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One on one with Nigerian diva Tiwa Savage

Star: In a special Women’s Day celebration, Airtel Uganda will on Sunday host Nigerian superstar Tiwa Savage at the Kati Kati Grounds, Lugogo. Tiwa will also perform at the Social Media Awards this evening. Emmy Omongin had a Q&A session with the African star.

Tell us about your music journey
When I moved to the US, I got a scholarship to study music. After my music studies were over, Tunji Balogun (TJ), my manager, started explaining to me how Afrobeat music was growing and how there was an absence in the female category. It was something he believed we could work on. So, we decided to take the risk.

Your debut album Once Upon A Time was a huge success for you. Tell us about it?
Once Upon A Time was really a good experience for me. I had a lot of songs on it that bubbled a lot of genres like RnB, Afro pop, Reggae, etc. This album was very rewarding to work on mainly because it was a collection of good music.

One of the huge songs off that album was Eminado with Don Jazzy. Take us through the process of making it a hit and what it actually means.
I went to  studio and I heard Don Jazzy singing Eminado, Eminado and I liked the vibe. I enjoyed being part of that song. According to Don Jazzy’s Dictionary, Eminado means good-luck charm.

How does working with Don Jazzy feel?
Well, to me he is a legend and for me to work with him every day, I feel lucky and humbled. See, Don Jazzy is a guy who is so talented yet humble enough to give someone like me a chance. It means a lot. In my opinion, he’s not just a producer. He is someone that creates an artiste and brands them.

What do you listen to when you’re going to record a song?
To be honest, I don’t listen to anything. When I’m recording, I try to stay in a bubble and I just write from my heart. Basically, I write what I feel people need to listen to.

How was your debut acting experience with MTV’s Shuga?
It was great showcasing my acting skills for the first time. It was such a blessing working with a great casting and crew. I had fun and learnt a lot about that industry.

So, what is in the pipeline?
I have a TV show that I host with Banky W. I’m working on more videos and songs. So, I have a lot in stock for you.

Are you signed on any label?
Yeah, I’m signed to 323 Entertainment that I co-own with my husband TJ and we have a partnership with Don Jazzy’s Mavin records.

What do you think of Afrobeat as a genre?
I think it’s great and amazing to see that Afrobeat is gaining recognition globally. It’s fresh and growing.

Tiwatope Savage-Balogun (born 5 February 1980), better known by her stage name Tiwa Savage, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, recording artiste, performer and actress. She is currently signed to her own 323 Records, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Mavin Records.
She co-wrote the track Collard Greens & Cornbread on Fantasia Barrino’s Grammy-nominated album Back to Me. Savage was featured on Solar Plexus, a compilation album that was released a day after the establishment of Mavin Records.
On July 3, 2013, she released her debut studio album Once Upon a Time. Savage sings in English and Yoruba. As a singer, her achievements include one MTV Africa Music Award, two The Headies Awards, one Channel O Music Video Award, one Nigeria Music Video Award, and two City People Entertainment Awards, among others.
On November 23, 2013, Savage and Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun held their traditional marriage.
Savage established her own label imprint, 323 Entertainment, with her manager and husband Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun.
She is behind songs like Kele Kele Love, Love Me, Eminado with Don Jazzy, Doro Bucci with the entire Mavin Records crew and Girlie O with Pato Ranking, among others.

Venue:  Kati Kati Grounds, Lugogo.
Date:  Sunday, March 8.
Women’s Affair:  Only women will perform. Flavia Tumusiime will be the emcee with the likes of Lillian Mbabazi, Cindy, Irene Ntale, Keko and Sheeba curtain raising for Tiwa Savage.
Entrance:  Shs20,000 and Shs50,000 for V.I.P.

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