Jay Z’s Roc Nation inked a management and publishing deal with Nigerian singer-songwriter-actress Tiwa Savage last year, bringing the Lagos-born, London-bred superstar a warranted worldwide spotlight. Singing both in English (“Love Me (3x)”) and her native Yoruba (“Ife Wa Gbona”), Savage spun seven singles from her 2013 debut, Once Upon a Time. Percussive R&B, reggae and Afropop styles all intertwined on her 2015 follow-up, R.E.D., bubbling underneath lyrics dedicated to love and uplift. American audiences soaked up the crossover Nigerian soul of Sade and Seal decades ago; newer voices (Ayo, Nneka, Asa) made their mark in the 2000s with millennials. Now Tiwa Savage officially joins the highlife party.
Asia Monet Ray is cute as can be at the premiere of Focus Features’ “Kubo and the Two Strings” in Universal City, California.