Nigeria’s songstress Tiwa Savage also Mama Jam Jam recently features on American women’s magazine focused on beauty “Allure” Where she bares it all .

Tiwa Savage’s electricity went out three times during our video call. “Sorry about the power breakup,” she apologizes each time. I totally understand as we’re both connecting from West Africa: Savage in Lagos, Nigeria, where she’s been since the pandemic began; me in Accra, Ghana, where I’ve been for the past two months to be with family. Electricity going out is a regular occurrence in major African cities such as ours. Despite the steady interruptions, Savage’s energy never flags.

Our meeting is serendipitous as Savage’s music has actually been a sounding guide, a hymnal of sorts, that subconsciously encouraged me to move across the Atlantic, from New York to the motherland. Last year, I deeply connected to her music because of my desire to get back to my roots. I wanted to learn about where my mother came from and see my grandmothers’ childhood homes because that plays a role in who I am becoming.

On this particular afternoon, Savage’s honey-highlighted hair is blown out straight. Her skin, tinted with bronzer, is glowing and she wears a comfy-looking Burberry knit sweater. The international Afrobeats star has traveled the world through her music, performing across continents for a decade, but for the past year, the “Dangerous Love” singer has been in her hometown of Lagos with her son, Jamil. She seems at peace taking care of her five-year-old, being close to family, and making music away from the chaos of the world. ”Being at home with my son, not having to wear makeup, and I don’t have to suck my belly in all the time and wear heels,” she says. “It was amazing.”

“There’s so much pressure now. There needs to be some people that are not too perfect. I don’t want to be looking jacked up, but I also want to look relatable.

Tiwatope Savage was born in Lagos State, Nigeria. When she was 11 years old her family moved to London where she showed an early interest in singing and performing (at 16, she sang backup for George Michael). But for her parents, formal education was always a priority. So Savage eventually earned an accounting degree from the University of Kent.

After satisfying her parents, she intended to pursue a singing career, but again they insisted she approach it from an academic route. “They were like, ‘If you’re serious about it, you have to study,’” Savage recalled in the interview with Hot 97. “So I applied, got a full scholarship, went to [the prestigious Boston music college] Berklee, and studied jazz.”

Along the way she famously got the opportunity to sing backup for legends such as Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, and Chaka Khan, to name a few. By the time Savage started her solo career in the early 2010s she was a seasoned vocalist and Grammy-nominated songwriter.

Her signature sound is delicate and feminine, organically interweaving English and Yoruba into deeply thoughtful rhythmic songs about love, money, politics, and the patriarchy. Tracks like “Koroba,” which interrogates the power play between rich men and young women (I no come this life to suffer / If I follow politician / You go hear am for paper / Them go call am prostitution / Who no like enjoyment?), or “49-99,” about the working class and corruption, have launched Savage into a stratosphere of artistry not often seen by her contemporaries. Producers like Blaq Jerzee, Pheelz, and London have created a sonic fusion in Savage’s music that blends classic Afrobeats instrumentals (saxophone, horn, drums) with modern synthesizer cords.

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