Singer talks evolution of Afrobeats, not losing the sound - Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage, first lady at the Mavins has been getting good reviews and reception of her latest single - a romantic tune ‘All over’.

She recently covered the latest edition of ‘A Nation Of Billions’ magazine where she talks about her earlier music years up till the present.
On her once being 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 music. So I think God knew what He was doing.”

She also spoke about developing her music skills in the US and UK right before moving back to to establish herself in the Nigerian music scene.
“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 and that’s 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 this door is shutting and that door – it forces you to look inward because you can’t get what you thought you needed at that time, it forces you to reevaluate yourself”
On her thoughts about Afrobeats and its evolution, Tiwa attributes it to Fela 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 very happy that elements of it are there whether it’s pidgin or whether it’s Yoruba or Nigerian language – elements of the beat is still there. And I’d like – I hope – it still remains in there as the evolution goes on”She said.


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