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'All Over' Marks a New Beginning For Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage reaches new depths on her latest single "All Over."

“All Over” is Tiwa Savage’s first solo single of the year, perhaps signaling a new album, and her first since 2016's R.E.D


R.E.D was a fully realized project, in that the production was mature, her singing not to be faulted and the guests all big names (2face, Wizkid, Olamide, Busy Signal), but sensibly deployed so as not to seem overcrowded.

This new single finds Savage beseeching a lover to start a relationship “all over” but whether it's to rejuvenate a failing one or to further boost a good one is not clear. Both are offered in her inimitable singing voice.

“All Over” retraces the steps made by “My Darling," an early lead single for R.E.D. The latter was released in 2015 and was co-produced by Don Jazzy and one of his lieutenants, Babyfresh.

Two years later and it would appear that Babyfresh’s production has matured enough to produce the 2017 version all on his own.

His is a less cluttered beat compared to that of “My Darlin” and Savage owns the track with her bright presence.

Jazzy’s additions on “My Darlin”—signature deep-toned adlibs as well as talking (and talkative) drums —made it fuller, and his added lovable personality is a bonus, much like it was on “Eminado." That element is missing on "All Over" but it isn't missed too much, because it's Savage’s show anyway.

Last year, tales of Savage’s marital strife clouded much of her brilliance, but a distribution deal with Roc Nation was earned and befitting of her talent and stature.

Photo ops with Jay Z and Puffy, as she makes in-roads into American markets, couldn't have hurt either.

Sabo Kpade is an Associate Writer with Spread The Word. His short story Chibok was shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize 2015. His first play, Have Mercy on Liverpool Street was longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. He lives in London. You can reach him at sabo.kpade@gmail.com

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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