Tiwa Savage: The international singer who puts Nigeria on the map

29.08.2015 10872

Tiwatope Savage-Balogun who we know better as Tiwa Savage started her career when she was 16 by doing backup vocals for George Michael, and then other famous musicians, such as Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Emma Bunton and many others. Now she is a Nigerian superstar, singer and songwriter, recording artist and actress.

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Tiwa was born & bred in Lagos, when she was 11 her parents decided to move to London. So Tiwa attended London high school and there she played trombone as a member of high school band. Singer claims that it was the time when she realized music was what she wanted to do. Tiwa graduated from the University of Kent in the UK with a degree in business administration and accounts. After the graduation nothing was on her way and she decided to focus on music full-time.

In 2006 she took part in the UK’s music contest X-Factor and made it to the Top 24. While participating in the popular music competition franchise, she had difficulty dealing with the limelight. She told the media: "You have to always realize that people are watching. When I got the bad news that I wasn't getting through [to the final 12] it was a really painful time. But you still have to learn how to hold that until you get home. Because you don't want to just let everything out. People admire you and want to see that you're strong; they don't want to see you breaking down".
Tiwa was ambitious, and she didn't want to be a backup singer forever. So she started to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for her 2nd degree where she got a scholarship and from which she graduated in 2007. Since 2007 she has worked with great producers such as Black Eyed Peas drummer Keith Harris, Oak Warren Felder (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown), Babyface and many others.

In 2009, Sony/ATV Music Publishing signed Savage to a music deal. The deal solidified her to write for Babyface, Kat Deluna, Fantasia Barrino, Monica and Mýa. She has received songwriting credits for her contribution to Monica's soul-tinged ballad "Catch Me". Moreover, her collaboration with Fantasia on the song "Collard Greens & Cornbread" earned the American recording artist a Grammy nomination in 2010. Savage wrote Jaicko's "Oh Yeah", featuring Snoop Dogg, and Kat Deluna's "Push Push", featuring Akon and David Guetta. In as much as she likes writing for other artists, she finds writing for herself more rewarding. Savage performed background vocals on Whitney Houston's album I Look to You (2009).

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Tiwa Savage burst onto the African music scene in 2010 with the strenhgt of a hurricane. Her chart-topping debut single, ‘Kele-Kele Love’ quickly captured the public’s imagination like a firework. Although, Tiwa faced some challenges while stepping on Nigerian music scene. She said that numerous people tried to discourage her from settling in Nigeria. And that people told her she wouldn't be successful as a female singer. Moreover, they said that she wouldn't be able to share a stage with people like Tuface and Wizkid. But Savage didn't allow people's negativity discourage her from doing music.
Savage quickly risen to the top of Nigerian music industry. By this time her musical achievements include one MTV Africa Music Award, two The Headies Awards, one Channel O Music Video Award, one Nigeria Music Video Award, and two City People Entertainment Awards, among others.

Savage started recording her debut studio album in 2010. On 3 July 2013, she finally released it to the Nigerian public and it was called "Once Upon a Time". It was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. The album was also nominated for Best R&B/Pop Album at The Headies 2014. Savage sings in English and Yoruba.

By this time Tiwa Savage is not only popular singer and songwriter, recording artist and actress but also a wife and a mother of a baby boy, who was born on 22 July 2015.
Tiwa Savage is a great example of a person who achieved everything with her talent, diligence and hard work.


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