BY ROTIMI AGBANA
Since she stormed the country’s music scene after heeding Sound Sultan’s advice when they met in London in 2011, notable singer, Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, fondly known by her stage name, Seyi Shay, has maintained a steady rise in the Nigerian music space. In this interview with Showtime Celebrity, she talks about her childhood, latest project, marriage and more.
How long did it take to put your recent EP
We started the process in November, last year. I recorded over 20 songs and picked the best six out of them.
What were the criteria you used in selecting those six songs?
The indigenousness of the songs was one. We wanted to connect the people to their roots again. We also wanted to come back home and connect more with our culture because people think that Seyi Shay is out of reach. So, I wanted to show them that I could actually come home. This EP actually goes back to the sound I used when I started my musical career.
When are you releasing your sophomore album?
The volume two and three of my EP are underway. These volumes will have a mixture of international collaborations and I’m still planning to drop a couple of EPs before an album. By the time I drop volume two and three EP, we’ll have more than an album.
There are lots of collaborations with DJs on this EP, why?
I believe a lot of people sleep on DJs and I really want them to be involved and be part of the process. I want them to play it wherever they are and feel like they own it.
Are you saying that DJs are undermined in Nigeria?
They used to be, yes!
Did you feature female DJs?
There is! Track five of the EP were to become what I can be. She told me that I would be successful in Nigeria.
How do you feel now that your mom isn’t alive to witness your success?
I just wish she could see everything I’m doing now and see that I haven’t given up despite the setbacks. I believe she will be proud of me.
Don’t you think she would have been pressuring you to get married if she were to be alive?
Yes, that’s true but then she didn’t put too much pressure on me for that. She told me before she died to make sure I’ve done everything I want to do before I get married and not to allow any man to shatter my dream.
What is your perception about marriage at the moment?
I’m down for it!
What is the regular Seyi Shay like?
When you visit, you’ll find me with a head scarf, shorts and T-shirt, with a lot of food in my fridge because I love cooking, mainly Egusi soup.
Did you break out of your normal work routine while working on your EP?
Yes I did! My management really brought me out of my comfort zone and I put a lot of work into this EP. I was speaking a lot more pidgin English; connecting with my fans the more in the indigenous style. I’m a Naija babe so it was just about connecting with the fans and delivering the music like you’re feeling it. Everything on this EP was about love which is not the everyday Seyi Shay we know, so it’s different.
How was it like hosting Headies 2018?
It was fun and I’m happy about it.
How close are you to Bovi?
He’s just a close friend, he’s a cool guy.