Nigerian music star Tiwa Savage's latest interview with Ebuka on BlackBox gives a detailed account of her relationship with Tunji TeeBillz Balogun.
She talked about how they went from being business partners to becoming husband and wife and later handling one of the messiest divorce scandals in the history of the Nigerian entertainment industry.
According to the award-winning music star, she met TeeBillz for the first time in Los Angeles during Timaya's concert. All she wanted was to meet the A&R guy who could help her transition to the Nigerian music industry.
"So one of the guys was like 'stop going to all these American A&Rs they don't get it, there's this guy they call TeeBillz they have this song called Yebariba with Sauce Kid and they killed it. So I sent him my CV he was like they will call you and he never did. Then Timaya had a concert in L. A and I went," she said.
"The guy was like that's the guy TeeBillz and I was like he never called me back. I went up to him and I was like 'why didn't you call me back?' He was like who are you and I said I am Tiwa, I sent you my CV...he called me the next day, said he liked my vocals and advised I moved back to Nigeria and I was like yeah I want to go back to Nigeria."
Savage said what started as just a manager-artist relationship grew into a romantic relationship.
"I use to drop him off at the houses of different women. I'll be like 'which one is this one again.' There was a time the press were speculating that we were dating and we weren't dating. It just happened...when you spend all day with the same person...we just grew," she said.
"He was just someone who had my back and we would discuss everything. It started off with the nice compliments 'you look nice' and I'll be like hmmm. Then I'll go look at myself in the mirror. I started doing extra to get to impress him to get that compliment every day and I was getting it. Then I was 'I think he likes me.'
Ebuka asked Savage if she was ever worried about mixing relationship with the business.
''You know when you are in love you are not seeing any...I was like ours is going to be different. We are going to make it work, we are in love, we are best friends. I didn't even think about it like mixing the two," she said.
Savage's marriage to TeeBillz crashed after her tell-all interview where she spilled all the tea about the crisis in their home. Ebuka asked the music star if she regretted doing that interview or not.
"No! I wouldn't have done it because I am a very private person. I definitely didn't want to expose my private issues but I was also getting pressure from other people that were mentioned in there like Sid, my mum, and dad. It was almost like I was coming to clear the air for everyone that was mentioned not just myself. I have no regrets because I know how many people reached out to me after and said they found a voice to speak out about their situation because I was able to," she said.
"If I had known I wouldn't have ended it publicly or have it escalate to that level in front of everyone. Because this wasn't just trending in Nigeria, it was everywhere for months. When I'll go to events I could hear people whisper, I could see it in their eyes. A lot of people didn't think I could get through that and still build my brand or still be here as Tiwa Savage. I had to work hard to retain some of my endorsements because I lost some."
On her present relationship with TeeBillz, Savage says it is cordial as he remains a very important figure in the life of their son.