Tiwa Savage talks joining UMG in exclusive interview, agrees with Burna Boy’s criticism of international deals

If you’ve been following entertainment news lately, you’ll no doubt have learnt that Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage has been signed exclusively to American’s Universal Music Group (UMG).

The agreement means that her future music will be released internationally through UMG’s operations in more than 60 countries worldwide. Definitely a step up for the award-winning singer.

An Obviously fans supporters are thrilled for Tiwa Savage, who was absent from social media for several months and only just posts sporadically following the deal.


That means, most of the news about her has been second hand. So, we are super excited for this interview she granted Bella Naija’s Mercy Akamo, where she spoke about what the “business arrangement means for her, the recent criticism of ‘international deals. and how her career is inspiring African women to grow in the music business.

Here are excerpts from that interview:

On what the UMG deal means to her

The fact that they’re willing to sign a female Afrobeats artist and also the fact that they’re allowing me to maintain my style, sound and brand, but on a global level meant a lot to me. It felt like everything that’s been going on in my journey led to this point. It felt right. It felt like it was the right time. Felt good that I hadn’t been working in vain.

On Burna Boy’s criticism of “international deals

I think it’s important for artists to be 100% sure and aware of what they’re getting themselves into, especially when it comes to contracts. Burna is 1000% correct. People took it out of context, maybe. It’s a great advice to any artist: make sure you see your lawyers and do your personal research.

It took me a year to conclude this deal. It took that long for a reason. It took a year to convince them that I don’t want this and I want that and this is the reason why. They understood. I feel blessed in the position I’m in. I have an amazing deal with UMG and I agree with Burna that while we’re pushing Africa to the World, we need to be careful that we don’t lose ourselves. I think that’s what he’s trying to say.”

On her current relationship with Don Jazzy

Don Jazzy is just an amazing guy. “I’ve never met anyone like him who’s so selfless. A few people might think our messages to each other is just for the gram, but honestly, 1000%, it’s very very real.

Contractually yes, I guess I’m not with (Mavin Records) but I don’t think I can ever leave Mavin. It’s an emotional feeling. I’m part of the family. I’m still close to everyone.”

On social media break

“When I first took a break, I was just getting caught up in social media, checking my phone once I wake up. Then I was like, I’m just gonna take one week off and I started enjoying it. Then one week became two weeks, and two weeks became a month and that was it.

“Within that period we finalised the deal and I was like, maybe it’s time to rebrand and start afresh. I didn’t actually start it because of this deal. I just wanted to take a break. Then I started deleting pictures because my page looks cluttered and I wanted my page to have a theme.”

Tiwa’s advice for young people

Opportunity favours the prepared.

For now, you can get your music to a lot more people, faster than before. You can start to build your own fanbase from social media before even considering management or record labels.”

The full interview is available here.


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