From a Hurriedly-Prepared EP to the Billboard Chart
The path of every individual is cut out from the birth and continues throughout the entirety of life. Indeed, greatness is inherent in some persons, while others have to struggle to attain that height. For Nigerian songstress, Tiwa Savage, her sojourn into the music industry was not y accident but was a vision of her desire to express herself with amazing lyrics. There’s no doubt that she has the eloquence and charisma to handle the travails that are characteristic in every field of life, especially in the tortuous journey to greatness in the male-saturated music industry.
Tiwatope Savage otherwise known by her stage name, Tiwa Savage, doesn’t need any introduction as far as the Nigerian (and indeed global) music industry is concerned. With her sojourn into the world of music in 1996 at the age of 16, she weathered the storm to become a prominent artist in an industry that has more male recording artists than their female counterparts. Despite having a degree in Business Administration from the University of Kent, Tiwa Savage went on to show that she indeed understands the business of managing her musical career better than doing the same in a business setting. From her backup vocals in her teens for leading artists like Mary J. Blige and George Michael to her recording contract with Mavin Records in 2012, she proved that “a woman can perform like and even better than a man” in the music industry.
Her dexterity paid off with her debut Extended Play (EP), “Sugarcane”. It’s worth mentioning that this collection of hit singles was reportedly released because Tiwa Savage felt she needed to offer her fans an Extended Play (EP) after successfully debuting two albums, “Once Upon a Time”, and “R.E.D”. Sugarcane was widely accepted, partly because of the benign-style of vocals, and collaboration with notable artists, such as Ayodeji Balogun (Wizkid), Maleek Berry, and Spellz.
It’s worth mentioning that the hurried release of Sugarcane was against the backdrop of massive criticisms on her second studio album, R.E.D. As many critics posited, the album lacked some valor that is characteristic of Tiwa Savage. With her disposition to learn from mistakes and sorting relevant criticisms, Tiwa went back to the studio in the early months of 2017 and began to work on her Extended Play (EP), which later turned out to be Sugarcane. Without any iota of doubt, the well-thought-out lyrics that dotted the 6-track EP revolved around mainly on the love life of the figurative dramatis personae, Tiwa Savage. From the spectacular “Ma Lo” that had Wizkid and Spellz on the list to the love-induced “All Over”, Tiwa Savage’s fans wouldn’t be judged wrongly if they began to regard her as a “lover girl”. To bring more magic into the tracks, Tiwa Savage went on to experiment with different genres, including R&B, Afropop, and Pop. Given her cultural background and upbringing in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, Tiwa Savage didn’t disappoint her teeming Yoruba fans, as she alternated between different languages with the infusion of Yoruba lyrics at intervals.
At the time of its release, the Sugarcane EP received many positive and negative reviews from music critics. While some quarters appraised her romantic sides, some other school of thought didn’t fail to point out the sex appeal undertone, especially in the visuals of some of the tracks. Despite these backlashes, which were quite few, the EP caught the interest of 360 Nobs’ reviewer, Wilfred Okiche, who hinted the possibility of Tiwa Savage’s dominance in the male-dominating music industry. Other critics appraised her strong disposition to Afropop and the mannerism with which she displayed her emotions with traits of sincerity and rawness.
In an email to The Fader, Tiwa Savage stated that she “never planned to release anything until the debut of her next studio album” in 2018. She, however, deemed it “right to put out this project”. On why she chose Sugarcane as the title for the EP, she posited “the title is Sugarcane because the music sounded different and sweet to me”. Indeed, her fans and music lovers share the same sentiment, as the lyrics, the sounds, and the visuals brought forth the magic of the Afropop-laden EP. Tiwa Savage’s Sugarcane went on to garner wide acceptance, such as the nomination for the Best Album of the Year at the 2018 edition of the Nigeria Entertainment Awards, and the Best Collabo at the 2018 edition of the Headies, which was won by “Ma Lo”.
