Mavin’s First Lady, Tiwa Savage, surprised
us with her new project, Sugarcane.
On the album cover, she looking girlie in a
sugarcane plantation. Blessed with a good stature and an ageless body, Ms Savage’s
good voice and recent good fortunes in her musical career is some solace for
the recent murky waters with her estranged husband and former cheerleader.
2017 has been a good year for Ms Savage.
Her All Over single has been enjoying
massive radio rotation. The release of her Sugarcane EP can only consolidate
the success of the previously released single and serve as a teaser for her
anticipated third album.
With the eponymous song as gambit, its rhythm
and tempo similar to Kiddominant-produced hit song, Davido’s Money,Sugar Cane is a sultry and suggestive love song referencing another
humongous phallic metaphor. Sugar Cane is not entirely a new reference in
Nigerian music (even if it is not the preferred).
Harry Rosco’s 1981 hit song, Sugar Cane Baby, is fittingly directed
at the recipient of sugar cane. Ditto for Jesse Jagz’s 2010 Sugar Cane Baby off his brilliant Jagz
of all Trade debut. 36 years and 7 years respectively after, Tiwa
Savage is re-directing our attention to the sugarcane, singing melodiously and achingly
about the possibilities of an amorous relationship catalysed and enhanced by sugarcane.
This is an improvement over previous deployment of the metaphor. Not only is
sugarcane subtle (and actually sweet) compared to Banana, Kondo and Cassava.
As expected with an EP, Sugarcane
pushes Tiwa Savage’s sound in a myriad of directions so that different songs
inhabit different sounds. Get It Now
is another love song although of a slower pace, tempo and contemplation.
You simultaneously nods at Dancehall and House. An
interesting sonic experiment, it is yet again, a love song about expressing
insecurities and devotion within the confines of fast-paced rhythms and an assertive
mash of percussions.
Me Down is, expectedly another slow-paced love song
contemplating desire and devotion.
This EP album is deliberately titled,
especially if one listens through the ear drum of biography. Sugar Cane is a
product, a drug, an emblem, a metaphor and metonymy all at once. There is a
strong sense of addictive helplessness and a heart-felt gratefulness. There is
an inward frustration and not much of a fight. Most of these songs reflect on
relationships at polarised moments: moments of gratitude as well as moments of
departure. There are also moments of devotion closely following moments of
The songs are codified, stripped of
personal references so that the songs can measure up to some anonymity and universal appeal. Perhaps these registers
would have make these songs more memorable. Perhaps the teasing nature of the
EP is responsible.
features Wizkid and Spellz teaming up with Tiwa Savage to make a memorable
mid-tempo song. Wizkid’s drawl sets the
song apart and perhaps the song would have been even more effectual if it was an
The album ends on strong note nineteen
minutes and six songs later.
Sugarcane is a deliberate attempt by Tiwa Savage to widen her gains and position herself for next year’s popularity rating. Being a popular music diva, she needs to best her peers to continue to remain relevant. Given this rationale, Sugarcane is as effective as her sophomore album.