Tiwa Savage releases new single ’49-99′, explains what it means

At first, a few people thought it was an album, but Nigerian songstress, Tiwa Savage was warming up to release her first global single.

A listening party was also held for the single in London, England, UK on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

During the listening party, she had a Q&A session during which she revealed what ‘49-99’ means. 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.’

Explaining the reasoning behind it, she says, “It’s a phrase that was coined by the godfather of afro-beats 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 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.

49-99 was released today, Thursday 5th of September, 2019 at 4:00 pm GMT.


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