On August 20, Nigerian superstar singer, Tiwa Savage, released an extended play (EP) titled ‘Water and Garri’.

The release comes nearly a year after she released her ‘Celia’ album, which was named after her mother.

Tiwa’s ‘Water and Garri’ is a five-track EP featuring the Grammy Award-winning rapper, Nas, Rich king in ‘Work Fada’ and Ghanaian-American singer, Amaarae in ‘Tales by Moon Light’.

Others are Nigerian singer, rave of the moment, Tay Iwar in ‘Special kinda’ and RnB star, Brandy, In ‘Somebody’s Son’.

Firstly, the title ‘Water and Garri’ is very generic yet relatable. I mean, is there any Nigerian who has never ‘soaked’ Water and Garri? On the EP cover art, Tiwa exhibited what could be best described as an “All-round Glow” with stunning photos of herself from two different angles.

Work Fada

‘Work fada’ is the intro song on the Ep. The song is reflective and preaches hard work.

It featured Nas and Rich King. It began with a soft tune and with Tiwa’s soft vocals on point with “hazy boy, hazy boy.”

One might likely think it’s an American RnB track, not until you hear the Yoruba lines “Nitori a ti fun – a ti fun wa”. The song admonishes youths to go find wisdom, extolls the virtue of hard work and the reality of the ‘unpredicted path we walk’, ‘Walé Omo!’

It was a brilliant start for the Ep and an inspiration that would make one to eager to keep listening to subsequent tracks.

Ade Ori

‘Ade Ori’ is the shortest song on the EP, it’s very emotional spontaneously sensual and expresses the need to love and the pain of letting go.

Considering Tiwa’s past relationship and marriage, Ade Ori tends to be more personal, one salient point in this song is the resolution to break free from past pain. Tiwa in this song poured out her heart, saying “I don’t need to smoke J”, it gives the fan an impression to look out for a “redefined” Tiwa.

Tales by Moon Light

Tales by Moonlight featuring Amaarae was named after the popular kiddies programme on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Network, which ran from the 1980s through the ’90s.

The lyrics of this song express a leap of faith into love. Tiwa, on this track, is not just optimistic about a certain ‘Shine Shine Bobo’, but is expressive about her feelings despite the uncertainties. The lyrics suggest that love should be reciprocal and mutual.

Somebody’s son

‘Somebody’s son’ is the most recognisable and the hit song on this EP. The song has an energy everyone would love to vibe to it. The fact that it is an ‘up-tempo song makes it simply enjoyable and danceable.

The song features Brandy, who last visited Nigeria in 2014 to perform at the Classic FM Valentine show. Shortly before her performance, Brandy revealed that she loved Tiwa’s vocals and also likened it to that of a 14-year-old.

Tiwa, on the other hand, considered the Grammy Winner her role model and one of the reasons why she is into music.

After the long-awaited collaboration, they finally teamed on “Somebody’s Son”. It became a perfect blend of two songstresses.

The harmonious combination of drums and mellow strings made the production ‘sleek’. ‘Somebody’s son retains the themes of ‘Ade Ori’: it pleads for reciprocal love.

One beautiful thing about the lyrics of ‘Somebody’s son’ is the sharp contrast and irony in the lyrics. For instance, in verse one, Tiwa says, “ sorry, I’m not sorry…” and in verse two, “Worried, I’m not worried”.

The song brings about an expectation of Love from ‘Somebody’s son’.

Special Kinda

Special kinda is the last track on Tiwa’s Water and Garri EP and it features Tay Iwar. The song is a perfect close for the EP, the horn-filled disco track creates that ecstatic feeling for a Friday night out vibe.

Tay brought a whole lot of rhymes to the chorus. ‘Special Kinda’ is another love song and a rollercoaster of deep expressive feelings. Tay Iwar, the Nigerian reclusive musician was featured on Wizkid’s ‘True Love”, in October 2020. That was his claim to fame.

Conclusion

Tiwa’s 12 minute-long Ep is laced with so much originality. Tiwa’s choice of features on each track was clearly intentional as each artiste, complemented her vocals.

The ‘Garri and Water’ Ep is nothing like Tiwa’s previous albums and singles which were all basically commercial music. On this EP, Tiwa brings out a more personal and emotional side of hers.

Also, on this Ep we get to see a ‘Tiwa’ without the ‘Savage’. One thing worthy of note is that the musicals and sounds on this EP, the entire production is phenomenal.

Personal favourites

‘Somebody’s son’ is my favourite song on this EP, followed by ‘Ade Ori’. However, I feel Tiwa should make a remix of ‘Somebody’s son’ with a male artist and with lyrics that would be relatable to her male fans, because ‘Somebody’s daughter’ needs to find me one day.

The hit song on the ‘Garri and Water’ EP, ‘Somebody’s Son’ continues to make waves in Nigeria and around the world, as it peaked at #12 within two weeks on the U.S. Chart Billboard.

The EP, is the singer’s fourth body of music since she began her music career in 2010.

Verdict 8/10

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