#ArtistBranding: Tiwa Savage ‘Wanted’ by Maheeda, Perhaps? | Awesomely Bad Music Video

This music video gets filed in the ‘Awesomely Bad Music Video’ category primarily because of the styling. I think It’s a case of fashion meets music, in a not so successful way.

First, I am unsure who “wants” Tiwa Savage, with the exception of perhaps Maheeda; for trying to copy Maheeda’s style, and in such  boring and half-hearted way.

Second, brand identity crisis appears to be a recurring theme, in my humble opinion, for this young woman. For how long Tiwa has been in the music industry (Nigeria, UK & USA), including obtaining a degree in music at a prominent music school, I am unsure why she continues to have such an issue with having a clear and consistent brand message and identity.

Tiwa Savage Wanted 2

Prior brand identity issues that have made their way on this blog:

1.  Read Exhibit A

What I concluded and said back in 2011 from Exhibit A:

“For me as a Nigerian-American, Tiwa Savage’s dressing does not necessarily shock me. From a fashion perspective and as a fashion industry insider and editor, she needs a risky yet refined well edited look. I also think she needs the room, like all of us, to grow into the woman she is meant to be. This takes time and just because she is a musician will not necessarily speed up that process. On a professional level, the truth is that Tiwa’s targeted audience are women in Nigeria both on and offline that do not process things the way I do. When in doubt, they need Tiwa to be a lot more conservative than she is. They also need her to show positive images of Nigerian women; not the seemingly sexual overkill grinding/shaking her ikebe (buttocks) in some man’s random lap during her performance(s).

This means if Tiwa Savage wants to still connect with the Nigerian woman in a deeply personal and powerful way, she needs to own her true identity and values and be the ultimate decision maker in a truly assertive way on how her name and brand is managed. This is particularly important as she is one of the few women in the business of music in Nigeria.

There are opportunities for her to brand herself beyond singing in future including as a speaker on the business of music, teaching creative music workshops on songwriting and speaking on panels about women in the business of music in Africa; across the continent and the USA. To do so, she needs to truly edit her image to be taken seriously and most importantly respected by all when she walks into a room.”

2. Exhibit B
3.  Exhibit  C: Tiwa Savage & Brand Consistency

Let’s be clear, if you, as an R&B singer, have to reiterate in a music video that you are ‘wanted,’ taking on a braggadocios tone more fitting for a rapper while styling this awful, then you clearly do not have confidence in the staying power of your brand.

Also, when you say in your lyrics and music video, there is ‘nothing you can do’ in sending a new and yet again confusing message to your fans and media alike, then you really miss the boat.

Tiwa is up for an award for the 2014 BET Awards in a very competitive category. Will this make her core fans, Nigerians, want to vote for her next to Davido? I highly doubt it, but hey, I could be completely wrong.

Tiwa is a brand ambassador for several brands, one of which is Nestle’s Maggi Chicken cooking cubes, a brand synonymous with being more demure and used by all Nigerian women, including the market women. If she creates controversy that detracts from the long legacy of ‘Maggi,’ will Maggi and other similarly situated brands be eager to renew such deal at the time of expiration?

Often, artists make the mistake of thinking that if they do not see the repercussions of their brand dilution right this minute, it must be that it is not occurring. However, it is an accumulation that is revealed overtime. It all adds up eventually.

I keep asking the question what is the goal of Tiwa, given she is: 1) an artist who is about 34 years of age; 2) she is female. I think all artists that hit 30 and upwards should have even more defined goals for their brands, if they don’t already; and it should be conveyed in the public eye, in a  consistent way, throughout their brand message i.e. expect expansions into other product lines, licensing and so much more when my body can no longer take on the rigors of all of these touring, performances etc.

As artists, African artists, it is important to consider this issue of brand consistency as you position yourselves for an inevitable exit from your careers; when you can no longer do your touring, or gyrate the way you used to (male or female) and still gain attention from fans and media alike.

Bottom line, you can choose to put your inconsistent brand message  out there but the public, fans and media don’t have to accept it,  and in due time, if not now, their buying power will reflect you are simply not “wanted” as you thought.


Meet Maheeda
Maheeda 9

Tiwa Savage Wanted

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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