Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua better known by the stage name Seyi Shay is a Nigerian-based singer-songwriter, recording artist, performer and actress. She released Seyi or Shay, her debut studio album in 2015.
Prior to this, Seyi has written and produced soundtracks and songs for Konami games, Melanin C and Chipmunk. Internationally, Seyi is regarded as one of the biggest African Artist.
Seyi Shay Biography
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua was born on December 21, 1985 in Tottenham, London England as the last of four children. She was born to Nigerian parents. Her mother is from Northern Nigeria and her father, the western part of the country, Osun State. Seyi and her siblings were raised by their mother.
Seyi started visiting Nigeria at age 2. Then, for her secondary school education, she attended Command High School, Maryland, Lagos. Thereafter, she returned to London for her undergraduate studies. Firstly, she attended a local UK college where she studied music and then moved on to the University of East London, and earned a degree in Business Management.
Seyi Shay Early Career
Seyi started her music career early enough. Her motivation came from her late mother and siblings who were also involved in music in different ways. At age 6, she was already performing in her school choir. Later, at 14, she performed for the London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) in their world-wide tour which included 13 cities in Japan.
Shay signed her first record deal with No Apology, a record company in affiliation with George Martin (Fifth Beatle). In 2006, she formed a girl Band, Boadicea. The band was managed by Ron Tom, founder and manager of All Saints and Sugarbabes. However, it was disbanded in 2008.
Also, Seyi wrote and produce sound track for the Konami Game Crime Life, wrote You Will See for Mel C and White Lies for Rapper ChipMunk. While collaborating and performing, she partook in the British Pop/RnB Girl Band From Above, and emerged as the lead vocalist for the group.
From Above signed a record deals with Sony/Columbia and Mathew Knowles’ Management company. Before disbanding, the group achieved some goals. For instance, it made an online release of Breaking From Above, an MTV Reality Show that aired in over 166 countries.
Apparently, Seyi has worked with numerous bigwigs in the music industry both locally and international.
Music Career In Nigeria
Sound Sultan motivated Seyi’s return to Nigeria during one of his visits to London in 2011. Thereafter, she heeded his advice and came to Nigeria to promote her career in the industry. On her arrival, she was introduced to Cecil Hammond who signed her under the Flytime Music label. In 2012, she released a single, Irawo. Irawo became a hit and garnered massive airplay in Nigeria.
Later on, she left Flytime Music. Thus, in July 2015, Seyi signed an international record deal with Universal Island Records UK which distributes her music worldwide.
Albums And Songs
Seyi has released many hit singles. She released her debut studio album in 2015, and one EP titled Electric Package in 2018.
Seyi Or Shay
Seyi or Shay is the debut studio album of this talented singer. She started working on it in 2011, and in 2015, it was released under Island and Stargurl Limited. Seyi or Shay is preceded by five singles which include; Murda (2014), Crazy, (2014), Jangilova (2015), Right Now (2015) and Right Now ‘Remix’ (2015).
It incorporates a genre of RnB, afropop, dancehall and soul and it expresses the two sides of the singer as a person and musician. It featured vocals from Sound Sultan, Wizkid, Iyanya, Banky W, Femi Kuti, Flavour, Shaydee, D’Banj, Timaya, Cynthia Morgan, and Patoranking. The producers include Legendury Beatz, Dokta Frabz, Harmony Samuels, Del B, Pheelz and Tee-Y Mix.
- Loving Your Way, 2011
- No Le Le, 2011
- Irawo, 2012
- Irawo (Remix) ft Vector, 2012
- Chante ft Ajuju, 2013
- Kilin Me Softly ft Timaya, 2013
- Chairman ft Kcee, 2013
- Ragga Ragga, 2014
- Murda ft Patoranking and Shaydee, 2014
- Cray ft Wizkid, 2015
- Jangilova, 2015
- Right Now, 2015
- Air brush, 2016
- Pack and Go ft Olamide, 2016
- Bia, 2017
- Your Matter ft Eugy ft Efosa, 2017
- Weekend Vibes Remix ft Sarkodie, 2017
- Alele, ft DJ Consequence and Flavour N’abania 2018
- Ko Ma Roll ft Harmonize, 2018
- Surrender ft Kizz Daniel, 2018
- Yolo Yolo, 2017
- Gimme Love ft Runtown, 2019
As A Featured Artist
As a superstar vocalist, Seyi Shay has collaborated with several artistes. She was featured by Wizkid; In Love, Mr Walz; Paradise, Praiz; For You, Yarinya; Amir and many more.
