We are still reeling in the new dictates that Beyonce’s Lemonade era unleashed on the culture. Even from a safe distance here in Nigeria, it is certain Bey’s narrative of women in marriage has altered a lot of predisposed notions. Consider the case of Tiwa Savage whose husband, Tee Billz levelled accusations of cheating moments before attempting suicide on the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge.
Tiwa Savage’s interview with Azuka Ogujiuba may have achieved some of its intended damage control, but the media was always going to vindicate her anyway. Between rumours of abuse and speculations of divorce, Savage’s fans at least had the inkling that all may not be perfect in Dorodiva land, so her side of the story was always going to be important for fair argument.
Tiwa Savage needs to take a cue from Beyonce by defying the stereotype of African women in marriage with an stunning album that gives even further insight into the details of her union. We’re not going to poke fun at specifics but many will agree that even the mere mention of an alleged Edible Caterer who was meeting Tee Billz in lush hotel rooms paid for with Tiwa Savage’s money sounds like a great premise for a powerful song about silenced women and emotional abuse.
If Tiwa Savage intends to pull off her own rejoinder to Beyonce’s equally relevant latest album, a few things must be put in place.
Return to Grammy nominee Tiwa Savage mode.
In 2009, Tiwa Savage landed a publishing deal with Sony ATV earning her a chance to write for BabyFace, Kat Da Luna, Monica, Mya, and Fantasia. Amongst her songwriting credits is the Grammy-nominated “Collard Greens & Cornbread” by Fantasia in 2010. For an album about her marriage, Tiwa Savage would need to rediscover her Grammy-nominated self for the record to carry any weight.
Savage herself may be capable of excellent songwriting but time spent away from adequately exercising her lyrical prowess may require more updated perspectives for the impact value of the album. Imagery and storytelling are two important tools that will encompass the writing on most of the album and Tiwa Savage only needs a look on the internet to find excellent songwriters who can better help fine tune her sound.
Nigerian artistes have mostly fed off the singles-based nature of Nigeria’s music market for their material release structure. As a result, there is no careful planning towards curating cohesive concepts that may outlive the artistes or their music. If Tiwa Savage seeks her inspirations from a place of originality, a concept solid enough to represent the story she wants to tell will surface.
Don Jazzy will need to pedal off.
We trust Don Jazzy’s judgment and we know the experiential value of the achievements he has on his belt is not something to easily discard or speak off without regard. But even in the past, the label boss has not been one known for supporting motifs or thematic concept. For best quality, a groundbreaking confessional like the one we expect from Tiwa Savagewill require a lot less of Don Jazzy’s intensive creative environment.
The full effect of Beyonce’s Lemonade is in the brazen shining of the spotlight on her own imperfectly perfect love life after so many years of keeping the media out of her personal life. The move is both daring and effective for its intended purpose but it still managed to place Beyonce in a place of vulnerability. If Tiwa wants to sell a believable story, we would expect nothing short of an album that puts all her insecurities and most coveted aspects of her life in the public spotlight. It will make her more flawed but she would also be accepted for being human.