On Sunday night, Tiwa Savage featured on prominent entertainment channel, E! for its new show tagged the ‘E! VIP series’ – a mini documentary on some of Africa’s best entertainers.
On the episode which features the Mavin first lady, she talked about a wide range of topics – such as her humble beginnings, her relationship with former manager/estranged hubby, Tee Billz, being a mother, the legacy she wants to leave behind and more.
Here are 10 things we learnt from the revealing documentary.
1 Tiwa’s mum once thought she might be gay due to her tom-boy nature while growing up.
2. Her parents vehemently stood their ground against her decision to nurse a musical career as a young child.
“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 will 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.”
3. She had to get a job to self-finance her musical career in its primitive stages.
After university, Tiwa needed money to kick-start her career in music so heeding to her parent’s advice, she was forced to get a day job as a trainee accountant – a job she quit as she sunk into a depressive state after getting ‘tired of counting other people’s money’ and wanting to make hers.
“So when I graduated, I said to my dad ‘Here is your degree, I have given you want 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.”
4. Tiwa Savage revealed how TeeBillz, her former manager helped give her image a face-lift and build the Tiwa Savage brand.
The Mavin star expressed how she felt she couldn’t compete with the women in Los Angeles after she moved to the city of angels on the completion of her music course at the Berkley college of music.
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.
5. Tiwa explained how her and TeeBillz had their ‘fair share of marital ups and downs’, even narrating how they had a little argument at their wedding reception.
Of course we know what has befallen their marriage but in this documentary which was shot months before their infamous split, Tiwa discussed how they had issues like every other normal couple.
“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 said.