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Tiwa Savage – Biography, Life and Songs of Tiwatope Savage


Tiwa Savage is a musician, songwriter and actress. She is one of the top Nigerian female artistes with great influence and vibe. Overtime, she has won several awards. She’s celebrated all over the world and her style of music is a mix of Afropop, Soul and R&B.

See Also: Biography and Net Worth of Wizkid

Tiwa Savage
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Tiwa Savage Background

Tiwatope Savage popularly known as Tiwa Savage was born on the 5th of February 1980 in Ikeja, Lagos State. At age 11, her family relocated with her to London. Afterwards, she attended University of Kent, England and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. In addition, Savage holds a professional music degree from Berklee College of Music, Boston.

While in Music school, she networked with several alumni of the school such as Derek Pate, Keith Harris, Scott Coleman, Dairen Dorsey and Radar Ellis.

Tiwa got married to Tunji Balogun, ‘Tee Billz’ in 2014 at Armani Hotel, Dubai. They are blessed with a son, Jamil Balogun. However, due to unresolved marital challenges, Tiwa Savage in an interview with Thisday Newspaper said that her marriage to Tee Billz is over.

See Also: Biography and Life of Yemi Alade

Tiwa Savage Music Career

While in high school, Tiwa played trombone instrument for her school’s orchestral band. Thereafter, at age 16, she did backup vocals for George Michael. Not only that, she also did lent vocals to the likes of Mary J Blige,
Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, Chaka Khan, Kelly Clarkson, Ms Dynamite and Andrea Bocelli, to mention a few.

As a matter of fact, Tiwa has performed on stage with high profile musicians like 50cent, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams, and Destiny’s Child.

When Tiwa decided to extend her music career into Nigeria, she got criticism and discouragements from people who think she cannot compete with the likes of Tuface and Wizkid. Inspite of that, she determined to give it a shot. Afterwards, she released her first single, ‘Kele Kele Love’ which was widely accepted and gained global recognition.

See Also: Biography and Songs Collection of Patoranking

In 2009, Tiwa signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Through the contract, she was able to write:

  • Monica’s ‘Catch Me’ which earned her songwriting credits
  • Jaicko’s ‘Oh Yeah’ featuring Snoop Dogg
  • Kat Deluna’s ‘Push Push’ featuring Akon and David Guetta.

In addition, Tiwa Savage wrote for Babyface, Fantasia Barrino, and Mya. Meanwhile, her collaboration with Fantasia Barrino on the song “Collard Greens & Cornbread” earned her grammy nomination in 2010. Tiwa Savage is the brain behind the background vocal of Whitney Houston’s album ‘I Look to You’ (2009).

During Nigeria’s 52nd Independence, Tiwa Savage performed her version of the Nigerian Anthem ‘Arise, O Compatriots’.

Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage Outside Music

Aside Music, Tiwa also worked for Royal Bank of Scotland after graduating from University of Kent. Also, she co-hosted ‘Nigerian Idol Season 2‘ with IIIRymz. For the first time, Tiwa featured in the Nigerian adaptation of the movie, ‘For Colored Girls’ alongside, Joke Silva, Iretiola Doyle, Matilda Obaseki, Marcy Dolapo, Jumoke Ladi Lawal and Reanne Weruche Opia.

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

The X-Factor

Tiwa Savage took part in the 2006 UK edition of The X-Factor, a television music competition franchise powered by SYCOtv. Fortunately, she made it to the final 24 but couldn’t get through to the final 12. According to her, it was a really painful experience but she pulled through.

See Also: Biography and Life of Olubankole Wellington, ‘Banky W’

Tiwa Savage Endorsements and Collaborations

Tiwa signed a distribution and management deal with Roc Nation in June 2016. She is also the first female artist to be endorsed by Pepsi. Not only that, she is also a brand ambassador to Forte Oil, Star Radler and Maggi as well. In addition to that, she signed an endorsement deal worth N30million with MTN Nigeria in July, 2013.

Tiwa Savage has collaborated with several Artists within and outside Nigeria. She worked together with Waje, Praiz, Timi Dakolo and Pamela Egoh on the Ovation Red Carol theme song titled ‘Higer‘. Savage’s other collaborations includes:

  • Flavour N’abania’s ‘Oyi’ (Remix), 2012.
  • Reekado Bank’s ‘Turn It Up’, 2014.
  • Patoranking’s ‘Girlie O’ (Remix), 2014
  • DSTV Campaign song ‘African Rising’ together with Micasa, Lola Rae, Sarkodie, Diamond and Davido, 2014
  • ‘Get it Now’ (Remix) ft Omarion, 2014
  • ‘Lova Lova’ ft Duncan Mighty, 2018
  • Skales’s ‘Pressure’, 2018
  • WSTRN ‘Love Struck’ with Mr Eazi, 2018
  • Sol’s ‘Girl Next Door’, 2019
  • DiJa’s ‘The Way You Are’, 2018

See Also: Biography and Business Life of Mercy Johnson

Tiwa Savage Record Labels

Tiwa established her record label, 323 Entertainment Record with her former manager and husband, Tunji ‘Tee-billz’ Balogun. In 2012, she joined the Don Jazzy led Mavins Record as a recording artist. She was one of the lead act on the label’s compilation album ‘Solar Plexus’ in 2012.

