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Everything You Need to Know About Tiwa Savage’s Debut Album “Once Upon A Time”



First of all, a huge kudos to Mavin Records‘ first lady, Tiwa Savage and her team for an awesome album listening party and of course, a great album to go with it. The album listening party took place at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos on Sunday, 26th May 2013.

Tiwa Savage‘s debut album “Once Upon A Time” is a diverse collection of tunes that can almost soothe any mood you’re in. Here’s what the official album artwork looks like.

Tiwa Savage Once Upon A Time (1)

The venue looked outstanding. There were larger than life photos of Tiwa on all the walls. And, on the LCD screens and projectors, footage of Tiwa Savage from different photo shoots was looping.

May 27, 2013 | by onos_ on

After a few cocktails, mingling with A-list celebrities and some major delish ‘chow’ went down our throats, the event started by Tiwa taking us on quite an exciting journey through her new album. She was also put on the spot, during the show, to perform an ‘impromptu’ acoustic number. She soulfully belted out a sonorous Gospel hymn which kept our belief in Tiwa Savage more than alive. Keep it locked on BN for all the official photos coming soon.

Although it was just one listen, here’s the official track list and a concise track by track review.

Tiwa Savage“Once Upon A Time” Album blurb

The story began with a young lady, driven and dedicated to sharing her musical gifts to the world. Through years of cultivating her act across 3 continents, she is here, and more ready than ever to let the next chapter of this story unfold

Track List

1. Once Upon A Time
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Marcus McCauley, Rahima Balogun, Zakira Ousley

Kicking off the album in grand style, this is a “Disney style” introduction to Tiwa Savage like we’ve never heard before.

2. Wanted
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Tiffany Fred, Warren ‘Oak’ Felder

Laced with very hefty beats and a definite Reggae influence, this is one of the album’s most memorable tracks. You just always want to hear it again.

3. Ileke
Credit: Tiwa Savage, TJ Billz, Gospel on the beats

This is my best song on the album. Gospel killed this beat, resurrected it and killed it again. It is a tribute to all the women doing great things in their respective industries and as Tiwa asks them to come out and dance, the guys won’t be able to resist joining them.

4. Middle Passage
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Raydar Ellis

This song is an instant favourite. The song talks about men abroad taking care of their families back home and Tiwa delivers on this astounding production with the passion it needs.

5. Olorun Mi
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Sauce Wilson

Get out your tissues because this one goes straight to your heart. It’s a very touching tribute to all the ones we’ve lost. It’s equally touching and inspirational George Guise-directed music video is slated to drop soon.

6. Why Don’t You Love Me
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, Altims

Trust Don Jazzy to lace us with his hefty bass and staccato snare drums and claps. This track has a very South African House/Kwaito vibe and its lyrics are very spaced out too, in their fashion, to help you appreciate the production a lot more.

7. Fela Interlude
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Sauce Wilson

Reminiscent of Destiny’s Child harmonizing, Tiwa Savage sings the ever-popular Fela lyric in tribute.

‘if you tell African woman say she be woman, she go say, she go say I be lady oh’

8. Love Me, Love Me, Love Me
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Richard King, Harmony Samuels

We’re all familiar with this one and this song has become a staple sound for Tiwa Savage, easily making her the queen of Afro Pop.

9. Eminado Feat. Don Jazzy
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy

Although Tiwa Savage confessed to not knowing the meaning of ‘Eminado’, don’t translate it to Yoruba. This is the catchiest tune on the album. I’ve literally been humming it since yesterday and I only heard it once. Tiwa & Don Jazzy make magic happen as they do some tag team singing to their beloved ’eminado’ (I think it means heartthrob)

10. Folarin
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Spellz “Magik Boi”

Another potential hit from Tiwa that’s still slowly piercing through the airwaves. And, just the way she likes it, the bass bangs.

11. Oh Yeah Feat. Don Jazzy
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy

Tiwa and Don Jazzy take another trip experimenting with Afro Hip-Hop and House. This one is especially for the dance floors.

