Roc Nation Inks Management Deal With Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage (july 18, 2016).jpg

Illustration by Seun Ajibola

Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and performer who inked a management deal with Sean “Jay Z” Carter’s Roc Nation. While, we have seen D’banj and Davido sign with strong American labels, her confirmation as a Roc Nation client represents a growing list of artists that have made the decision to place their global brand identity in the hands of American companies. While I am skeptical about the understanding of the African consumer by the management team, the move enhances the prospects of future artists more so than the current crop signing the contracts. 

A jeweller working in New York City was on a podcast show and spoke about Davido who happens to be one of his best clients. Davido purchased a necklace for a large sum of money to have his face crafted into a pendant. While artists spending ridiculous amounts of cash on necklaces is nothing new, the idea that a white Jewish jeweller would be schooling his hosts about an Afrobeat artist was unforeseen.

Two years ago Shawn “Jay Z” Carter acquired Tidal, followed by a series of tweets to promote the streaming platform. In one of his many tweets, he mentioned that a close associate was in Nigeria scouting artists for Tidal and Roc Nation. Two years later, the vision culminated into the signing of Tiwa Savage. Tiwa Savage joins a strong lineup of contemporary entertainers from sports to music including Kevin Durant, Angie Martinez, DJ Khaled, Willow Smith and Rihanna. This is a partial and impressive list of the Roc Nation clientele that is managed by Roc Nation and opens up many opportunities for Tiwa Savage to potentially collaborate with these artists in the future.

The deal with Roc Nation has heightened my attention with regards to Tiwa Savage’s music.  I remember a popular song called Dorobucci that became a chart topper following its release. Given that there is still a lack of top notch female artists in Afrobeat, Tiwa Savage represents a step forward for the future of Afrobeat and gender diversity, further proving Afrobeat’s influence on global pop-culture.