Sugarcane was released on September 22, 2017, and was laden with themes of love rendered in both English and Yoruba languages. Tiwa Savage didn’t disappoint, as she featured notable personalities such as Wizkid and Spellz in the 20-minute EP. Produced by Sunday Enejere, Peter Jay, and Maleek Berry, Sugarcane’s visuals were shot in choice locations such as Miami by leading directors like Patrick Elis and Meji Alabi.
Sonorous Tribute to an Admirable Man
TIWA SAVAGE “SUGARCANE”
Tiwa Savage opted to “explain” the actual intent behind her debut studio EP, “Sugarcane”. With the first track entitled in the same manner, she went on to reveal her amorous feelings for a man she had great admiration for. Going by the already-established fact that the EP in its entirety centered on the love life of our admirable songstress, it doesn’t come as a surprise that she chose to express her emotions so freely. Yet, it’s intriguing that she seemed to be lost in the lyrics, an action that triggered concerns over the undeniable fact that Sugarcane was actually a love song for her man. In what many would describe as a flirty track, Sugarcane was true, able to grab the attention of listeners, and slowly lured them to listen to other tracks in the EP. There now remains a poser on whether the track was true going by the lyrics and the euphoric expressions of the artist, Tiwa Savage or a mere inducer to create attention on the remaining singles. Whatever the motives were, Tiwa Savage really nailed it with Sugarcane.
Tiwa has our Attention
TIWA SAVAGE “HOLD ME DOWN”
After a literal seduction of her listeners with the lead track, Tiwa Savage proceeded to take us past a stage to “Get it Now” (the second track) and urged her lover to hold her down. Criticisms were awash with the limited vigor exhibited on the previous tracks after Sugarcane but didn’t hesitate to give a standing ovation to the fourth track on the EP, “Hold Me Down”. With a Bollywood-inspired riff, Tiwa Savage was able to create though-evoking innuendos laced with metaphorical representations on Hold Me Down. Nevertheless, some critics held the opinion that she should have done better, especially with the continuous use of the expression over the years. This alongside Get It Now is obviously the only boring single on the EP.
Love Intoxicates like Wine
TIWA SAVAGE “ALL OVER”
Tiwa Savage played her lover girl role to the end with the successful replication of a love-induced woman that probably found a new lover. As she concluded, “this feeling got me falling. E be like say something dey do me for body o!”
We can easily relate to her expressions of love, as it is common among people that just got into an intimate relationship. Tiwa didn’t fail to mention the cases of having “goosebumps”, which is an indication that she had fallen head over heels with her lover.
From another perspective, one cannot help but wonder about the sexually-submission woman, as depicted in the single, alongside the evoking of amorous feelings. Without any iota of doubt, “All Over”, which later became a hit single, is thought-provoking and can help you to make a review of your love life with the aim of fixing the loopholes.
Being with the Right Person makes Love Enjoyable
TIWA SAVAGE ft. Wizkid & Maleek Berry “MA LO”
Are you in love or looking to get into a relationship soon? You may want to pause for a while to take “some lessons” from Tiwa Savage and Wizkid in this masterpiece titled, “Ma Lo”. You can easily decipher that the actual title of the single ought to have been “My Love” but the lovey-dovey didn’t allow the lovebirds to pronounce the concept in full. Such is the magic of being in love, and you may want to keep the song on replay to master the art of being in love.
Delivered by the trio of Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Maleek Berry, Ma Lo became a hit track that ruled the airwaves for many months after its release on November 3, 2017. Doubling as a highlife hit, this romance-laden track went on to win the coveted Best Collabo in the Headies of 2018.
Tiwa and Wizkid really painted the picture of true lovers, and for an observer from afar, the actions depicted in the visuals shot at the New Afrika Shrine by Meji Alabi has more than meets the eye.
Tiwa Savage has continually accentuated her commitment to her musical career. From her singles that become hits upon release to her Extended Plays (EPs) and he creative albums, she has continued to prove that she has all it takes to flourish in the male-dominated music industry and keep the fight alive for her coveted status as the “Queen of African Music”. The successes recorded by her debut Extended Play (EP), “Sugarcane” went the extra mile to scribble her name in the sands of time and to keep her in the spotlight.