Afterwards, on May 1st, 2014, Mavin Records released her first collaborative album, ‘Dorobucci’ which was a big hit. The album featured the Mavin’s Crew: Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, Reekado Banks, Di’Ja, Korede Bello, D’ Prince and Dr. SID.

In May, 2019, Tiwa Savage left Mavins Record to join an international record label, Universal Music Group (UMG). Henceforth, Tiwa’s future music will be released through her new label’s operation in over 60 countries. Her new executive producers are Efe Ogbeni of Regime Music Societe and Vanessa Amadi-Ogbonna.

Once Upon A Time

Tiwa Savage started recording her first studio album ‘Once Upon A Time’ in 2010. In May 2013, she organized an album listening party at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi. There, she unveiled the track list of ‘Once Upon A Time’. However, the album was released on July 3, 2013.

Once Upon A Time was recorded by Mavins Record and 323 Entertainment. It featured guest like Don Jazzy, Leo Wonder, Flavour N’abania, Iceberg Slim, Sarkodie and General Pype. Once Upon A Time contained seven singles and a political song: ‘Kele Kele Love’, Love Me (3x)’, ‘Without My Heart’, ‘Ife Wa Gbona’, ‘Folarin’, ‘Olorun Mi’, ‘Eminado’, and ‘Middle Passage’.

She named the album ‘Once Upon A Time’ to inspire upcoming artists because she was once a little girl in Isale Eko who dreamt of becoming a star.

See Also: Biography of Stephanie Okereke, an award winning actress

R.E.D (Romance, Expression and Dance)

On 19th December, 2015, Tiwa Savage released her second studio album, R.E.D which is an acronym of ‘Romance, Expression and Dance’. The album included two singles: ‘My Darlin’ and ‘Standing Ovation’. It featured guest like Don Jazzy, Dr SID, Iceberg Slim, Olamide, 2face Idibia, D’Prince, Busy Signal and Reekado Banks.

R.E.D was produced by Don Jazzy together with Altims, Baby Fresh, P2J and Spellz. The deluxe edition was released in February 2016 and was available on MTN Music for free streaming. R.E.D became the most streamed album of all time on MTN Music. To promote the album, Mavins Record launched a meme generator through a website called i-am-red.com.


On September 22, 2017, Tiwa Savage released her first extended play record, ‘Sugarcane‘. The EP featured Spellz, Wizkid, Baby Fresh, P2J and Maleek Berry. The album, Sugarcane, is recorded in Yoruba and English and it contained two singles: ‘All Over’, and ‘Ma Lo’.

See Also: Biography of Funke Akindele, ‘Jennifer’


On 15th November, 2018, Tiwa Savage released another single, ‘One’ produced by Killer Tunez. One is a gratitude song directed by Clarence Peters. In January 2019, youtube brought down the video ‘One’ due to allegations of copyright theft charged against Tiwa Savage. However, youtube restored the video when they couldn’t get a convincing evidence for the claim.

Tiwa Savage Performances

On September 3, 2017, Tiwa Savage performed on the Liberty stage of Jay-Z’s Made in American Festival. She also performed ‘Best of Me’ (Remix) with Young Paris at the festival. On December 2, 2018, she performed at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. The festival held at FNB Stadium in
Johannesburg, South Africa. On 24th August, 2018, Tiwa performed at a concert alongside Wizkid, Don Jazzy, Reekado Banks and Di’Ja, among others. The concert held at The 02’s Indigo Venue. News has it that the admission ticket sold out few hours to the event.

Tiwa Savage Philanthropy

Apart from being actively involved in youth empowerment, Tiwa also support breast cancer screening projects all over Nigeria. The award winning artist assisted in fund raising for an organization building schools in her hometown.

Tiwa Savage Net Worth

We cannot ascertain her net worth but rumour has it that she is one of the richest female artistes in Nigeria.

Tiwa Savage Quotes

“Growing up, I didn’t see many brown skin women to look up to, we are changing the narrative now.”

“You are going to piss a lot of people off when you start doing what’s best for you.”

“There is competition, but you just need to keep working hard and not give in to negative vibes.”

