By Emmanuel Daraloye
Nigerian multiple award-winning artist Tiwa Savage returns with a brand new extended play “Water & Garri. This comes less than a year after the release of her critically acclaimed third studio album “Celia”.
Water & Garri, a five-track body of work features Grammy Awards winner and veteran rapper, Nas, singer Brandy, the Nigerian underground artist Rich King and Alte singer and soul music stunner, Tay Iwar.
Since her return to Nigeria in 2012, Tiwa Savage has raised the bar for female artists. She embodied the almost frowned on sex symbol attribute in the music industry, her music is filled with flirting words and expressions. No wonder when she called herself African bad gyal, no one disputed the assertion.
Garri is a staple food among Nigerians, water is used to take or make Garri. The title as used in this context refers to her mashed style and global collaboration. She sticks to her heartfelt style in the course of making this album.
Tiwa Savage infused Rnb/Soul with Afro-fusion. The end product is a 19 minutes run of music with themes detailing heartbreak, love, hard work, perseverance, etc.
Nas and Rich King were on the opening track “Work Fada”, the pensive and reflective song preaches hard work and perseverance with Nas almost going preachy in his thought-provoking verse.
The six minutes long track is the perfect opener to the avarde garde album, who opens an EP with this type of lengthy play? Only Tiwa Savage could do such, the theme is distinct and it’s a well-calculated risk.
In 2016, Tiwa Savage’s marriage with talent manager Teebliz hit the rock. Five years later, she seems set to speak her truth. She reveals a little on the Interlude on her last album—Celia. On Water & Garri, Tiwa Savage dedicates two tracks to that ugly incident.
Ade Ori is a soft-light take on past relationships/marriage. She is now independent while she is hopeful about future handling. The lyrics drip with pain and regretful lines.
Tale by Moonlight was a popular weekly storied program on national television. Tiwa Savage details her fairy tale love expectations on this soulful 90s house music. Even though she flirts and gushing about the guy, she is cautious. Amaarae’s whispery vocals compliment Tiwa Savage’s flirt takes.
Seven years ago, American artist Brandy visited Nigeria. At a press conference before her performance at Classic FM Valentine show, she revealed she loved Tiwa Savage’s vocals, she liked it to a 14-year-old. Unknown to her, Tiwa Savage considered the Grammy Winner her role model and one of the reasons she is into music.
When they finally collaborate on “Somebody’s Son”, it is a perfect blend of two songstresses. They complement one another, Brandy even sings in Yoruba. This track is one of the up-tempo songs on the EP. Its production is filled with Drums and mellow strings. Somebody’s son retains the themes of Ade Ori: it pleads for reciprocal love.
Tay Iwar and Tiwa Savage jointly closed the EP with a rollercoaster of deep expressive expressions. The horn-filled disco makes it sounds like a potential track for a Friday night out.
Veteran producer Pharell Williams called this project a classic but the fans failed to realize his caveat of it not becoming commercially viable. Tiwa Savage is unbothered if her recent promotional talks are anything to go by.
Water & Garri explores Tiwa Savage Rnb/Soul forte with an infusion of Afro-fusion, the EP is a dart between hope and despair. The production is pristine, however, the songwriting is underwhelming.
The featured artists almost overshadowed her. Although it’s obvious that this project is destined for the international market, the collaborations could have been lesser.
Emmanuel Daraloye is a music journalist. Goggle the name for additional information.