Tiwa Savage’s new single “49-99” really worth the hype.
Nigerian music industry sure isn’t Hollywood, where a female just comes in and breaks all the rules, tops the charts and gets all the awards. Not that they’re discriminated, no, but what it takes to see a female working her ass off (and that’s figuratively speaking, of course) just so she could be as good or even better than her male counterparts, isn’t just the same in this part of the world.
Women who do, at the very least, are either weirdos, tomboys, maybe or just radicals, never giving up ladies like that. For Tiwa Savage, it’s been quite a journey, juggling her purpose with her talent and her feminism. She’s quite a woman and has become an icon, not only in this industry but in everyone that catches a glimpse of the hard work she’s put in her craft.
Tiwa, who’s a couple of years older than the Wizkid’s and Olamide’s, came onto the scene as Mavins’ first lady, back when Don Jazzy re-convened the party. And, she quickly stuck, as though she was one of the people from defunct Mo’hits. But really, she wasn’t. From there, she started doing her thing, dropping some really cool stuff, and doing duets with Don Jazzy, when she could. Not long at all, Mavins had scored the “Dorobucci” hit, and she was on it, shining like the only female act who got the spot!
Her first hit, “Kele Kele Love” was soon followed by other major hits like “Ife Wa Gbona” and “Olorun Mi”, all leading up to the release of biggest hit off her debut album, “Eminado” with Don Jazzy. It was a smash, and it made Tiwa a household name.
Moving forward, she continued to appear on some Mavins collective projects, releasing her stuff, and in 2015, she got a deal with an American recording company, Roc Nation and ended up dropping an album published by the imprint, “R.E.D.” A couple hits, two albums and an international deal, after three years, is more than any artist can ask for in just four years. But she cracked it!
In 2017, she made a huge comeback, somewhat, with her “Sugarcane” EP, which had the hits “All Over” and the Wizkid assisted “Ma Lo.” Tiwa Savage wasn’t slowing down, that was the message.
Do you know how it feels like every now and then she just disappears for a while, and then stages a perfect comeback? Well, she kind of did it again. Earlier this year, she was reported to have left Mavins Records after seven years of being signed on to the label. She also announced an international publishing deal with Universal Music Group‘s Motown Records, a deal that will serve her for the next seven years.
“49-99” marks the beginning of that great future we talk about when we say international deals. In the past, our artists in Nigeria haven’t really been able to hold on to their deals with foreign labels, maybe because the deals are half-baked or are missing something. Tiwa Savage, though, is likely to be our first break out on that front. The Nigerian Dream, as we know it.
The music, which is her own way of doing the Fela Kuti thing (nothing she’s not tried before, though) samples from one of the Legend’s catalog, from ’78. Not just the “forty-nine sitting ninety-nine standing” reference, but also the music. From the saxophone to the specific percussions and the female backups (c’mon!!), everything reeks Fela. And the tempo was managed, keeping it Afro, even despite its consistent kicks and beats.
And there she was, doing her thing, saying some words of wisdom, and then saying she wants to buy Bugatti and Ferrari. If we were to pick a Nigerian song to represent us in the worldwide front, “49-99” wouldn’t be a bad choice, actually. It’s got everything, the music, the vibe and it’s a symbol that we got girl power in Africa. Yeah, they got Beyonce, and we got Tiwa doing us proud.
Some heroes wear capes, by the way. And some songs deserve accolades and hype. “49-99” is definitely worth everything it gets!