Queen of Afrobeats signs to Motown

Her latest single highlights harsh realities in Nigeria.

13 September 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Nigerian-born artist Tiwa Savage – widely regarded as the queen of Afrobeats recently released her new single, 49-99 via Motown Records.

Since signing her international deal with Universal Music Group, the explosive track will be her first release with Motown Records which serves as her US label. Ethiopia Habtemariam, president of Motown Records mentioned that they are beyond excited to work with Tiwa Savage, one of Africa's most talented and prolific singer-songwriters of this generation. “Tiwa Savage has been at the forefront of creating music from the continent that connects people from around the globe.

“It is Tiwa's undeniable gifts, immense talent, work ethic and resilience that has prepared her for this next chapter and we at Motown are proud to support her on this journey,” said Habtemariam.

While utterly infectious, 49-99 makes a powerful statement about poverty. Tiwa Savage explained that 49-99 is a term coined from the hard life many Nigerians go through. A transit bus serves as a case study. “It ought to have only 49 seated passengers, however due to poor economic conditions, we often have nearly twice that number of passengers standing (99),” said Tiwa Savage.

Tiwa Savage recently recorded Keys to the Kingdom, a song that she co-wrote for the soundtrack The Lion King: The Gift after being handpicked to do so by Beyoncé so 2018 was a remarkable year all-around for her. She was named Best African Act at the MTV European Music Awards, making history as the first female to win the award. She was handpicked by Coldplay's Chris Martin to perform alongside Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z live at the Global Citizen Festival to a 70 000 strong audience and millions across the globe.

Tiwa Savage's fearlessness in combining a unique fusion of Afrobeat, R&B, soul and pop paid off, earning her an abundance of award nominations including four Channel O Music Video Awards nominations, five World Music Award nominations, two Headies nominations, MTV Africa Music, BET & MOBO Award nominations and many more.

The US edition of Vogue hailed her as one of the most inspirational women in December 2018 while British Vogue singled her out as one of 10 women that are changing the face of music globally.

On 49-99, Tiwa Savage goes on to say, “The song encourages the young to put down the sense of inheritance and work for what they desire in life, for a better tomorrow. We can't sit on our old glories and expect things to change for the better.

“49-99 also addresses some political leaders who, instead of focusing on the growth of a nation, are there just for the money and having affairs with underage girls – while the citizenry is hustling hard to make a daily living,” said Tiwa Savage.

Universal Music Africa

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