The queen is back! After months of anticipation, excitement regarding her Universal Music deal, and a string of dazzling guest spots on bangers all year long, Tiwa Savage has finally treated us to her first official single of the year. And it’s well worth the wait.
After teasing the single for almost a week now, Tiwa has unveiled her Pheelz-produced UMG debut titled ‘49-99‘, a mid-tempo afro-pop record with Afrobeat elements, particularly rich in instrumentation with scintillating underlining strings.
On the record, Tiwa Savage expresses her desires for the good things of life amidst the rife and turmoil in a country some are quick to refer to as a failed state. She is focused on securing the bag to afford herself the luxury designers and fast cars, “Mo fe ra Versace, Mo fe ra Bugatti” she reveals.
At a listening party was also held in London, on Wednesday, September 4, she explained the symbolism behind the cryptic title of the much-teased single. “It’s a phrase that was coined by the godfather of afrobeats, Fela Kuti. It means, ‘49 sitting, 99 standing.’ Errm, suffering and smiling. For those who are not Nigerian, we have these transit buses which we call a ‘molue’ and it has 49 seats.
“So instead of it to have 49 people to commute to work and back, you have 49 people sitting and double that standing, hanging… That’s just a reflection of the economy and the imbalance with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. So the song, even when you first listen to it – it’s a great record – it’s one you can Zanku to and dance to.”
“….I wanted my first global single to have a message that we are suffering and smiling and music is a powerful tool. And I wanted a title which could be a conversation starter like 49 people sitting and 99 people standing… like we’re suffering and smiling.” She continued.
The brilliantly-directed video opens with Tiwa Savage as the queen of the underworld, as it quickly switches to Tiwa hustling as a fashion designer. At the end of the video, she can be seen enjoying herself at the table of pervacious ‘big men’ whom she had hypnotised with her moves.
Earlier this week, Tiwa Savage cancelled her performance at the DSTV Delicious Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa in light of the recent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in the country.
Enjoy the video below.