Tiwa Savage recently released her fourth studio album ‘Celia’ and also chimed support for #EndSARS, the protests calling for an end to police brutality, and she’s just opened up about the whole experience.
On Thursday November 5, the Afrobeats popstar opened up about the current situation in Nigeria, working on her album ‘Celia’ and its timely themes, working with Beyonce on the Lion King remake soundtrack, turning 40, Afrobeats, and more during an appearance of ‘The Dotty Show’ on Apple Music 1.
Read excerpts from the interview:
On the current situation in her home country Nigeria and the protests:
“Obviously, we just don’t want people to keep talking about it, we want justice for Nigeria. But for me, it’s a bigger picture. I feel like as a woman of colour, I feel like, if I’m not free, nobody else is free. So a Jamaican, a Black American, a Black British, I feel like the fight is for everyone and it’s not just for Nigerians because there’s so many things going on in other countries and on the [African] continent, like Congo. Honestly, I’m really going to be honest with you… the last week or so, I just haven’t been myself. It’s just overwhelming. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know how to help, what to say, I’ve not been myself.”
On making her album ‘Celia’:
“I literally started at the beginning of the year, I took out like a whole month, I didn’t listen to anything. I had a camp in Nigeria, I rented out like nine rooms. I didn’t even see my family. I was there day in day out. I also worked from pain, I was under pressure, I was about to turn 40, I was scared, I was nervous. I was just signed to Universal. I wasn’t with Mavin anymore. There was so much that was happening in my life, and I was coming from a very scared place when I worked on ‘Celia’. And I decided that I was going to do it, even though I’m scared. If it becomes a success, which it has become for me… my best work I agree too… I believe that can be like motivation for other women to whatever it is you’re going through whatever stage of life you are, you just have to work with the fear, work through it.”
On the timely themes featured on her album:
“I also had songs on the album that literally are reflective of the time, I’m just thankful that God was… I was able to use my platform. So I feel more comfortable releasing those songs now because those songs were just really speaking on injustice. The next single is with Naira Marley it’s called ‘Ole’ and it’s just basically talking about people in power, stealing from the poor people.”
On working with Beyonce on her Lion King soundtrack and feeling a shift in Afrobeats:
“Absolutely. To have someone like that like co-sign a lot of artists and use her platform, definitely. I definitely feel like it opened me up to some people who probably don’t know who Tiwa Savage is and listened to that project. Absolutely, there’s no denying it. She’s Beyonce, it’s huge. And Lion King is a huge project. I grew up watching it, my son still watches it. It’s just one of those timeless films.”
On the global appeal of Afrobeats:
“I feel like it’s a long time coming, definitely. But I’m surprised more on a personal thing because I’m not even going to gas you up. Like it’s still surreal to me, sitting here on the interview with you, you saying that you play my song or somebody heard my song through your platform, I’m like, wow, do you know what I mean? Like nobody can get used to it. No, it’s still not normal to me. I don’t take it for granted. But I do feel like as a genre because of what Fela has put in and people like 2Face and D’Banj and everybody else, I feel like it’s been a long time coming for the genre.”
On turning 40:
“In December, I was so scared and I said, God, if this is it, if really, really, truly this is it, then just give me a sign. And he gave me the opposite, he gave me opportunities, I had a record with Sam Smith, and it’s like so many other things that are happening that have never happened in my 20s. So God was saying to me age has nothing to do with that, and every platform, every interview, I have I always name dropped my age because I feel like a lot of people run away from it.
“So I always tell people, this is how old I am in case you find out outside, I’m going to let you know first. And I’m proud of it because I’ve never felt more confident. And I don’t want a 20-year-old girl who’s out there who hasn’t won a Grammy or who hasn’t been signed to feel like it’s never going to happen, all you have to do is look at me.”
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