Tiwa Savage has started an important conversation on how the Nigerian music industry treats female artistes.
In a new interview with NotJustOk, the Mavin artiste revealed details of her Roc Nation deal, the Sony songwriting deal she got before relocating to Nigeria, taking her son on tour with her, and how the industry treats female artiste.
Recall that the Adura singer, who got embroiled in messy marital drama with her husband Tee Billz, clinched a deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation, then performed at the One Africa Festival in New York, and proceeded on her first US tour.
Now, she has taken the attention away from her family, shedding light on her career, and what she thinks could be done to make the music industry better.
See some excerpts from the stirring interview:
On her Roc Nation deal:
Mavin is family. Don Jazzy was there with me during, through out the negotiation of the deal. No, I am not leaving. Mavin is still family. have not left Mavin. [The Roc Nation contract] is a management deal and Mavin still remains my label. I just signed with Roc Nation under management contract. Mavin is still my label.
On the Sony deal
I still have a deal with Sony. It is a publishing deal. They still handle my songwriting deals.
On her son going on tour with her
I thought it was going to be a lot more challenging, but I have such an amazing child. I think he is so used to different environments. he is not fussy. It was easy to leave him at the hotel with my mum.
On being the only female to perform at the One Africa Festival in New York in 2016
I didn’t want to see it so much as that. I just wanted to try and break [away] from that ‘only female’ or one of the ‘best female’. I just wanted to be considered to be one of the best artistes, period.
On how the industry perceives her, and other female artistes
I am in no way saying I am the only female artiste – there are incredible female artistes in Africa. I’m saying that I don’t want to continue to be in that category. So, I think one of the things we can do is when you nominate artistes or best artistes to also include females, because it is always ‘Best female’. And you hardly see female artistes in Best Artiste, best Album, Best Single. It is still male -dominated.
On the album RED, her best song is ‘Say It’ and here’s why:
‘Say It’ is very important to me because, I think, as Nigerians, in our culture, we are very used to keeping things in – from domestic violence, infidelities, and even sexual status. I am not necessarily saying we have to say it on social media. But, I do believe we have to speak, to heal – whether to a counselor, pastor, family, doctor. ‘Say it’ is very powerful.
And she said a lot more – from the genre her music falls into, to her feature on Hot 97 with Ebro, and more.