12. Shout Out Feat. Iceberg Slim & Sarkodie
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Iceberg Slim, Sarkodie, Spellz “Magik Boi”

This is a definite summer time banger as Tiwa slows down the tempo. It has a definite “Like to Party” vibe so I hope there’ll be a remix with Burna Boy. Nonetheless, it’s a solid grove tune and Iceberg Slim stood out, ahead of stellar performances from Tiwa Savage and Sarkodie.

13. Written All Over Your Face
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Tiffany Fred, Warren “Oak” Felder

The chemistry between Oak and Tiwa Savage is eminent on this ‘quite graphic’, in Tiwa’s words, love song. Laced with very ambient and atmospheric production, this is baby-making music.

14. Get Low
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Sauce Wilson

Dedicated to her loving fiancee and manager, TJ Billz, this is a banging slow jam that you should definitely add to your ‘baby-making music’ playlist, trust me.

15. Ife Wa Gbona Feat. Leo Wonder
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Leo Wonder, So Sick

We all know how well these two gelled on this contemporary classic love song.

16. Eji Ma Fia
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Trafic, Spellz “Magik Boi”, ChiGurl

Tiwa Savage takes an unprotected stroll into Igbo land with commendable bravery. ‘Eji ma fia’ means ‘my market is here’ or ‘I have the market’. On this tune, Tiwa Savage belts about her ‘selling point’ and we all know what that is, right?

17. Baby Mo Feat. Flavour
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Flavour, Del B

Another collaboration from these two but they take a more uptempo route and their energy seems endless. ‘Are you ready now?’

18. Stand As One Feat. General Pype
Credit: Tiwa Savage, General Pype, Spellz “Magik Boi”

Inspired by the ‘occupy Nigeria’ movement, Tiwa Savage gets a little R&B on this dancehall vibe with General Pype. They sing about unity, love, peace and the power of the people.

19. Thank You
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, Altims

As the title entails, this one is for all her fans and supporters.

Bonus Tracks

20. Without My Heart Feat. Don Jazzy
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Tiffsny Fred, TJ Billz, Don Jazzy, Warren “Oak” Felder

21. Kele Kele
Credit: Tiwa Savage, Harmony Samuels


This is an excellent collection of tunes that will definitely be banging on our stereos for years to come. It was definitely worth the wait and as each song caters to a specifically different mood, there’ll be something for every time and everybody.

It’s great to see how Tiwa brings out a different side of Don Jazzy. You can tell he wants to diversify his sound as he’s more experimental with World, House, Dubstep & Kwaito genres. Plus, she makes him confident as she’s the only artiste who has 3 good features with him.

Finally, Tiwa’s chemistry with Rihanna & Nicki Minaj producer, Oak and Tiffany Fred is quite an award-winning formula as their cohesion cuts across genres and industries. “Ileke” is my favourite jam right now and I can’t wait to cop myself this new “Once Upon A Time” album.

Fun Facts

  • With “Once Upon A Time” slated to drop this 14th June, 2013, Tiwa’s Pepsi endorsement has been extended for two more years.
  • Apart from mixing and mastering, another thing that delayed the release of “Once Upon A Time” was getting the rights to the sample used on “Wanted”.
  • The emotional music video for “Olorun Mi” is the next one from Tiwa.

Photo Credit: Onos O | Kunle Haastrup for Insigna


  1. gistyinka blog

    May 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    tiwatope nice concert…

    • deep

      May 28, 2013 at 9:36 am


  2. Bey

    May 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Stop hyping this lady..we all she cannot sing..pity who ever is going to buy her album

    • Awaiting Moderation

      May 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      LMAO at your anger sa!

    • Nimi

      May 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      I kinda agree. First time I heard her voice was on the Pi-Square track ‘Do as I do’, and she sounded more like a comedienne making fun of musicians. I didn’t like what I heard.

    • tolu

      May 28, 2013 at 9:03 am

      babe calm down and find out before u rant

    • deep

      May 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

      It was Waje, not Tiwa. olodo

    • kemi

      May 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      pure hate, just pure hate. Tiwatope Savage please we love and admire you so much. bey is on crack obviously

    • tolu

      May 28, 2013 at 9:04 am

      enter studio and release a mixtape but until then, ziplock ur mouth!