“Getting to where I am is not because I am the most talented singer, its just God’s grace,”

“If you keep tapping into God’s grace, it will take you farther than where your talent can take you.”

See Also: Biography of Funmi Iyanda, a media guru

Tiwa Savage Personal Awards and Nominations

  • Most Stylish Female Artiste, FAB Magazine Awards, 2011
  • Most Promising Act, Dynamix All Youth Awards, 2011
  • Female Musician of the Year, City People Entertainment Awards, 2012
  • The Best Vocal Performance (Female), The Headies, 2012
  • Nigeria Entertainment Award, Best New Act of the Year and Best POP /R&B Artist of the Year, 2012
  • Best Female West Africa, African Muzik Magazine Awards, 2014
  • MTV Africa Music Awards, Best Female Award, 2014
  • Best International Act: Africa, BET Awards, 2014
  • World’s Best Live Act and World’s Best Entertainer of the Year, World Music Award, 2014
  • World Revelation and Artiste of the Year, The Headies, 2014
  • MOBO Awards, Best African Act and Musician of the Year (Female) 2013
  • Female Musician of the Year, City People Entertainment Awards, 2014
  • female Artist and Best POP/R&B Artist of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
  • Best African Act, MOBO Awards, 2014
  • African Artiste of the Year, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, 2015
  • Best brand ambassador for MTN, ELOY Awards, 2015
  • Female Artiste of the Year, City People Award, 2015
  • One Africa Music fest – Best African Performance, WatsUp TV Awards 2016
  • Best African Act, MTN Europe Music Awards, 2018

See Also: Biography and Life of Mo Abudu, founder of EbonyLife TV

Awards and Nominations for her Songs

  • The Best R&B Soul Song, ‘Kele Kele Love’, Afrotainment Museke Online Music Awards, 2012
  • Best R’N’B Single, ‘Love Me’, The Headies, 2012
  • Best Use of Costumes, ‘Without My Heart’, Nigeria Music Video Awards, 2013
  • Channel O Music Video Awards, ‘Without My Heart’, Best Gifted Female Video, 2013
  • Best Use of Costumes, Best Highlife, Best Indigenous Concept and Video of the Year, ‘Ife Wa Gbona’, Nigeria Music Video Awards, 2013
  • Nigeria Entertainment Awards, ‘Without My Heart’, Best Collabo, 2013
  • Best Collabo of the Year, ‘Without My Heart’, City People Entertainment Awards, 2013
  • 4Syte TV Music Video Awards, ‘Without My Heart’, Best African Act Video, 2013
  • World’s Best Song and World’s Best Video, World Music Awards, 2014
  • Best Music Video of the Year, ‘Eminado’, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
  • The Best Collabo, ‘Girlie O Remix’, The Headies, 2014
  • Most Gifted Female, ‘Eminado’, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2014
  • The Headies, Best R&B/Pop Album, ‘Once Upon A Time’, 2014
  • Best Reggae/Dancehall, ‘Girlie O’ (Remix), The Headies, 2014
  • Best Album of the Year, ‘Once Upon A Time’, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
  • Hottest Single of the Year, ‘Eminado’, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
  • The Best Vocal Performance (Female), ‘Wanted’, The Headies, 2014
  • Best Love Song ‘My Darlin’, COSON Song Awards, 2015
  • Best Collabo Song, ‘Girlie O (Remix)’, COSON Song Awards, 2015
  • The Best Female Artist, ‘Wanted’, ELOY Awards, 2015
  • African Video of the Year, Best African Female Video and Best West African Video ‘Bad’ WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards, 2016

See Also: Biography of Chude Jideonwo, founder of Joys, Inc.

Business Lessons to learn from Tiwa Savage

1. Consistency Is Key

Tiwa Savage has been in the music Industry for over a decade and she’s still at the top of her career. Despite the challenges faced, she kept coming out stronger. Starting a business is good but staying consistent and not watering down your brand is much more important.

2. Acquire Relevant Skills That Will Help Your Business Grow

Tiwa Savage attended Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in professional music. As an entrepreneur, always acquire skills and experiences that will help you be at the ace of your business.

3. There’s Always Something Greater To Aim At

Despite all the awards Tiwa has to her credit, she still works hard like a beginner. Regardless of your business success, don’t stop aiming for a bigger break.

4. Pay Attention To Branding

Tiwa is classy and trendy. Her fashion style is admirable and noteworthy. To build a successful business, you must develop a unique brand that helps you stand tall among equals.

5. Network With the Right People

Tiwa is one of the artiste that loves collaborating with other musicians both locally and internationally. Joining Mavins crew also boosted her music career. Don’t be afraid to network with people who have the potential to fasten your growth.

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