Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian musician signed to Mavin Records, a record label headed by the extraordinary label boss Don Jazzy. She became well-known after she released her 2011 hit single, ‘Kele Kele love’ and has since then built a lovable brand that makes her one of the greatest female artistes in Nigeria.
She spoke at the Youth Enterprise Conference 2016 which was held recently in Lagos, Nigeria at Eko Hotel and suites. The talk saw her delving into some lesser known details of her rise to fame. After giving a basic background which encompassed her move to the U.K when she was younger, from where she traveled to the United States and managed to make a comfortable income writing songs for Babyface before deciding to move back home, Tiwa Savage shared a surprising anecdote.
Speaking about her return to Nigeria, she talked about how she was humbled by Nigerians who were not appreciative of her phonetics. This led to the occasion of her first performance at Kennis Easter Fiesta which she described as a disaster after she was stoned with pure water bags for singing English songs and blowing phonetics. This drove her crying to her then boyfriend, now husband, who advised her to do songs that the people could relate to. She penned down kele kele love after that experience and we can say that the rest was history.
These Tiwa Savage Gems Are Necessary For Every Creative
Being at the Youth Enterprise Conference however, that story does not cut it for the bones of her talk and so Tiwa went on to share some gems from personal experiences that we will look briefly into.
On building a brand, Tiwa Savage spoke about some much-needed advice that Don Jazzy gave her in the beginning as follows; “Sometimes, success is not really when you make it but how you sustain it. A lot of musicians were huge when I moved to Nigeria about five years ago but now we don’t really hear much about them…What Don Jazzy told me was that getting a hit record is great but building a brand is more important.
Music is also a business but we tend to forget the business side of it. You need to create a lifestyle that young people want to emulate. Sometimes, you may not have the biggest song out there but you are still doing shows, getting endorsements and calls to speak to people and that is because you are a brand.”
She also advises that they leverage on social media, which will get easier when they build a brand. Also addressing the difficult question of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, we leave you with this last gem from Tiwa Savage;
“A lot of times they said that they wanted to help me but actually they wanted me to do ‘something’ with them. Luckily I had a crazy boyfriend who ended up being my husband. He just shot them down. If you are really talented and good at what you do and you have God behind you, don’t give in to that kind of temptation. I guarantee you that your talent will make a way for you. The same people will be the ones calling and you will even get more than you ever imagined if you don’t give in.”