Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. Her birth name is Tiwatope Savage and she was born on the 5th of February 1980 in Ikeja, Lagos State in Nigeria. At the age of eleven, her family relocated to London. In high school, she was a trombone player for her school’s orchestra band. She grew up in a multi-cultural setting having moved from Nigeria to the United Kingdom to the United States. After graduating from the University of Kent with a degree in Business Administration, she started working for the Royal Bank of Scotland. She later on enrolled at Berklee College of Music where she graduated with a degree in Professional Music at the age of 27.
At the age of sixteen, she did backup vocals for George Michael and lent vocals to other musicians such as Mary J Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, Andrea Bocelli, and Ms. Dynamite. She has also performed with big names such as 50 Cent, Eminem, Destiny’s Child, Robbie Williams, and Sting. In 2006, Tiwa Savage participated in the United Kingdom edition of the X Factor and made it to the final 24. In 2009 she signed a music deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing which solidified her to write for Babyface, Kat Deluna, Fantasia Barrino, Monica, and Mya. She also performed background vocals for Whitney Houston’s album “I Look to You” in 2009.
Tiwa earned credit recognition for her contribution to Monica’s ballad “Catch Me” and her collaboration with Fantasia on the song Collard Greens and Cornbread earned her a Grammy nomination in 2010. She also wrote Jaicko’s “Oh Yeah” featuring Snoop Dogg and Kat Deluna’s “Push Push” featuring Akon and David Guetta. In December 2011 she co-hosted the second season of the Nigerian Idol alongside IIIRymz. In the same year, she made her film debut with Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the stage adaptation for For Coloured Girls and later on in 2013, she appeared in the season three edition of Shuga Series.
In as much as she enjoys writing for other artists, she finds writing for herself more rewarding. She has recorded studio albums such as Solar Plexus, Once Upon a Time and R.E.D. Apart from the Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Savage has signed music deals with Mavin Records and Roc Nation. She has worked with numerous artists across Africa including Sauti Sol, Diamond, Patoranking, Flavour, Korede Bello, Di’Ja, Don Jazzy, Olamide, Wizkid, Waje, Timi Dakolo, Sarkodie among others (Deji,2014). She released her debut single, “Kele Kele” Love which made it not only to the top of Nigerian music charts but also other African countries. From there she has released several hits such as “Love Me”, “Eminado”, “Oyi, Girlie Yo”, ‘Girl Next Door”, “Dorobucci” and many others.
Awards and Nominations
Tiwa Savage has received various awards including; MTV Europe Music Awards, COSON Song Awards, The Headies, Channel O Music Video Awards, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, Africa Muzik Magazine Awards, City People Entertainment Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, Nigeria Music Video Awards, Afrotainment Museke Online Music Awards, FAB Magazine Awards and Dynamix All Youth Awards (Olamide,2014). She has also been nominated for WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, ELOY Awards, MOBO Awards, BET Awards, World Music Awards, 4Syte TV Music Video Awards, and Trust Youth Awards.
She signed endorsement deals with MTN, Pepsi, Maggi and Forte Oil (Osagie,2014).