Born Tiwatope Savage, the Kele kele love crooner, Tiwa Savage has admitted that her wave-making song was inspired by her personal experience as well as those of her friends back in the days. The delectable singer confirms this, to Ogbonna Amadi.
What’s the level of appreciation of your first single, Kele Kele love ?
It’s great, definitely the appreciation went farther than I expected. Although the album hasn’t in many countries, it’s now in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa. It’s awesome, I’ve also done shows in Uganda, Malaysia, Kenya and it has really set me on the move
Why did you think your song wouldn’t go that far?
Because it was my first song and more over, a kind of test run for me. I wasn’t really expecting that much. I wasn’t that popular when I released the song but today it has brought me the biggest popularity in Africa.
And it has given you a lot of money too
You weren’t a regular face here in Nigeria, so how did you come about the hook line kele kele in the song?
I think issues are universal. Even though Kele Kele is Nigerian, it’s something that anyone can easily know because it’s universal.
When are we expecting the main album to drop?
My new album is something I want to give myself time to prepare. I’ve just released my second single, Love Me Love Me, about three and a half weeks ago and it’s been all over TV and radio stations. For me, I already have two big songs out there and I’m really excited about it.
You’ve written good songs for a lot of big artistes. Do you think that could have contributed to your being accepted in the industry?
Yes, it gave me the confidence. Also, the Nigerian market is a very big one. And the lyrics I write for the American artistes isn’t what I write for myself because the Nigerian music industry is different. Perhaps it affected the market here.
What’s the difference between the Nigerian and the American music industry?
They’ve grown a lot and they have different genres. But in Nigeria, it’s the same kind of music everywhere. If a Nigerian artiste plays slow songs, he may not be so popular because he won’t be invited for shows. So, I had to make sure that my first single was a party song and my album is going to have more of danceable songs.
Kele Kele became a hit even before you released the video, how did you do it?
Honestly, I want to give it to the grace of God. I think, Nigerians were waiting for a female artist to bring about the desired a change. And it’s harder for female artists to have female fans.
I want to be able to capture female fans by doing songs that is appealing to them. Because men love women a lot, men have already accepted me.
When is the Love Me Love Me video coming out?
It’s been shot in Los Angeles. I was so nervous on set but it was shot by an amazing director. It’s going to come out fine and I can’t wait to behold myself.
Is it going to be a mixture of Nigeria and American scenes?
Yes, it’s going to be so. I also want to set a standard for female artists and their video. There’s going to be an infusion of both Nigerian and America scenes. And I’m going to bring in a lot of other artists too. Expect the best from me soon.
Have you thought of doing collabos with other Nigerian artistes?
I’d love to feature the likes of 2Face, Don Jazzy, Banky W and Sasha. My singles have been just me because I don’t want someone else laying claims to my success.
How do you feel about your achievements?
Well, I’m excited and happy for the female artistes. I’m happy that many of them are responding to challenges, and I know that someday, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, in the industry.
And there would be a time when female artistes will start to rule shows. And there are lots of them like Omawunmi, Mocheda, Waje and it’s a matter of time before we start ruling shows around the world.
Why didn’t you stay in America, instead of coming home?
I think African music is starting to break boundaries. We have a lot of Nigerian music out there. So, clearly, their eyes are on us and I don’t think that we should change so much because that’s what attracted them to us.
How’s you song doing in America?
First of all, I speak Pidgin and Yoruba in my songs, so, I want to first conquer the African market before taking it outside the shores of the continent. Even my manager back in LA asked for copies of my songs and I gave them to him. They loved it. I think it’s a stepping stone but my target is still Africa.
I heard you did songs for other artistes back there recently…
Yeah. I did a song for Monica which I’m really excited about. She’s recorded it and I can’t wait for it to come out.
The song Kele Kele, is it a personal experience?
It was a mixture. Some of the lines were something I went through and others were what my friends went through. I didn’t want the song to be too serious so I came up with Kele Kele.
Do you even have a love life?
Laughs. That’s tricky because I’m so busy. But let me just say…I’m just going to leave this for the guys to …
What do you think about the Nigerian music industry?
I think it’s growing. We need more structure, love and good standard. We need to curb piracy. We also need more studios, rehearsals because artistes are creative. And the more you allow an artiste to be creative, the better for us all.