Once Upon a Time
Referencing pop, gospel, makossa and reggae, Tiwa’s melodic expressions struck a balance between local and international palettes. Helmed by an array of producers—including Del B, Raydar Ellis, GospelOnDeBeatz, Harmony Samuels, Magik Boi, Sauce Wilson, Warren ‘Oak’ Felder, Spellz, Marcus Macauley, Sossick, Altims and Baby Fresh—this 21-track collage explored several emotions, moods and genres. As the a capella “Fela Interlude” nodded towards her thematic influences, songs like the Leo Wonder-assisted wedding “Ife Wa Gbona” revealed her R&B roots while her soulful inclinations shone through the mournful rhythms of “Olorun Mi” and the jazzy “Middle Passage”. A merging of worlds occurs on “Folarin” as Afrobeats and R&B coalesce, just as the contemporary highlife of “Baby Mo”, Afrohouse and EDM concoction “Why Don’t You Love Me” and dancehall-infused “Stand As One” unveil the refined hybridisation at the crux of Once Upon A Time. For their part, the sensual melodies of “Written All over Your Face” and “Get Low” betrayed a pop impulse which was delightfully blended with African rhythms on the runaway hit “Eminado”, cementing Tiwa Savage’s position as the queen of Afropop.