Seyi Shay Talks Career, New Album and Record Deal with The Africa Music Law Show
Deborah Oluwa-seyi Joshua, better known by her stage name ‘Seyi Shay’ (pronounced Shay-yee Shay), is a Nigerian based International Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Performer. Seyi Shay was the lead singer of the British Pop/RnB girl group; “From Above”, signed to Sony/Columbia Record company and Music World Entertainment owned by Beyonce’s father; Matthew Knowles. From Above released their debut album online called ‘Breaking From Above’, which was also the title of their MTV reality show which aired in over 166 countries worldwide. They supported Beyonce on her “I AM” UK tour in 2009/10. When the group disbanded, Seyi Shay made her entrance into the Nigerian/African market. She has since released several hit singles including her most successful one to date ‘Murda’ ft Patoranking & Shaydee, and her freshman album titled Seyi or Shay. She joins Ms. Uduak on the 72nd episode of The Africa Music Law Show to discuss her career, her new album and signing a record deal with Island Records UK.
On why she moved back to Nigeria after her group ‘From Above’ managed by Mathew Knowles ‘From Above’ disbanded
…I came back to Nigeria because of influences from my Nigerian friends that were like, “you can’t give up music, you can’t give up music, you need to come back to Nigeria and continue and add value to your roots and your culture…
On Why She Thought About Giving Up Music
…Because my mom just died and I was like “you know what, I don’t know if I really want to do this anymore.” Even though deep down I knew I’d never be happy if I completely stopped it. People like Sound Sultan, people like 2Face Idibia that I had the opportunity to meet in London, they encouraged me to not stick around in London where everything is much harder. You studied music, you have been doing music for a long time and you have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Come back to Nigeria and add value to your people and look what happened they were right. And I remember the day before my mom died… she told me “all this music that you are doing, you will still end up in Nigeria.” Before that day, she had never ever given me her blessings to do music. It was always a fight, a struggle and a war. It was so ironic that the day before she died, she said those words to me. So when I met 2Face, when I met Sound Sultan, it was almost like my mom’s words were playing in the back of my mind. So, I said what have I got to lose… I’m gonna do this.
On Signing with Island Records UK
It just got to a point where we needed an engine, we needed that muscle, that global reach. And being an independent artist in Nigeria, like I am not signed to MMMG or Mavins or something like all these camps that you have in Nigeria. All these labels. I’m literally just me. I just hire and work with a really great team of people that believe in and see the vision but it cost money. It cost a bit of money and what we are trying to do is make African music cross over into the rest of the world. I’m glad to be part of that evolution that is making all these things happen, all these guys like Davido, Wizkid.. and what better to do that than to have a powerhouse record like Island Records behind you helping show off what Nigerian musicians are doing today.
On the eleven collaborations she did on her new album Seyi or Shay
I’ve been in Nigeria for four years with no album. Can you imagine how many friends and how many songs I started and did not finish? I don’t have people on the album that I don’t totally adore. The only people missing on the album are 2Face and Asa as far as I’m concerned.
For more on the interview with Ms. Uduak on the 72nd episode of The Africa Music Law Show Click HERE
The Africa Music Law show is the premier music business and entertainment law show empowering the African artist, and the creative industry at large, with top notch exclusive interviews, business commentary and legal analysis. The podcast show has over 100,000 downloads and in 2014, made iTunes’ Top 4 in its ‘New & Noteworthy’ category. Its subscribers are primarily Africa & Hollywood’s influencers i.e. industry executives, artist-preneurs, lawyers, and other creative talents