She has also worked with several local and international artistes. Some of which include; Justin Timberlake, Brian Michael Cox, Cameron Wallace, Cynthia Morgan, M.I Abaga, Olamide, Eva Alordiah, Yung Greg C, e.t.c
Film – Lara And The Beat
Seyi Shay starred in a 2018 Nigerian film, Lara and the Beat. The movie was directed by Tosin Coker and Tolu Olusoga. It also featured Vector, Somkele Iyamah, Wale Ojo, Sharon Ooja, Shaffy Bello and Uche Jombo.
Lara and the Beat centers on the beautiful Giwa sisters who were caught in the middle of a financial scandal with their late parents’ media empire. So, these sisters were forced out of their home and they had to salvage their family’s legacy through music and business.
Due to Seyi’s love for the girl-child, she established a charity, Shay A Ray of Hope in 2015. The charity focuses on the underserved children, women and most especially helping the girl child.
In addition, Seyi has continued to use her international fame to promote justice for women. For instance, she joined in the UN campaign to empower women and collaborated with some other world entertainers in the remaking of the Spice Girls’ Wannabe video. The video was presented in UN General Assembly.
Also, as an ambassador for Genevieve Pink Ball Foundation, she sang the song Because we care. The aim of the song is to give hope and encourage breast cancer patients. She is also a staunch supporter of Slum 2 School projects.
Seyi Shay Net Worth
According to infoguidenigeria.com, Seyi’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 million.
Seyi is a brand ambassador to Barcardi Freezer along with Sean Tizzle and Yemi Alade. Similarly, she was endorsed as an ambassador to Samsoon Telecomunication, a service provider to Etisalat now 9jamobile.
Additionally, in 2015, she joined Wizkid and Tiwa Savage as brand ambassadors to Pepsi. In 2016, Nigeria Stock Exchange unveiled her and Burna Boy as ambassadors. And in 2017, she became the face of Gionee phone brand.
Awards And Recognition
Seyi has been nominated for several awards such as The Headies, Channel O, MTV Africa and many more. Below are few of the awards in her possession;
- New Musician of the Year, City People Entertainment Awards, 2013
- Choice Female Artist of the Year, Nigerian Teen Choice Awards, 2015
- Best Collaboration of the Year, Nigerian Entertainment Awards, 2015
- R&B Artist of the Year, Nigerian Entertainment Awards, 2016
- Exemplary Female Artist, Nigerian Ten Choice Award, 2016
- Afropop Artist of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2017
Seyi Shay Quotes
“Even if you don’t realize it, you are always moving forward and evolving. You’re always getting better.”
“Self-improvement is definitely my biggest flex.”
“Count your blessings not your problems.”
“Sometimes you have to create what you truly want to be a part of.”
“Why are people always scared to see concepts from multiple angles? Your view may not be the only view.”
“We’re all good/bad in someone’s story.”
“There is nothing wrong with making changes, and doing what’s best for you.”
“Always appreciate your friends, even for the smallest things.”
“Why give up today when tomorrow could be the day you win.”
“Listen to yourself more often.”
“Do what you have to do, stop procrastinating.”
“You only live once, but if you do it right. Once is enough.”
“No time for negativity, manifest your best life.”
Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Life Of Seyi Shay
Customer first culture
Seyi is one of the musicians who has a customer centric culture. She puts the interest of her fans first and presents her videos in a way that keeps them wanting more. In her interview, she also stated that her fans are the most important people she considers when making music.
Similarly, for entrepreneurs, customers are the reason why our business exists and we must always consider them in whatever business decision we make.
No doubt Seyi Shay is a talented vocalist, who also subjected herself to rigorous training in order to spice up her professionalism. Every entrepreneur, should work towards being an expert in their business field.
Photo credit/source: Blanck Digital Mag, Instagram, Ghafia, Moziak, Onebello.com, Schick Magazine, The will, Bionetworth and Information Nigeria.