When you get the likes of Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Sarz and more to listen to your unfinished work and they actually seem to be enjoying themselves, then it’s safe to say you have blown!
We knew Seyi Shay was going to blow right from her days of ‘Killin’ Me Softly’ Ft Timaya, and now well… let’s just say her name rings a lot of bells.
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua has definitely come a long way from her days of little beginnings, but even those days were glorious in their own rights.
She is officially a songwriter, singer and actress, who has her own Wikipedia page and she insists she is part of the evolution of the afrobeats wave across the world.
She wrote and produced three songs for the soundtrack to Konami’s video game, Crime Life: Gang Wars (2005). She also wrote “You Will See”, a song that was included on Melanie C’s third studio album, Beautiful Intentions (2005). Shay wrote “White Lies”, a song from Chip’s Transition album. In 2008, she became the lead singer for the now defunct pop girl group From Above. The group signed a recording deal with Sony’s Columbia Records and was managed by Mathew Knowles’ Music World Entertainment company.
She sat with us in Accelerate to give us dibs on her journey so far, where she is at and where she is going and we absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
You would too. Watch her Cover interview below and check out her hot photos:
Tell us about your Experience in Atlanta…
The music scene in Atlanta is constantly buzzing, they always support themselves. I was in the studio for about 8 weeks or so and on the sixth week, I think, the week that Sarz was around, Young Jeezy came to the studio and we had a really cool get-together. It was almost like we were celebrating the completion of my new project.
He came down with Ludacris, Meek Mill and many more.
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So many people came through, we listened to the music and everybody was blown away, everybody was just so excited about what was about to happen with Afro Beats globally. I’m glad to be part of the ride, I’m glad to be part of this evolution because it means that now I’ve come into myself and I’m ready to just take over the world (laughs).
So, would you say it’s a rise?
Atlanta is a very close community, they all support each other, those guys come to the studio to support Young Jeezy and he supports his team as well. Me being in that mix with everybody, just feeling the energy and the vibe, I really wish it could be like that in Nigeria like where you just go through to whoever’s studio and just vibe with them, give them some tips and encouragement, listen and be inspired but everybody out here is too busy, holding on to what they’ve got through the fear of giving away their sound or giving away the next wave, But in Atlanta their human infrastructure is unreal and it‘s what’s making them grow and I think, being the leading musical exporters in the American music industry.
Do you see yourself as a pioneer of the Afro Beats movement across the globe?
Yes. I feel like I said that I am actually part of the evolution of Afro Beats crossing over globally. I think there are so many of us that are part of the evolution. I know I’m not on the rise, technically in this environment, but to the rest of the world I’m still on the rise. I’m really glad to be part of what’s happening now like the change and the growth of Afro Beat. I’m glad to be part of the evolution and to be alive doing music at this point in time of my life where everything is going global.
Tell us about the Seyi Shay style
Well my style is very dependent on my mood and luckily sometimes my mood is fashionable, sometimes people love what I wear and sometimes people don’t. You can’t always get it right, especially if you’re, I would say an entrepreneur at fashion, in the sense that I don’t follow trends, I tend to just wear what I like or what feels really cool and comfortable and luckily people like it. I collaborate with really great designers and really fantastic stylists. My favorite designers all over the world are Nigerian designers. Not because I’m Nigerian, but just because of the innovation, creativity, colors, texture and the culture. You just can’t get it anywhere else.
Of course, I love my Italian and French designers but I will always be faithful to my African designers. They got me this far and you know everybody is trying to jock us right now (laughs).
But I also enjoy going to London Fashion Week, I spent time there this year. I enjoyed New York fashion week as well, I saw some fantastic styles and I was inspired, hooked up with some great people. You can see them all on my Instagram if you want to know the famous people that I hung out and linked up with.
For me, fashion is really about how you feel. It’s all about how you feel, just like my music. Honestly, I tend to dress according to my mood and luckily sometimes my mood is quite fashionable so I don’t really follow trends per se with music or with what I wear. I just like to collaborate a lot with the designers I work with and the stylists I work with, they inspire me and I inspire them. Now, because I’m so free with my music and my dressing, I don’t really feel under pressure to impress anybody apart from those that are expecting me to deliver quality and to be myself, so those are the people I really live for and when I dress, I’m real with it and I just feel like this is how I am, this is how I feel and if you don’t like it you don’t have to copy it. I’m not a trendsetter per se but I also don’t follow trends, I just do my own thing and hope that people like it and people can relate.
What’s the difference between Seyi and Shay?
Well, the difference between Seyi and Shay I guess is, shay is like how that name shay sounds, a little bit larger than life a little bit more of Barbie, a little bit more flamboyant and more of the entertainer. Shay will always try different hair colors, different lengths of wigs and weaves, different styles and will always experiment with different clothing.
Whereas Seyi is like your girl next door, never really been too much into designers that are so common or popular but more into finding new designers and new fashion, more of a pair of leggings and a T-shirt or a kimono kind of chick with the short haircut I’ve been rocking since I was 17, no make-up but clean and just sitting pretty. So that’s the difference.
On stage, I’m always Shay because I find Shay to be quite entertaining and interesting. You never know what you’re going to get next with Seyi. I’m talking right now as Seyi, just in an interview, just normal, you know (laughs) playing it safe but still just normal and relatable at the same time and that’s the difference between the two.
Ask the audience
If you could have a Seyi Shay record right now, fresh and clean, what would it be? Up tempo, mid-tempo or slow tempo? What do you guys really want to hear from me. Let me know your answers.
Any Advice for your fans?
I think you guys are amazing and I’m really happy to be sharing this next phase and stage of my life with you. I hope you stay tuned and you feel inspired by the things that I do, inspired enough to inspire me back and inspire the rest of the world, let your little light shine!
Photography: Kelvin Oladiran
Creative Directing and Styling: Tokyo James
Hair: Dolche Beauty
Dress: Trisha couture LBD, Pepper Row
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