7 Lessons From Tiwa Savage’s Interview With E!
Last Sunday, Tiwa Savage featured on prestigeous entertainment channel, E! for its new show tagged the ‘E! VIP SERIES ’ – a mini documentary on some of Africa’s best entertainers. In the episode, Tiwa talked about a wide range of issues– such as her humble beginning, life with former manager/estranged hubby, Tee Billz, being a mother, the legacy she wants to leave behind and more.
Here are seven things we learnt from the exclusive interview with E!
1. Tiwa’s parents stood their ground against her starting up a musical career at a tender age:
She said: “Since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be an entertainer but African parents, they were like, no. Choose one: Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer or one of those ones. Music is not an option. So I had to go to school to study business and accounts.”
Tiwa’s dad who was also featured in the documentary, confirmed her passion for music at a young age and said he gave her a condition that if indeed music was her calling, she would have to get a first degree in a professional course.
He said, “She has always wanted to do music and go into music. Growing up, she used to organise musical shows for all the children in the estate and she would lead the group. So my condition was that if you want to go into music, you must have your first degree, finish your secondary education, go to university and after that, you can go into music.”
2. Tiwa had to get a job to push her musical career herself financially:
She said ” After university, I needed money to kick-start my career in music. So, heeding to my parent’s advice, I was forced to get a day job as a trainee accountant – a job I quit as I sunk into a depressive state after getting ‘tired of counting other people’s money’ and wanting to make mine. “So when I graduated, I said to my dad, here is your degree, I have given you what you want and I’m going to do music. They were like ‘No, you can’t move to America, you need money’. So I got a job as a trainee accountant and I got tired of counting other people’s money. I wanted to start counting my own money because I thought, hey there is a whole lot of money around here. What’s going on? That was a transition. It got to a point that every morning, I’ll wake up and I’ll be depressed going to work. I wanted to sing and at that point, I was prepared to lose everything. That’s when I knew there was a big calling on my life to do this.”
3. Tiwa revealed how Tee Billz, her former manager, propelled her identity and her brand:
She said: “I moved to America. I went to study music at the Berkley College of music. Then I moved to L.A. Now, when you move to L.A, there are a lot of beautiful people there. Their skin is glowing, their teeth is perfect, their hair is amazing and I’m like, looking around and for someone who doesn’t wax. I have like a uni-brow”. She then met TeeBillz who became her manager and molded her into the Tiwa Savage brand we know today.
She said, “I needed to do something and I met my manager who is now my husband. He saw me and was like, ‘you could be really pretty if you put an effort into it’ and I was like wait what do you mean? and he was like, ‘you need to lose a little weight, wax your legs; that might be attractive. So he just literally put me through this whole program and told me that the music is great, the talent is there but 80% of it is branding. ‘So if you want to do the tom-boy thing, you have to take it to the extreme. if you want to be hot and sexy, you have to take it to the extreme”. So I started learning how to wear heels and he basically just groomed me into the image of Tiwa Savage that we see now.”
4. Tiwa said it was never love at first sight for TeeBillz:
She said, “When I first met him I felt he was very arrogant. He was very tall, dark, handsome and very confident. He oozes that and he always expects that from me as well. So when I first met him, I didn’t fall in love. It wasn’t love at first sight. Although when he first met me, he said to me ‘so it’s either of two things; I am either going to manage you or marry you”. So I was just like What! You are so full of yourself, I will never date you, let alone marry you. So obviously, we decided he was going to manage me because I turned down the other option.” However, on getting to discover another side of him, she fell for him. She said, “We worked so closely together and I discovered this soft emotional guy. One who gave up everything for my career. He had a great business in L.A but he moved to Nigeria because he really believed in me more than I believed in myself. So gradually I just started seeing in him, this person. So it was inevitable. I tried to fight it. It can’t happen and I couldn’t help it.”
5. Tiwa Savage speaks on marital issues with TeeBillz:
“Everybody who is married knows that there are up and downs in marriages and we had our fair share,” she said.
She further narrated how they fought on their wedding day.“So we just had this little tiff outside and we are like arguing and everyone is like ‘welcome the beautiful bride and the groom and we are dancing in and he’s just like grumbling and it’s on camera. So everyone watching are like ‘Wait where you guys just arguing so it’s real but there are cute moments and real moments,” She told E!.
6. Tiwa savage revealed how the birth of Jamil, her son, has re-energized her to work harder:
“Every time I think of that little man, it’s a mixture of emotions. I’m happy, blessed but sometimes, I’m also a little scared. He’s so precious. You and I know how cruel this world can be but sometimes, I feel like he should just stay in this age where I can always protect him. Every time when I wake up and I see him, all of that just goes through my mind, makes me work so much harder. I work so much more because I want to leave a legacy for him. I want him to be proud of his mum. I want him to one day look at this interview with his wife and be like ‘that’s my mama’. You know.”
7. Tiwa savage revealed her desire to work with award-winning American artist – Beyonce and Rihanna :
“I would love to work with Beyonce. She is married. She has a child of her own. She is still hot. Rihanna is that fierce alter-ego we all have in us. In front of the mirror, we all pretend to be Rihanna. So I’ll love to work with Rihanna” She said, “It’s not all just about international artistes. I really love AKA. I’d love to work with AKA as well as Diamond, Fally Ipupa and Lira.”
By Osahon Ibizugbe