SEYI SHAY: I despise men whose motive is just sex

Singer, songwriter and producer, Debora Oluwaseyi Joshua popularly known as Seyi Shay, has attained some remarkable fame and fortune that belie the less than three years she has been on the scene. She recounts the story behind her meteoric rise in this encounter with LANRE ODUKOYA

MY PHENOMENAL RISE

There’s something enigmatic about Seyi Shay and this, entertainment buffs are pretty much aware of. She’s got quite an impressive resume as a singer and when we asked her what the magic wand is, she answered: “If I tell you I know anything other than hard work, prayer and a good team around me, it would be completely false.”

PLAN FOR SOPHOMORE ALBUM

Since she joined the industry, especially in the last eight months, she has been quite active on the live circuit, causing many to wonder if she has got plans for her sophomore album anytime soon. “Yes. I’m working on an album now and I hope to release it by the end of this year. So, apart from traveling here and there for gigs, I’m giving that a serious thought.”

MY SONG WITH TIMAYA

Her song, a soothingly rhythmic single with the Egberi Papa One of Bayelsa, Timaya, dubbed Killing Me Softly, is currently enjoying massive airplay and rave review. How did they come about this melodramatic fusion? She muttered: “I have always been a fan of Timaya. We met through Del-B, my producer.”

UNDERSTANDING NIGERIAN POP CULTURE

Having honed her music skills in the United Kingdom and had a drilling through pop icon Beyonce Knowles, how she came to understand and blend seamlessly into the local pop scene is somewhat startling. She explained: “I have lived and schooled here before, so it was pretty easy especially with help from my mentor and his family, Sound Sultan.”

THIS FOR MY FANS

So, what’s Seyi Shay cooking for her teeming fans, most of whom have not been part of her itinerant experience lately? “Trust me, I have my fans absolute interest at heart and same explains why I’m cooking a drop dead gorgeous album.”

COLLABORATING WITH OMAWUMI

She has a few collaborations with male singers such as Olamide and Timaya, but none one yet with her female folks who are riveting performers and vocalists. Is she having collaboration with any of the industry top acts like Tiwa Savage-Balogun, Waje or Omawumi anytime soon? “I have already approached Omawumi and I look forward to it.”

ON POSSIBLE RIVALRY

There’s a score of fledgling singers out there and the feeling of being rivaled cannot be totally displaced. Is she getting the feeling of someone snapping at her heels just yet? “Oh, not at all. I am happy for them all.”

TRYING NEW HANDS

Having worked with a number of producers since her return to Nigeria, she is not averse to trying out new hands. “I hope to work with Masterkraft, Maleek Berry and Don Jazzy this year.”

WHAT I LOOK FORWARD TO

On what she would consider her biggest fulfilment in 2014, she says, “I’m not sure yet, but I hope it is my forthcoming album.”

MEETING ROMANTIC NIGERIAN MEN

Seyi Shay has a running impression on whether Nigerian men are romantic or not and how she deals with incessant advances. “Some of them are very romantic and some only want that one thing. I try to stay away from those types of men. I am now happily with someone I trust.”

EXPLORING FRESH POSSIBILITIES

Apart from music, she shared other things she would love to explore if opportunities arise. “I would like to explore different charity organisations.”

IN THE KITCHEN, NOT QUITE A CHEF

As an adventurous one, does the singer experiment in the kitchen? “I’m not a master chef, but I know I’m very good.”

FAVOURITE MEAL

Maybe she’s also got this fascination for a particular meal she wouldn’t do without in a week? “Yes, I’ve got one and it’s Amala and Ewedu.”

PARENTS’ ROLE IN CAREER

Here’s how her mother finally endorsed her musical career with her last breath: “My dad has not really been a typical part of my life. He has kids everywhere. I’ve never really been close to him like that. Before my mom died, she wasn’t really a believer in this music thing, though she supported me. She paid for my violin, drama and piano lessons. But she never thought that I would take it this far and the day before she died, she told me: ‘Ok, I agree with you on this music you insist on doing, but make sure you put God first.’

I didn’t think she was going to die and nobody thought so too. She wasn’t sick, she just had a surgical operation and it went bad. In her spirit, she knew something would happen and she would not see me again. She said very prophetically: ‘You’d end up in Nigeria at the end of the day.’ And she added that before I marry or allow any man take that part of my life, I should make sure I’m a successful woman. It might sound controversial.”

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