Tiwatope Savage-Balogun (born 5 February 1980), better known by her stage name Tiwa Savage, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, performer and actress. She is currently signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing as a songwriter. Savage signed a recording contract with Mavin Records in 2012. Savage also signed a management and publishing deal with Roc Nation in June 2016, which she later confirmed via Instagram. She co-wrote the track "Collard Greens & Cornbread" off Fantasia Barrino's Grammy-nominated album, Back to Me. Savage was featured on Solar Plexus, a compilation album released by Mavin Records. Her debut studio album, Once Upon a Time, was released on 3 July 2013. It was supported by the singles "Kele Kele Love", "Love Me (3x)", "Without My Heart", "Ife Wa Gbona", "Folarin", "Olorun Mi" and "Eminado". Savage's second studio album, R.E.D, was released on 19 December 2015. It produced the singles "My Darlin'", "African Waist" and "If I Start To Talk". Savage sings in English and Yoruba. As a singer, her achievements include one MTV Africa Music Award, two The Headies Awards, one Channel O Music Video Award, one Nigeria Music Video Award, and two City People Entertainment Awards, among others.
Tiwa Savage was born in Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State. Her family relocated to London when she was 11 years old. While attending high school, she was a trombone player for her school's orchestra band. Savage had a healthy upbringing; she grew up in a multicultural setting due to her migration from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, and from the United Kingdom to the United States. After graduating with a degree in Business administration from the University of Kent, Savage started working at The Royal Bank of Scotland. She did backup vocals for George Michael at the age of 16, and lent vocals to other musicians such as Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, Kelly Clarkson, Andrea Bocelli, and Ms. Dynamite, amongst others. Furthermore, she has performed on stage with Sting, 50 Cent, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Robbie Williams and Destiny's Child, to name a few.
Savage enrolled at Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in professional music at the age of 27. While reminiscing about her experiences there, she said she was motivated by the drive and passion of the younger students. She also said she needed the school's atmosphere. Savage spoke briefly on the challenges musicians face during their transition from backup to lead, and said that artists face more scrutiny when their performances are mediocre. Her business background has helped her fully understand the scope of the Nigerian music industry. Savage spoke about her business background and said that her level of professionalism does not make her susceptible to deception.
In 2006, Savage participated in the UK edition of The X Factor and advanced to the final 24 while attending the aforementioned music school. While participating in the popular music competition franchise, she had difficulty dealing with the limelight. "You have to always realize that people are watching. When I got the bad news that I wasn't getting through [to the final 12] it was a really painful time. But you still have to learn how to hold that until you get home. Because you don't want to just let everything out. People admire you and want to see that you're strong; they don't want to see you breaking down" said Tiwa.
In 2009, Sony/ATV Music Publishing signed Savage to a music deal. The deal solidified her to write for Babyface, Kat Deluna, Fantasia Barrino, Monica and Mýa. She has received songwriting credits for her contribution to Monica's soul-tinged ballad "Catch Me". Moreover, her collaboration with Fantasia on the song "Collard Greens & Cornbread" earned the American recording artist a Grammy nomination in 2010. Savage wrote Jaicko's "Oh Yeah", featuring Snoop Dogg, and Kat Deluna's "Push Push", featuring Akon and David Guetta. In as much as she likes writing for other artists, she finds writing for herself more rewarding. Savage performed background vocals on Whitney Houston's album I Look to You (2009).
In December 2011, she co-hosted the second season of Nigerian Idol alongside IllRymz. Moreover, she made her film debut with Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the stage adaptation of For Coloured Girls. Savage became the first African female artist to be associated with the Pepsi brand after signing an endorsement deal with them.