Tiwa Savage scores with Motown Records
Nigerian artiste Tiwa Savage aka Queen of Afrobeats has released her first single since signing her international deal with America’s Universal Music Group — one of the world’s biggest music entities.
The explosive track titled 49-99 was done at Motown Records, who serves as her US label. It makes a powerful statement about poverty.
Savage explains: “49-99 is a term coined from the hard life many Nigerians go through. A transit bus serves as a case study. It ought to have only 49 seated passengers, however, due to poor economic conditions, we often have nearly twice that number of passengers standing (99).”
She adds: “The song encourages the young to put down the sense of inheritance and work for what they desire in life, for a better tomorrow. We can’t sit on our old glories and expect things to change for the better. 49-99 also addresses some political leaders who, instead of focusing on the growth of a nation, are there just for the money and having affairs with underage girls – while the citizenry is hustling hard to make a daily living.”
Motown Records President and Capitol Music Group Executive Vice President Ethiopia Habtemariam said of the move, “We are beyond excited to work with Tiwa Savage, one of Africa’s most talented and prolific singer-songwriters of this generation. She has been at the forefront of creating music from the continent that connects people from around the globe. It is Tiwa’s undeniable gifts, immense talent, work ethic and resilience that has prepared her for this next chapter and we at Motown are proud to support her on this journey.”
Universal Music Group Nigeria general manager Ezegozie Eze said: “As an authentic Nigerian artiste, we are thrilled to see Tiwa soar in this way. Her global partnership with Universal Music Group is another win for her hugely successful career and for African artistes as a whole.”
Keys to the Kingdom
The singer recently recorded Keys to the Kingdom, a song that she co-wrote for the soundtrack The Lion King: The Gift after being handpicked to do so by Beyoncé. In 2018, she was named Best African Act at the MTV European Music Awards, making history as the first female to win the award.
She was handpicked by Coldplay’s Chris Martin to perform live alongside Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a 70,000-strong audience and millions across the globe.
Due to the xenophobic violence experienced in South Africa this week, Savage on Wednesday cancelled her planned performance at a festival scheduled to be held in Johannesburg later in the month.
She tweeted, “I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in SA. This is SICK. For this reason, I will NOT be performing at the upcoming DSTV delicious Festival in Johannesburg on the 21st of September. My prayers are with all the victims and families affected by this.”