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Tiwa Savage explains new song, 49-99 , how video was made

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Super star music diva, Tiwa Savage had last Friday, August 30, announced her new single, 49-99 via her social handle on Instagram. The Afrobeat hit was officially released on Thursday, September 5, at a listening party in London, UK where she also explained the meaning and idea behind the song and how the video was made.

According to the Universal Music Group (UMG) act, ‘49-99’ stands for ‘forty-nine, ninety-nine’ and not ‘four thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine’ or ‘four nine nine nine’.She said, “The song encourages the young to put down the sense of inheritance and work for what they desire in life, for a better tomorrow. We can’t sit on our old glories and expect things to change for the better.

“49-99 also addresses some political leaders who, instead of focusing on the growth of a nation, are there just for the money and having affairs with underage girls – while the citizenry is hustling hard to make a daily living,” Tiwa added.

Explaining the rationale behind the song title, the former Mavin Records queen says, “It’s a phrase that was coined by the godfather of afrobeats, Fela Kuti. It means, ‘49 sitting, 99 standing; suffering and smiling.

“For those who are not Nigerian, we have these transit buses, which we call a ‘molue’ and it has 49 seats. So instead of it to have 49 people to commute to work and back, you have 49 people sitting and double that standing, hanging… That’s just a reflection of the economy and the imbalance with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.”

She continues: “I wanted my first global single to have a message that we are suffering and smiling, and music is a powerful tool. I wanted a title which could be a conversation starter like 49 people sitting and 99 people standing… like we’re suffering and smiling.”

On the process and thought behind the song, which has the production imprint of music producer, Pheelz, the Kele Kele Love singer says she was in her room and got a call from Pheelz and Olamide who told her, “we created something and we think you should come and listen to it.”She explained further that on getting to the studio, she thought Olamide was trying to feature her on song. “But when I heard the beat, I thought a spaceship (lift off). So I said, let me sit down. It’s a great record, one you can zanku and dance to,” she stated.


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Tiwa Savage
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