Since landing on the scene in 2010 with “Kele Kele” and her 2013 debut album “Once Upon a Time,” Tiwa Savage has shown time and again why she is one of the biggest voices in Nigerian music.
In the face of her life’s ups and downs, the singer and songwriter has fearlessly invited the world into hers via her distinct blend of afrobeats, pop, hip-hop, R&B, and soul. The hard work and persistence in her artistry have kept the singer running in the game for close to a decade and she shows no signs of slowing down. As a songwriter, her pen has created a number of beautiful records not just for herself but also for other stars.
Her contributions to the industry have earned her both local and international achievements such as MTV Europe Award for Best African Act (2018), The Headies Award for Best Collaboration (2018), MTV Africa Music Award for Best Female Artist, and more.
Having recently dropped her new album Celia, here are 20 essential songs by Tiwa Savage.
This list is in no particular order
As far as Nigerian debut singles go, “Kele Kele,” was quite the “aha!” moment. The Harmony Samuels-produced song coupled with the stunning Jerry Chan-directed video let us know that Tiwa Savage had arrived to shake up the male-dominated industry in a way that was truly unique to her. “Who is she?” was the question “Kele Kele” left on everyone’s mind.
Love Me 3x
Following her debut single came “Love Me x3.” On the track, Tiwa professes her love and calls for her love interest to reciprocate her feelings. The accompanying video by Sesan, and pretty much most of Tiwa’s videos, show her reveling in her femininity. If there was any question of her potential after “Kele Kele,” “Love Me x3” lay it all to rest.
Without My Heart ft. Don Jazzy
From Tiwa’s stunning harmonies to Don Jazzy‘s assistance and Warren Oak Felder‘s brilliant sampling of Lenky’s “Diwali Riddim,” “Without My Heart” remains evergreen. The video, as directed by Mark Hofmeyr, lived up to the song’s quality.
Eminado ft. Don Jazzy
“What is the meaning of Eminado?” is what the song “Eminado” left everyone wondering. That however did not stop the song from loudly ringing through airwaves across the country and beyond. Tiwa eventually disclosed Eminado to be a word she made up to mean good luck charm.
Opening her debut album, Once Upon a Time, ‘Wanted’ is reflective of Rihanna’s Man Down. The accompanying Moe Musa-directed video for the reggae tune caused quite a stir with many flagging it as “too raunchy” and “too suggestive”. In reality, it wasn’t any of those things but by Nigerian conservative standards, it was. Ultimately, it got banned across local stations.
Oyi Remix with Flavour
On this song, Tiwa lends her voice for the remix of Flavour‘s 2010 hit “Oyi” in which they both compare the absence of their love interest to freezing.
Also coming off Once Upon a Time, “Olorun Mi” is dedicated to our loved ones who have passed away. Over production provided by Sauce Wilson, the song sees Tiwa showing off not only her vocal capacity but the depth of her pen game.
Girlie ‘O’ Remix with Patoranking
Produced by WizzyPro, Tiwa teamed up with Nigerian Dancehall artist, Patoranking for the remix of his 2014 record “Girlie O”. The day after its release came the accompanying video directed by Moe Musa.
Doorobucci with Mavins
The Mavins were quite dominant collectively just as much as there were individually. With Tiwa as the ‘First lady of The Mavins’ their 2014 hit single “Dorobucci” rang through the continent from schools to the streets, and parties. It even created a social media moment that had most people adding ‘Doro’ to their Twitter Names. The hit produced by Michael Ajereh eventually earned the collective the Song of the Year award at the MTV Africa Music Awards.
Lova Lova ft. Duncan Mighty
For the Spellz-produced “Lova Lova”, Tiwa Savage tapped Duncan Mighty and created a new moment in his (Duncan’s) comeback year.
In 2017, there was no escaping Tiwa Savage‘s “All Over”. Produced by Baby Fresh, the song and its accompanying video directed by Patrick Elis, quickly became one of the defining moments of Summer 2017.
Off her Sugarcane EP came the single “Sugarcane.” She once again enlisted the production talents of Spellz to create the bubbly and fun record.
Ma Lo ft. Wizkid & Spellz
2017 was one of those great years in Nigerian music that witnessed a number of undeniable hits. One of such hits was Tiwa Savage’s “Ma Lo” featuring Wizkid. These two do make quite a pair sonically and “Ma Lo ” proves that. The song was produced by Spellz.
Bad ft. Wizkid
A standout from the deluxe version of Tiwa’s 2015 album, R.E.D, “Bad” features Wizkid as they address everything from the haters to feeling good about themselves and being ‘badder than bad.’ “Bad” was produced by P2J.
Diet ft. Reminisce x Slimcase x DJ Enimoney
2018 was the year of major party anthems and the emergence of the Shaku Shaku dance craze took things to another level. One of such anthems was “Diet.” With Sarz leading with the production Tiwa Savage, Reminisce, Slimcase, and DJ Enimoney each took turns serving powerhouse verses that got everyone on their feet.
Get It Now ft. Omarion
For the remix of “Get it Now,” Omarion joined Tiwa over production by P2J to give the sweet and sultry song his signature runs and falsettos.
KEYS TO THE KINGDOM with Beyoncé & Mr Eazi
Beyoncé‘s Lion King: The Gift album was one of the defining moments of music in 2019. Everyone knows how they felt while hearing the songs for the first time. With the low-tempo production credited to Beyoncé, Northboi Oracle, GuiltyBeatz, Dixie, and P2J, both Tiwa and Mr. Eazi created magic on “Keys to the Kingdom.”
Written by Olamide and produced by Pheelz, Tiwa adopts the theme of survival from Fela Kuti‘s “Shuffering and Shmiling” while singing in Yoruba, Pidgin, and English. The accompanying video directed by Meji Alabi cleverly conveys the mood and feel of the song. Some captivating scenes of show Tiwa dancing on the top of a bus and showcasing the African threading hairstyle.
Gal Policy (Remix) with Kranium
Stream/Download: Gal Policy (Remix) (feat. Tiwa Savage) Subscribe for more official content from Kranium: https://kranium.lnk.to/Subscribe Connect with Krani…
One of the lead singles off the recently released album, Celia, “Dangerous Love is as romantic as it is adorable. Produced by Cracker Mallo, Nigerian singer Oxlade punctuates the refrains as Tiwa sings sweetly of the affections she has for her love interest