d say ‘wow!’

“They were so fascinated by the music, the culture and I was like why am I trying to do something else when these people are interested in what’s going on in Africa? And that’s when I moved back to Nigeria from America. So, it all adds up. I’m glad I actually didn’t get through on X-Factor but at the same time. If you’d asked me I probably would have ripped your head off at the time.

“You know, sometimes when you go into situations and this door is shutting, and that door is shutting, it forces you to look inward because you can’t get what you thought you needed at that time; it forces you to re-evaluate yourself.”

Speaking on Afrobeats and its evolution, Tiwa attributes it to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti as the inspiration and the external influences from Western world, which brings Reggae, R&B, Soul and Pop as fusion elements that enhance the Afrobeat sound. But also stresses the importance of not losing the sound to the foreign influences.

“Even outside Nigeria but within Africa – so there’s a lot of influences of Reggae, Soul, R’n’B, Pop – even the sounds from here in the UK. But in everything, I’m still very happy the elements are there, whether it’s pidgin or whether it’s Yoruba or Nigerian language – the element of the beat is still there. And I’d like – I hope – it still remains in there as the evolution goes on,” she stated.


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