One of the biggest African artists, Tiwa Savage has just concluded a new record deal with Universal Music Group. It’s reported to be a marquee deal, making Tiwa the first Nigerian female act to be signed to the label. The record deal was facilitated by Efe Ogbeni (Stealth Management/Regime), Executive Producer along with Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna on all projects under the UMG deal.
The deal was signed with Joel Katz, Efe Ogbeni, Vanessa Amadi (Stealth Management), Sipho Dlamini Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (English-speaking), EVP, Market Development at Universal Worldwide Adam Granite, and Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Worldwide Sir Lucian Grainge present at the UMG offices in California on April 24, 2019.
It was widely believed, some years ago, that female musicians could not make as much impact or achieve as much as their male counterparts in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. In a music industry that is chiefly patriarchal, it was nearly unbelievable that a female artist would make headway and become one of the A-list artists representing the Nigerian music industry on a global scale. Tiwa Savage is quite easily one of the most talented singers and songwriters in Nigeria. Signing to Universal Music further validates Tiwa‘s status in the African music space.
Years ago, Tiwa Savage chased her passion for music by moving from Lagos to London at the age of 11. She was part of her high school’s Orchestra band where she learned how to play the trombone. At the age of 16, she was already active in the field of music, lending her vocals as a backup for top artists like Mary J Blige, Andrea Bucelli, George Michel, and many others.
The talented performer later acquired a Business Administration degree from the University of Kent and proceeded to work at The Royal Bank of Scotland afterward. While studying at the music school, she participated in the UK edition of The X Factor, making it to the final 24 before losing out.
Tiwa Savage gained her writing reputation when she co-wrote a song titled Collard Greens and Cornbreadperformed by Fantasia Barrino’s which was on the critically acclaimed Back To Me album, which earned a Grammy nomination. During this period, she signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV where wrote songs for eminent artists like Kat Deluna, Babyface, Jaicko.
As she garnered valuable experience as a backup vocalist, Tiwa decided to step her game up to a higher level by switching to the lead singer. She decided to use her songwriting prowess to her own benefit by being in the spotlight. Despite all odds, Tiwa Savage made a major decision to storm into the Nigerian music industry. She started a management company (323 Entertainment) alongside her ex-husband, Tunji Balogun (popularly known as Tee Billz) and entered into a partnership with Cecil Hammond’s Flytime Entertainment. A few years later, she signed to Mavin Records and was one of the lead artists on the record label’s compilation album, Solar Plexus and also featured on the memorable Oyi Remix by Flavour N’abania.
Tiwa Savage has since released three studio albums – Once Upon A Time, R.E.D, Sugarcane. Prior to releasing her debut album, she dropped her positively acclaimed single, Kele Kele Love and has released blazingly hot singles including Eminado, Wanted, Ife wa Gbona, Ma Lo, and several others. She has collaborated with various artists like Wizkid, Patoranking, Reekado Banks, Olamide, to mention a few and became the first African female artist to sign an endorsement deal with Pepsi.