Afrobeats Queen, Tiwa Savage, chats with Jon Pareles of New York Times about her latest album Celia, her music journey and using her platform to encourage young African girls.
Tiwa Savage the “Queen of Afrobeats,” is courting an American audience worldwide with her latest album, “Celia,”—her first body of work to come out on Motown Records.
Speaking to New York times, Tiwa Savage reveals a number of things about her career, relationships and the inspiration behind her music.
Read some excerpts below:
On Her Music Journey:
“I lived in Nigeria; I lived in London; I lived in America,” she said via Zoom from her home in Lagos, casually dressed in a T-shirt and, she noted, not wearing makeup or eyelashes. “Those are three different, completely different cultures and different continents. So I’ve just grown up just being a sponge for different kinds of music.”
Before she started her solo career in Nigeria a decade ago, Savage worked behind the scenes in the American and British music business. She has songwriting credits on albums by Fantasia, Kat DeLuna and Monica, and she sang backup on tour with Mary J. Blige, in the studio on Whitney Houston’s final album and onstage at Wembley Stadium with George Michael.
On the production of “Celia”-The 13-track project, which she titled in tribute to her mother:
Savage wrote and recorded “Celia” the way many Western pop stars make albums: She convened a songwriting camp. She booked eight rooms for 15 days at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, where producers and musicians could come and go, bouncing ideas off one another as Savage supervised, selected tracks and came up with top lines. “Just put your heart into it, and let’s have fun,” she told them.
On starting over again in a new territory:
“I wanted my message to be clear,” Tiwa says . “I have a platform now to encourage young African girls — and just young girls in general — how important it is to be true to yourself and be unapologetically strong as a woman.” Throughout the album, her subtlety is strategic. “Initially when you hear it, it’s just like, ‘Oh, I want to be in the club, shaking my butt.’ So I’ll get you that way first. And then you go back and listen to the lyrics and then you get inspired by it,”.
Rad the full article here.