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Tiwa Savage: “I am Not a Sex Symbol” | Nigerian Singer speaks on her Debut Album, Competition & Growing up in Isale Eko



Tiwa Savage - June 2013 - BellaNaija

It’s Tiwa Savage! From her style to her chart topping singles, the Nigerian chanteuse knows how to get the attention of the media.

Her anticipated debut 19-track “Once Upon a Time” album (With two bonus tracks) was slated to drop today 14th June but has been pushed back a few days.


However, just before the release of her album, she sat down with ThisDay Newspaper to speak on her album, growing up in Isale Eko and what stardom has changed about her.

But one of the most buzzed about headlines is Tiwa’s response to being a sex symbol. “If you ask my family, I am not like that. I am a laid-back person”, she tells the publication. Well Ms Savage if you say so, but we loved your Love Me Love Me video.

Tiwa didn’t shy away from speaking on her fiancé. She spoke on why she wrote a song for him “You know the culture here. If you’re not married and just focus on your career, people would start asking questions. He understood my journey; he was able to push me career-wise and he encourages me a lot. So, I had to do a song for him.”

Check out more details from the interview
On why it took 2 years to drop her debut album – This album is from my heart and it’s something that I worked so long for. A lot of people wondered why it took so long and that’s because we had to go through a lot of legal processes to clear some of the samples that we used and that took months. Also, we wanted to work with some notable producers like Warren ‘Oak’ Felder who worked with Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. So, we had to work round their schedules and that’s why it took so long. This is an album that I don’t want to be the usual Nigerian album with patchy tracks from beginning to end. I want it to have a meaning.

On competition with female singers – Why should I be scared of competition? Like I said on stage, you have Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and they’re all female artistes and they’re all big stars in the US. Why should it be only one person that will be known for quality music among female singers in Nigeria? I am actually glad that more female artistes are coming up.

On fond memories of Isale Eko days – Growing up, I was like a tomboy. Back then, I didn’t care about make-up or bags or shoes, I was very free. I had a very healthy upbringing. My parents made sure I was really grounded. I had loving brothers and I remember playing around all the time when I was a kid.

On what stardom has changed about her – I was a little more out-going but I am now a bit more reserved. Some people like saying they haven’t changed a bit when they start making more money, but that’s a lie. I think you change because you’re more wary. You want to be careful and trust less easily. I think people around me have changed too. They expect more. I’m under a microscope always. I might make a normal mistake but it will get blown up because it’s Tiwa Savage. So, I am more wary of what I do and say in public than I was before.

For more on the interview, CLICK HERE


  1. Hurperyermie

    June 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    the make up is too loud

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      I’m not even sure if the make up is to blame or it’s the hair or something else is off with that photo but she looks like a spinster aunt pining for her lover who went off to fight the Confederate war. It’s got that Southern Belle vibe to it…

      Tiwa, you are way too hot for this dowdiness… Please do not use these photos for any promos.

    • jackie

      June 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      She should say: I am not a sex symbol ANYMORE*

  2. Lilly

    June 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I dont like this pix, it must have been the cartoon image of tiwa. Love ur voice

  3. Gracie

    June 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Ok! Hurperyermie, she likes it that way, different strokes for different folks. Tiwa Savage said ” I’m under a microscope always” because she knows that people will always criticize her. In my humble opinion, do what makes you happy, careless about what some people say, take in good advices and throw the chaff away. Life is too short to stay unhappy.

  4. chin

    June 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    is dis a painting?

  5. Blackpearl

    June 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    i almost cudnt recognise her! the make up is just too busy on ya face swity!

  6. salsera

    June 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    i dont get it when people dress tres sexy in ALL their videos and then say oh i’m not a sex symbol those who know me know i’m not like that. Sex symbol is what your videos say(case in point the lovemeloveme video), its like beyonce saying i’m not a sex symbol oh please. What posters/pics of you do u think people have? short shorts or boubou. abi na only your voice people dey hear? abeg if you put it out there then please own it. The picture is a bad case of photoshop

  7. Partyrider

    June 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Dear Damilare ,
    1.why didnt you use a better picture of tiwa,you guys have tons of her pictures.
    2.she announced last night that the album release date has been pushed,so it is no longer dropping today

  8. beeeBaby

    June 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I love this lady anyday anytime!you go girl!

  9. Dawn

    June 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Please write an article on the bit of her interview where she said he Fiance’ took away her shame by putting a ring on it. I’d like to read people’s comments on it; Feminists,chauvinists,a combination of the two,confused etc lol

    • Banke

      June 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Darling you mean Dami? I don’t think Tiwa said that

  10. brandigest

    June 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Is this the only presentable Tiwa’s photo available on earth?

  11. Musa

    June 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I remember that Tiwa’s picture so well. That picture was officially published in The Redsheet Entertainment Magazine last year February, 2012. She was featured alongside Wizkid and Flavour on the cover of the magazine. so its a long time picture.. over a year ago. So lets not blame the picture, Tiwa has grown over time, she looks more beautiful now than ever. But i think there’re still better pix from that shots.

  12. mee

    June 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I’m not either. lol

  13. bolivia

    June 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    you bet ur r not tiwa. u r just a karaoke singer just like efe collins rightly said.

  14. madman

    June 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    sex symbol? madam you’re not that fine na

  15. timi

    June 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    with makeup like that. we do not have to put you under a microscope o. we all can see its too much.

    • Janey

      June 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

      i haff die laffin mehn…lmsao

  16. LILLY

    June 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    i don’t like d picture but i love her dentition. nice clean white teeth

  17. Hurperyermie

    June 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    timi tanks o hmmm

  18. Rukky

    June 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    She might not think she’s a sex symbol but she’s definitely all kinds of sexy and which dark chocolate girl puts on black (abi na which colour b dt sef) lipstick and still looks hot??? Mzz Tiwaa Savaage!

  19. me2

    June 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    [email protected] mz socially awkward, U̶̲̥̅̊ r so right, I swear sometimes I so look foward to reading ur own comments

  20. lalaroses

    June 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    of course tiwa you should not be scared of competition and not only one person will be known for quality music out of 9ja like you said. chidinma is another. and some people are just in a class of their own. like asa. i wont even put you both in the same basket

  21. femi

    June 16, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Tiwa don become AUNTY O!

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