EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Singer Seyi Shay

Seyi Shay is a British born RnB singer who has achieved unrivalled success in the African market over past several years. Now she is bringing her music back home and has released her brand new single ‘Yolo Yolo‘ with aims of reaching an international audience. Although this is not her first taste of success in her home country back in 2014 her single ‘MURDA‘ charted in the top-ten on BBC1 XTRA.

Here we speak the multi-talented singer/songwriter about her latest release, success in Africa, future plans and much more.

You are UK born but, your major music success is in Africa how did that happen?

After the break up of my former girl band FROM ABOVE, I decided to move to Nigeria under the advise of friends that connected me with some well connected people in Lagos. Within a year of me moving there I had recorded 2 songs and released 1 video… I started doing shows for free and supporting international acts in Lagos. From there I started networking and earning enough funds to shoot more videos and build a management team around me. The rest is history.  

What is the best thing about the music industry in Africa?

The freedom to make the music the way you want. There are no restrictions or bars or limits because everyone is pretty much their own record label. I also really appreciate the genuine love from the fans, it’s really organic.  

Growing up who inspired you to get into music?
My big brothers a DJ and a bathroom singer. lol… and my school choir.
What made you finally want to bring your music to a global audience? 

A single released in 2014 called ‘MURDA’ did really well considering there was no marketing budget or strategy. It crossed over to the UK and the Caribbean on its own via social media. It then charted in the top 10 in the UK on BBC1 XTRA and not long after I was in discussions with island records with whom I am now signed to.    
What has the UK’s fans’ reaction been like to your new single ‘Yolo Yolo’?
I’m not quite sure because I am based in Nigeria but as far as I know all the top stations are playing it and it’s getting mad love.

What is the inspiration behind your new release?
I just needed a new wave. so I rode it… I always look for what’s missing and try to pioneer it. I also wanted to share a bit of my story. 

If you could collaborate with any artist who would you choose?
Sade, Adele, SEAL, Lauren Hill, and Labrinth. 
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
There have been a few, supporting Beyoncé’s I AM tour across UK… Performing a duet with Neo and Wale in front of the whole of Africa and 10,000 people and on live TV. Winning BEST RnB artist at last years NEA awards, making friends with Bono and actually having his direct number. lol. Being featured on rolling stone, Elle, Perez Hilton, CNN, BBC and more for a campaign I was part of with the UN, last year…. so much more.    
What would be your dream venue to perform at?
Madison Square Garden, New York. I’ve already done Wembley and the O2 but I would like to headline there next time.
What do you hope to achieve in the next ten years?
An international tour. 2 more albums, and to establish my own label.

Make sure you follow Seyi Shay on Twitter @iamseyishay to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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