Love is a beautiful thing like many people say and I totally agree. Love is described in many ways, but to me, I’d say it’s a beautiful feeling that exposes our imperfections in a good way but brings us to terms with our imperfections and the imperfections of those whom we love, without giving an inch about how that affects us. To me love is sweet and makes us woke, but in reality it just makes us blind. Tiwa Savage on her part chose to describe it in its different stages of warmth, feeling and attraction. Love is the theme of her 2017 body of work which she conveniently titled Sugarcane. You can imagine what prompted her to choose that title for her album. At one point, she even said that she titled the EP Sugarcane because the songs sounded sweet to her literally. To Tiwa Savage, love is sweet as it should, but it is more, it is a feeling much more than sweet. It is sugarcane. The EP explores themes relating to love including the chase, the ecstatic feeling of love, the public display of attraction (PDA), appreciation, the fights, and of course the desirable feeling of wanting love, of romance, or maybe of lust. It is set in Afropop, AfronB, and a little bit of funk. It contains just six tracks namely, “Sugarcane”, “Get It Now”, “Me And You”, “Hold Me Down”, “All Over”, and “Malo”. Apart from love as the theme, the other spectacular feature of this body of work is the sweeping feeling of sweet melody that is present in the six tracks. The ingenuity in the composition is smooth and endearing, and that is commendable. Follow me as I walk you through the different stages of love accompanied with sweet melody as explored by Tiwa Savage.
THE CHASE, THE ECSTATIC FEELING OF LOVE, AND THE PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION
Think about this story for a second. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, but girl is in a relationship and boy is a playboy. They part ways, their friendship brief but sweet. Years later boy and girl meet again. Girl is in a relationship, boy is getting ready for the world, fresh from school. Boy loves girl now, he even dreams about her. But girl is the brightest star in the sky; beautiful, bright but beyond his reach. This is a situation that many lovers and love seekers can relate to – the unending chase. To some it is enjoyable, but to others it is heart wrenching, and stressful, and almost like torture. Why would a woman make you chase her when she probably wants you and feels the same way that you do? In “Get It Now”, Tiwa Savage urges her supposed lover to woo her and to say it like he means it. She had seen the way he looks at her, and she knows that he wants her, and hell, she probably wants him too. But does she make it easy for him? Hardly! “Your time is running out”, she tells him instead. She enjoys the chase. Many have argued that the chase is a form of love, but many others think it’s just torture, and that is how she makes this guy feel – tortured. In “Hold Me Down”, she seems to have come around. She is experiencing the esctatic feeling of love now, remembering little moments like when they first met, wanting him more than usual, caring for him, and confessing her love to him in ways only him could understand. And in “Sugarcane”, she shows him off to the world using words like ‘you light up my world’, ‘you blow me away’ to pass her message to anyone who cares to listen. She calls him ‘Bobo’, a word used in Nigeria to describe pet names, and uses expressions like ‘Bobo wey no get wahala’ which loosely translates to ‘a fine boy that has no problem at all’ to describe him. What started as just a chase which she wasn’t quite interested in had come to be a beautiful love story. Most times this is how it plays out, and even though it seems difficult at first, those who persevere almost always win in the end. They experience love in its greatest height. But that’s not all.
THE FIGHTS, THE APPRECIATION AND THE ROMANCE, OR MAYBE LUST
Most people who fall in love will tell you that misunderstandings and quarrels are inevitable in every relationship. They even go as far as saying that it is part of their whole love story and that it contributes greatly to their unity and unbreakable love story, because after a fight or misunderstanding, most couples come to terms with reality. They begin to see the faults in their partners, and so if they truly want to make their union work, then that would be the time to put those faults into consideration and avoid whatever makes them pop up. In “All Over”, Tiwa Savage experienced this. “Make we scatter this place tonight…we must settle this thing tonight”, she sings in “All Over”, implying that there is a problem which she and her partner needs to settle. But right after settling their differences they go back to being lovers, branding themselves Romeo and Juliet, thinking about spending their lives together forever. In “Me And You”, the phrase ‘break up and make up’ come into play. After series of fights and quarrels, Tiwa Savage and her lover find themselves in the warmth feeling of love and romance. “It’s 2 in the morning, your eyes saying come to me, the moon is a company, my love is your esctacy”, she sings. “Believe am when I tell you say I need am, oh baby till you feel am, oh baby shey you feel am, she continues, conveying a confusing feeling of romance and lust. And in “Malo”, both lovers shower words of appreciation to each other for the love they share. This body of work is a brilliant documentation of what goes on in most relationships and marriages. Tiwa Savage brilliantly walks us through these different stages of love, and at each point detailing its intricacies and simmering it with sweet melody to make it appealing and acceptable.
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