We spoke to Seyi Shay, one of Nigeria’s biggest Afrobeats stars, ahead of her new EP release in February. She’s an international musician, actress and the coolest babe around.
Born and raised in Tottenham, London, Seyi rose to fame as the lead vocalist in the girl band From Above. Among other impressive AF things, they supported Queen Bey on her 2009 world tour.
Seyi Shay Q+A
Seyi took the leap of faith and deceided to pursue her solo career in Nigera. She has since built a huge brand for herself, gaining over 1 million Insta followers. YES👏GIRL👏. We chatted to Seyi about her new EP, musical influences and loads more. Read the full interview below.
Hey Seyi! How are you?
I’m great and happy to have made it to 2020!
When did you begin to develop your own personal sound?
I started singing in my church choir at the age of 6, but that was only because I used to follow my mother to choir practice then. My passion for singing really started in secondary school in my high school choir, from the age of 13.
I met a producer called Harmony Samuels (produced for Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, Rotimi, Brandy, Janet Jackson), who’s now a Grammy award winner. I used to write songs and record with him in his studio in North London after school. That’s probably when my sound developed and I found my own singing voice.
Did you find the adjustment from girl band to solo artist difficult at first?
It was a pretty easy transition. I’m Nigerian and I came to Nigeria after the band broke up to pursue my solo career, so the Nigerians accepted me really well. I had help from the Nigerian industry heavy weights such as Flytime, Livespot, Sound Sultan AND 2FACE IDIBIA. They initiated me into the scene and that’s how I started my career as SEYI SHAY.
Do you find a big difference performing for Nigeran crowds and UK crowds
Currently, no. Afrobeats is now global and everyone pretty much receives it the same way.
Who’s your dream collaboration?
I loved working with Teyana Taylor. Next time I’d love to work with Adele, she sings about love too and I’d like to hear what she does on an Afrobeat record. It would be so interesting to fuse contemporary western music and contemporary Nigerian music.
What’s your boss babe mantra?
‘Wake up beauty, its time to beast’
You starred in your first film Lara and the Beat in 2018, is acting something you’ve always wanted to do?
I’d never thought about being an actress on the big screen, although I played Juliet at school in a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet. We took the play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and that was probably my biggest attempt at acting until Lara and the Beat. I enjoyed it very much and I accepted the role because I wanted the experience generally.
How do you like to spend your days off?
Catching up on sleep hanging out with my normal real friends
We are all looking forward to your new EP! Can you give us any details?
My EP drops at the end of February, executive produced by Harmony Samuels and has some exciting features!
What does 2020 hold for you?
God’s glory and success!
Listen to Seyi below…
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