Wanted (Tiwa Savage song)

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Song by Tiwa Savage
from the album Once Upon a Time
GenreAfropop, reggae
LabelMavin Records
Songwriter(s)Tiwa Savage and Tiffany Fred
Producer(s)Warren "Oak" Felder

"Wanted" is a song by Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage from her debut studio album, Once Upon a Time (2013). The song samples the memorable line "out in the streets/they call it murder" from Damian Marley's "Welcome to Jamrock", and was produced by American producer Warren "Oak" Felder. The release of the music video for "Wanted" sparked divisive reactions among music critics and consumers.[1]

Music video[edit]


"[Being sexual] is something we're comfortable with behind closed doors but very uncomfortable with in public. But, fortunately, as artists we have the platform to do things that a lot of people might not be able to do. I felt like I was at a stage in my life at which I was very comfortable in my skin."

— Tiwa Savage, on her decision to release the music video.[2]

The accompanying music video for "Wanted" was shot and directed by Moe Musa. It was released on May 27, 2014 and ran for 3 minutes and 31 seconds.[3] In the beginning of the video, Tiwa Savage is seen mimicking the sexual act of fingering. The singer can also be seen in a nude body suit that covers only the sensitive parts of her anatomy. Throughout the video, Tiwa Savage writhed sensually and performed erotically-charged dance moves.[4] In an interview with The Times, Tiwa Savage said she released the video at a stage in her life at which she was comfortable with her body. She also said she wanted to explore her life as a woman and target the adult market.[5]

Cultural reception[edit]

Cultural reception to the music video was met with mixed reviews. Critics who opposed the video argued that Nigerian artists shouldn't emulate sexual images often seen in western media at the expense of tarnishing the morality of the Nigerian culture.[6][7] On the other end of the spectrum, those in support of the video praised its sexual nature and stance on sexual empowerment. Social critic Charles Novia bluntly described the video as “stupid art”, while public figures such as Uti Nwachukwu, Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi, Dr SID and Toolz described it as brilliant.[8][9]

Critical reception[edit]

A writer for The Sun said the video lacks originality and further concluded, "Tiwa’s video does not fail because it is raunchy, because she is a married woman in- sistent on living out her fantasies or because of the questionable fashion tastes. It fails because after all the glossy hype, the video is utterly unoriginal, desperately copycat-ish and incredibly boring."[4]

Live performances[edit]

In June 2014, Tiwa Savage performed "Wanted" at the Road to the MAMAs concert alongside her label mates Dr SID, Di'Ja, Korede Bello and Reekado Banks.[10] She also performed the song at the 2014 edition of Africa Unplugged, alongside Davido and Diamond Platnumz.[11]


"Wanted" earned Tiwa Savage a nomination for Best Vocal Performance (Female) at The Headies 2014.[12]

Year Awards ceremony Award description(s) Results
2014 The Headies Best Vocal Performance (Female) for "Wanted" Nominated


  1. ^ Owoseje, Toyin (28 May 2014). "Tiwa Savage Wanted Video: Singer's Super Sexy Promo Causes Backlash". International Business Times. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Tiwa Savage: "Why I Got Raunchy in 'Wanted' Video"". Osun Defender. Times Live. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  3. ^ Klein, Alyssa (30 May 2014). "Tiwa Savage's Divisive 'Wanted' Video". Okay Africa. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Tiwa Savage's Wanted: Utterly unoriginal, incredibly boring". The Sun. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  5. ^ Ndlovu, Andile (9 June 2014). "Too hot to be stopped by savage backlash". Times Live. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  6. ^ Novia, Charles (20 June 2014). "Wanted: Leaving cultural values in arts?". National Mirror. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  7. ^ "More outcries over Tiwa Savage's raunchy video". Vanguard. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  8. ^ Ebhomele, Eromosele (30 May 2014). "Tiwa Savage's New Video Causes Ripples". P.M News. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Knocks, kudos for Tiwa Savage's new video". Punch. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  10. ^ Arogundade, Funsho (4 June 2014). "Tiwa Savage Goes Raunchy Again". P.M. News. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  11. ^ Onibada, Ade (16 September 2014). "Review: Africa Unplugged". Young Voices. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  12. ^ Ochugba, Mary (10 October 2014). "The Headies unveils 2014 nominees". Business Day. Retrieved 17 October 2014.

External links[edit]