Home » REVIEW: Tiwa Savage’s Water & Garri EP


By Emmanuel Daraloye

Nigerian multiple award-winning artist, Tiwa Savage returns with a brand new extended play “Water & Garri. This comes less than a year after the release of her critically acclaimed third studio album “Celia”.

Water & Garri, a five-track body of work features Grammy Awards winner and veteran rapper, Nas, singer Brandy, the Nigerian underground artist, Rich King, and Alte singer and soul music stunner, Tay Iwar.

Since her return to Nigeria in 2012, Tiwa Savage has raised the bar for female artists. She embodied the almost frowned upon s*x symbol attributes in the music industry, her music is filled with flirting words and seductive expressions. No wonder when she called herself African bad gyal, no one disputed the assertion.

Garri is a staple food amongst Nigerians, water is used to take or make Garri—eba. The title in this context refers to her mash style and global collaboration. Tiwa Savage sticks to her heartfelt style in the course of making this album. She infuses Rnb/Soul with Afro-fusion. The end product is a 19 minutes run of music with themes detailing heartbreak, love, hard work, perseverance, etc.

Nas and Rich King were on the opening track “Work Fada”. The pensive and reflective song preaches hard work and perseverance with Nas almost preachy in his thought-provoking verse. The six minutes long track is the perfect opener. Who opens an EP with this type of lengthy play? Only Tiwa Savage could do such, the theme is distinct and it’s a well-calculated risk.

In 2016, Tiwa Savage’s marriage with Tee Biliz—her then-manager was embroiled in some controversy, this later lead to a divorce. Five years later, she seems set to speak her truth. She reveals little on the Interlude on her last album—Celia. On Water & Garri, Tiwa Savage dedicates two tracks to that ugly incident.

Ade Ori is a soft-light take on past relationships/marriage. She is now independent-minded. She is hopeful about future handling. The lyrics drip with pain and regretful lines.

Tiwa Savage details her fairy tale love expectations on the Amaare assisted “Tale by Moonlight”, the soulful 90s house music run on wonky guitar strings. Even though she flirts and gushes about the guy, she is cautious. Amaarae’s whispery vocals compliment Tiwa Savage’s flirt-filled lines.

Every artist looks forward to collaborating with their childhood idols. Only a minute fraction gets to achieve this. One of them is Tiwa Savage. Her idol, Brandy appears on the fourth track “Somebody’s Son”. A perfect blend of a synergy between two world-class songstresses. They complement one another, Brandy even sings in Yoruba. This track is one of the up-tempo songs on the EP. Its production is filled with drums and mellow strings. Somebody’s son retains the themes of Ade Ori: it pleads for reciprocal love.

Tay Iwar and Tiwa Savage jointly close the EP with a rollercoaster of deep expressive expressions. The horn-fill disco drops make it sounds like a potential track for a Friday night out.

Veteran producer Pharell Williams once called this project a classic but the fans failed to realize his caveat of it not being commercially viable. Tiwa Savage is unbothered about this if her recent promotional talks are anything to go by.

Water & Garri explores Tiwa Savage Rnb/Soul forte with an infusion of Afro-fusion. The EP is a dart between hope and despair and for the first time she does what she has always been known for—Rnb. The production on the album is pristine, however, the penmanship is underwhelming, the high-hitting notes come to the rescue, which made it slightly insignificant. Also, the featured artists sometime overshadow her.

Water & Garri is a great addition to Tiwa Savage impressive discography. A detour from the pop centric Mama Jam Jam we all know.


Emmanuel Daraloye is a music journalist. Goggle the name for additional information.


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