    • madam Y

      May 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Hater alert… Gosh, seems you are just out to bash Tiwa! You complained about her outfit on another article, now you are here bashing her voice. For all her faults, atleast we all know Tiwa can sing and people will be buying the album, good or bad sef.

  3. Eyitayo

    May 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    i love Tiwa Savage #plentyHomo

  4. sarafina

    May 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    All the best!

  5. Lola

    May 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Ahah Bey…kilode now? Clean your lips, they are lined with jealousy!!! She’s got some great songs and she can sing….my opinion sha. Lets know your talent

  6. Abi

    May 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    very cute Mary Katranzou outfit! Stylist did you good girl! SS13!

  7. Bey

    May 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Hahahaha madams mk una no vex ooo just spoke my mind

  8. [email protected]

    May 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Fully loaded album unlike many scanty one’s we usually see w/naija [email protected] Bey, its too damn obvious u’r a very sad individual and ur life must suck!!, such people feel they must bring successful people down with’em..shut the hell up!

    • tolu

      May 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

      bless you for your comment!

  9. grapes

    May 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Bey! What’s your problem? Sing your own let’s hear!

  10. Bey

    May 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Ur sick

  11. OLAH

    May 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I love Tiwa Savage.!!!That is all….

  12. GOD IS gReAt

    May 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    She really has a good voice

  13. GOD IS gReAt

    May 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Pls stop this jealous attitude

  14. tiwafan

    May 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I know there is no way tiwa can let me down, she is the QUEEN of afropop, the reason all these other girls are encouraged to pursue their dreams as well. She is always a step ahead, cant wait for the album. This review has gotten me so excited

  15. Kemi

    May 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    she’s pretty and fabulous…love you Tiwa

  16. hayzey

    May 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    The Queen is coming. Haters stand down.

  17. truetalk

    May 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    the lcd screen with the diff photoshoot looks was kinda weird…but overall nice concept

    • tolu

      May 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

      before, e for no be nice concept lool

  18. Well

    May 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    What was she doing in the keek vid i just dont get it??!?!?!? Was she tryna seduce us?!?!?!

  19. Adedayo

    May 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Wish her all the luck in the world…

  20. Adeola

    May 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I like the way my fav girl has raised the bar so high for naija music with the dropping of this album compared to the standard we all know in naija.

  21. zen

    May 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Arent these most of songs that we have heard on youtube for over a year?

  22. Idak

    May 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I have since learnt that Onos O can sell Ice to Eskimos. However, from the tracks that have been on air long before now from this album, i think this will be the best of the female vocalists albums released this year. Will get a copy and see for myself.

  23. Hurperyermie

    May 28, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Bey and Nimi haba!!!!!!!! can’t you guys be appreciative for once in your lives? kilode? if Tiwa can’t sing then who can sing? lets learn to appreciate what we have if she were to be a foreigner you guys wld av sang her praise, and its so obvious u dont know anything about music cos if u guys do u will appreciate Tiwa nonsense!!!!!!!!!

  24. grapes

    May 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Were ni Bey

  25. johnny

    May 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

    the album listening party was classy…dare to be different…dats exactly wat she did…besides the songs re beyond amazing…listen to them 1st before u start criticizing…TIWA Thumbs up….u re a real talent…

  26. Bunmi

    May 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Smart babe. She did not work with these Nigerian nursery rhyme writers. She chose to work with some of the (few) good Nigerian artistes.
    Similar to Keri Hilson, I think Tiwa is a better writer than a singer. She can sing but she has some bad singing habits here and there , however, her writing to me is flawless.

    Another artiste will copy this album listening idea even though it is nothing new. They are used to only album launch. Just watch.

  27. lrwju

    July 3, 2013 at 6:13 am

    W’on fry okpolo bay o…… abi!!!!!!*angry*

  28. mhiz mo

    July 9, 2013 at 1:59 am

    lol … @eminado …. Please translate it to english from yoruba

  29. chime wizdom

    October 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I just love lik much….she’s the best


    June 23, 2014 at 12:18 am

    How can I join tiwa savage

  31. maducam

    August 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    U ar lovely tiwa savage
    ! My ex girl loved me b/cos of ur song eminado.

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