News Brief

Tiwa Savage Has Left Mavin Records To Snag a Major Deal with Universal Music Group

The First Lady of Mavin Records has started a new chapter in her well-established music career.

Tiwa Savage has us shook with this power move.

The Nigerian superstar has parted ways with Mavin Records after 7 years as she signs a global recording deal with Universal Music Group, Billboard reports. An exclusive agreement, her music moving forward will be released in over 60 countries.


"It's like a dream," she says of this moment in an introductory interview with UMG. "But more importantly it means I'm part of a legacy—I'm part of a huge engine and it's definitely an honor to have an artist like me from Nigeria doing afrobeat music, which is still fairly new to the rest of the world, and it's exciting.

Watch it in full below.

Introducing Tiwa Savage youtu.be

"We are looking forward to partnering with Tiwa and her team to help her music reach new audiences around the world," Adam Granite, executive VP market development at UMG says in a statement. "As one of Africa's most successful, influential and dynamic singer-songwriters, Tiwa has truly global ambitions and UMG is committed to help her in achieving them."

Don Jazzy, Tiwa's longtime collaborator and head of Mavin Records took to Instagram to congratulate her.

"It's been an epic journey with you and we are very proud of what we have achieved together," he reflects. "As you start this new chapter in your life we want you to know that we are solidly behind you and can't wait for the world to see what we have always believed you can be. Your jersey as the First Lady of Mavin will forever be yours as we do not intend to fill that position with anyone else."

Tiwa then responds with an understandably emotional comment under the post:

If I said today wasn't emotional for me I would be LYING. Please promise me that our relationship will never change. I only want to make you proud of me. Not every super hero has an S on their chest. You are my superhero DON DORO BUCCI. 7 years, 7 the number of perfection. I LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

UMG continues to make a presence on the continent with African music. The company recently announced a licensing agreement with Nigeria's first domestic subscription-based music store, uduX, just earlier this month. This deal established UMG as the first music company to partner with a Nigerian music streaming platform. Tiwa also joins South African rapper Cassper Nyovest at the major label, who signed with UMG back in 2018.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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Music
(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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