Saturday, June 8, 2013



In an interview with Showtime weekly,Mavin Records First lady, Tiwa Savage, opened up about how she started her career in Nigeria and also her relationship with Tunji Balogun.
Here is an Excerpt from the interview:

Looking back to when you stormed the nation’s music industry a few years ago, how do you feel today?
Like you said, a lot of people tried to discourage me from coming home.  They told me that people who came before me were not really welcomed home, and that it is even worse for a female singer. They even said there was no way I could be on the same stage with the likes of Tuface, Wizkid and many others. I got discouraged somehow. As a matter of fact, after I dropped Kele-Kele, I moved back to Los Angeles. Then, I dropped Love Me Love Me and it grew even bigger. So, I decided to move back to Nigeria because people around me encouraged me that I could make it if I’m consistent in what I’m doing. That was how I was  encouraged to do more. I thank God for where I am today.
A lot of female artistes complain of being marginalised in the industry.Do you have the same experience?  
I think every female artiste needs to work ten times harder than the opposite sex  and that’s why I put much effort into what I do. Usually, what most artistes do is wait until when they drop their album to do an album launch. But I think it’s important to do an exclusive listening because the press are the ones who are going to project my image to the outside world. And that’s why I had to organise a press listening party so that you guys can assess me, and also, to let you know how much you mean to me.
Now that you’ve become a big brand,aren’t you scared of competition from other female artistes?
Why would I be scared? Back in America, we have the likes of Beyonce, Nicky Minaj, Mariah Carey and other female acts standing tall. So why would there be just one person shining here? After all,  here in Nigeria, we have male acts like Davido, Wizkid, M.I, Tuface and other big names at the same time. It’s not fair to have just one female act in the industry.  So, I’m glad that more female acts are springing up. Having more female acts in the industry will open more doors.

Why was the Mavin crew absent at your album listening session?
You well know that I’m also part of the crew and the day I held my album listening session was an important day in my life and career. So, their absence wasnt deliberate. They were away in South Africa for the opening show of Big Brother Africa- The Chase. They had to perform live. But they surprised me on that day when they sent in a live recorded message to me. It was played for all to see . I was so happy because I didn’t expect it, honestly.
Is there any track dedicated to Tunji in your album?
Yes, there’s this track Written All Over Your Face. I dedicated the  song to him for the role he played in my life. I met him at a time when no one was ready to help because I’m a female artiste. And whenever I wanted to give up and cry sometimes, he always encouraged me to be strong and move on. He’s my back bone. I love him because he’s been there for me. He wiped my shame away when he put a ring on my finger.
Why did you say he took your shame away.  Were you ashamed of being single?
(Laughs). You know in Nigeria when a lady isn’t married and is just focused on her career, people think  there’s something wrong with her. But he understood my journey. He  was able to push me career-wise and encourage me. So, I just had to do a song for him.
There’s a mix up somewhere. Are you signed to Marvin or 323 Entertainment?
I’m actually signed unto 323 Entertainment. It’s owned by Tunji Balogun, T.J and he’s also my partner, we own it together. 323 is under Marvin but Tunji handles my day to day business.
You’re signed to Marvin and 323. Where is the place of Sony Records?
I’m still signed to Sony in America as a songwriter. And even as I’m doing my album there, I’m still writing for other artistes. I just had to make that commitment. I just did a song for Monica called Catch With Me Him on her last album. And they just called me few weeks ago that I have another song with Fantasia again, and other songs I’m writing for other artistes. So I’m still signed to the label. .
Have you started your project?
Yes I have. I’ve met with a lot of organisations and already put up something to fight breast cancer. Very soon, screenings will start especially for young girls. I also visit the motherless homes quite often but I don’t put it in the press because I don’t want to expose those kids. And the video I did, Olorun Mi is to give back to people who lost their loved ones in those tragic situations.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by a lot of things; life heartbreaks, happiness and Nigeria as a country. If you listen to the Olorun Mi track, I wrote it because I missed those close to my heart who have died. But I’m disturbed because as a country when we lose our loved ones, there should be statues and memorials to remember them. But here, we just move on as if nothing happened. So I got inspired by those  lives we lost during the Dana plane crash to do that song.

What would like to be  remembered for?
The late Whitney Houston is remembered for what she accomplished while she lived. She  inspired many people. I want kids to say when I’m gone that if Tiwa Savage could do it, they can equally do it.
Is there anything you would like to change in the Nigerian music industry?
I’d like us to be more international and be the pioneer of African music and I think it’s happening slowly. I’d like a situation where I  go to the UK and hear more of Nigerian  music on radio and have our artistes nominated for the Grammy’s . In addition, I’d  like to put necessary structures in place and ensure that piracy law is enacted in the country.
What’s your greatest fear about life?
No, I don’t have any fear.
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