Tiwa Savage graces Times Square Billboards with her new song, 49-99 as the Afrobeat Queen could not contain her joying seeing herself and her latest work on one of the world’s most famous billboards in New York.
Her making her debut on the Times Square Billboards, is without a doubt, is a big deal, as she will be the first African female singer getting this priviledge. The singer being that woman and singer behind so many hits over the years, it is not a surprise to see her in the current Times Square Billboards, which is right in the centre of the world’s entertainment industry.
I believe the ad move on Times Square by those managing Tiwa Savage and her new record label team, was to project her as the true international artist that she truly is, and Times Square is just the perfect place to do that.
This also comes after she did some media tour, after she dropped her first single under her new record label, she titled 49-99.
Tiwa Savage dropped the visuals to 49-99 which was produced by Pheelz and co-written by Olamide and Pheelz a few days ago, but not without explaining the story behind the title and the historic music video, offering a striking visual that features colourful imagery and symbolism.
During the listening party, Tiwa Savage had a Q&A session with the press, during which she revealed the story behind her new song, ‘49-99’.
According to her, ’49-99′ stands for ‘Forty-nine, ninety-nine’ and not ‘Four thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine’ or ‘Four nine nine nine’ she said.
Adding further, she said: “It’s a phrase that was coined by the godfather of afrobeat, Fela Kuti. It means, ‘49 sitting, 99 standing.’ Errm, suffering and smiling. For those who are not Nigerian, we have these transit buses which we call a ‘molue’ and it has 49 seats
“So instead of it to have 49 people to commute to work and back, you have 49 people sitting and double that, 99 standing, hanging… That’s just a reflection of the economy and the imbalance with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. So the song, even when you first listen to it – it’s a great record (laughs) – it’s one you can zanku to and dance to.
“But I wanted something; I wanted my first global single to have a message that we are suffering and smiling and music is a powerful tool. And I wanted a title which could be a conversation starter like 49 people sitting and 99 people standing… like we’re suffering and smiling” she had said.