Music Business

Watch Tiwa Savage’s feature on CNN African Voices, ‘How (one of) Nigeria’s biggest pop star rose to fame’

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CNN African Voices features Tiwa Savage. It’s a good thing but the only thing I don’t like is that the network has the headline ‘How Nigeria’s biggest pop star rose to fame.’ Do they ever get it right? How is Tiwa Savage “Nigeria’s biggest pop star” when there are Davido and Wizkid? Common on with your research CNN. On what grounds does she qualify as Nigeria’s “biggest” pop star? Music sales? Reach? Touring? What is the metrics that you are using?

I’ve modified the headline for a more accurate representation. Congrats to Tiwa for the feature. Tiwa was also in Los Angeles for the just concluded Grammy Week and had the opportunity to attend Roc Nation’s annual brunch, along with the likes of Tola Odunsi (formerly with Storm Records, now working with Cabal Entertainment, partners with Jay-Z’s Tidal). She also performed at the Essence Women in Music event during Grammy Week (picture above).

AML people, some of you are probably thinking what I am. Which is, we’ve seen Roc Nation perambulate welcome a few of our artists to their annual brunch (D’Banj/Don Jazzy). Nothing really materialized from the business relationship that allegedly created the access to hobnob. However, this time I think there might be something there, with a lot of that revenue flowing to Roc Nation. I also anticipate the lawsuits in advance. Here are some of the factors, that lead me to conclude that there might be something more concrete, this time:

  1. Roc Nation signing Tiwa Savage to a management deal and rumored signing of even more African talents.
  2. Roc Nation’s rumored launch of a Roc Nation Africa subsidiary in March.
  3. Roc Nation and Tidal’s partnerships with local entertainment brands including Paul Okoye’s Upfront & Personal.
  4. Sprint’s purchase of 33% stake in Jay-Z’s Tidal.
  5. The forecast on Africa’s mobile data revenue projected to double in 2019, from about $11billion to $22billion.
  6. A decrease in data cost in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
  7. The increased regulation and enforcement of sanctions against telecommunication companies, especially giants like MTN who dominate the marketplace as distributors licensed entertainment content in Africa.

I still have my reservations about the specific deals brokered in terms of its favorability to Africa and African talents, but truthfully, Africa and its professionals are responsible for educating themselves so they are placed in the best possible position to bargain the best possible deals for themselves. If they don’t, then they don’t get what they deserve. They get the deal they negotiated.

-Ms. Uduak

Photo Credit: Getty Images photo of Tiwa Savage on the red carpet at the ‘Essence Women in Music’ event. I’ve seen Tiwa wear much better makeup than this. Whomever the makeup artist is on this one, it is not cool the way you have your client looking in pictures at this event. Go easy on the blush and foundation next time, please.

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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