Seyi Shay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Seyi Shay
Seyi Shay.jpg
Seyi Shay at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards
Background information
Birth nameOluwaseyi Odedere
Born (1985-12-21) 21 December 1985 (age 33)
Tottenham, London, United Kingdom
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, performer, actress
Years active2001 – present[A]
Associated acts

Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua (born Oluwaseyi Odedere; 21 December 1985),[4][5] professionally known as Seyi Shay (pronounced Shay-yee Shay), is a Nigerian-based singer, songwriter and actress. She wrote and produced three songs for the soundtrack to Konami's video game Crime Life: Gang Wars (2005).[6][7] 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.[6] 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.[5] In November 2013, Shay signed an endorsement deal with telecommunications service provider Etisalat.[8][9] In July 2015, she signed a record deal with Island Records.[10] Shay released her debut studio album Seyi or Shay in November 2015. It was supported by the promotional singles "Irawo", "Ragga Ragga", and "Chairman".

Life and career[edit]

Shay was born and raised in Tottenham, London, England, to Nigerian parents.[11] Her mother was from Northern Nigeria and her father is a native of Ife. She has two elder brothers and an elder sister. She and her siblings were raised by their single mother. Shay grew up in a religious setting and felt like a single child during her adolescence. She started visiting Nigeria when she was two years old, and eventually attended the Command High School in Maryland, Lagos.[12] She went back to London to complete her undergraduate studies. Her interest in music was influenced by members of her household. Her late mother was a chorister and her sister used to compose songs for TV.[13] Moreover, her brother was a radio and club disc jockey. Shay joined her secondary school choir and started performing at the age of 6.[13] She performed for the London Community Gospel Choir during their world tour, which included 13 cities in Japan.[13] Shay was applauded for her performances in Japan. She studied music at a local UK college and went on to study business management at the University of East London.[1] In an interview with Lanre Odukoya of Thisday, Shay said that her mother wasn't a staunch supporter of her musical ambitions. Moreover, her mother wanted her to become a doctor or lawyer.[13] Prior to departing the Earth, her mother told her to focus on her music career and put God first.[12]

Her music career took an upswing when she signed her first ever record deal with No Apology, a record company affiliated with George Martin (commonly referred to as the "Fifth Beatle").[13] In 2006, Shay formed a girl band in the UK called Boadicea; they were managed by Ron Tom, the founder and manager of All Saints and Sugababes. The band separated after two years, and Shay decided to partake in the From Above UK singing audition. After the conclusion of the audition, she emerged as the lead vocalist for the now defunct girl group From Above. The group inked a record deal with Mathew Knowles' management company after performing for him. They were taken to Houston to undergo energetic vocal and dance trainings. The group supported Beyoncé while she was in the UK for her I Am... World Tour.[12] They presented an award at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards and had their own MTV reality show called Breaking From Above, which aired in over 166 countries around the world.[14][15] The group later disassembled and Shay had an opportunity to continue her management deal with Mathew Knowles, as well as secure a recording contract with Sony. Instead, she made a decision to join Flytime Music after getting an offer from them. Shay has worked with a number of musicians, including Justin Timberlake, Brian Michael Cox, Darey, Bilal, Michelle Williams, Chip, Rob Knoxx, H-Money, and Cameron Wallace.[5]

Flytime Music[edit]

Shay was introduced to Sound Sultan during his visit to London in 2011. After listening to some of her demos, Sultan convinced her to relocate to Nigeria and pursue her musical career there.[1][16] In addition to meeting Sultan, Shay was introduced to Cecil Hammond of Flytime Promotions. Hammond signed her to his record label Flytime Music and decided to launch her solo career in Nigeria.[5] In 2013, Shay left Flytime Music and told Vanguard newspaper that she had joined the label to promote her brand. She also said that while signed to the record label, she was very much in control of her brand. Moreover, she said she still has a relationship with the label.[16]

Artistry and role models[edit]

Although her musical style is primarily a combination of Afropop and R&B, Shay doesn't conform to a particular genre of music. She believes that her musical prowess covers different genres, and has stated that her music draws from things that inspire her. Shay has cited her mother, Mathew Knowles, 2face Idibia, Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Sound Sultan, Wizkid, and Omawumi as mentors.[13][14][16][17]

Notable performances[edit]

Seyi Shay performing for Ndani Sessions in October 2018

Shay performed at the 2013 COSON song awards.[18] In July 2013, she performed at one of Big Brother Africa 8's live eviction shows.[19] On 20 July 2013, she performed in Asaba for the 2013 edition of Star Music Trek.[20] On 27 September 2013, Shay graced the stage at the Sisters with Soul concert, which was headlined by Mary J. Blige.[21] On 20 November 2013, she performed "Bad" with Wale at the Johnnie Walker Step Up to VIP Lifestyle Launch event (held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos).[22] Shay was a supporting act on the 2013 Hennessy Artistry 2013 Club.[23] In December 2013, she performed at the Harp Rhythm Unplugged concert.[24] On 15 February 2014, Shay performed with Kelly Rowland, D'banj, Tiwa Savage, Mo' Eazy, Zaina, Timi Dakolo, Waje, Muna, JJC and Eva Alordiah at Darey's Love Like A Movie concert.[25]

2011–present:Seyi or Shay, Electric Package and more[edit]

Shay released her debut studio album Seyi or Shay in November 2015. Work on the album started as early as 2011. Shay worked with several producers in Nigeria, including Jay Sleek, Tee Y Mix, Del B and Cobhams Asuquo. On 11 August 2011, she released "Loving Your Way" and "No Le Le", two promotional singles that helped launched her singing career in Nigeria.[26][27]

On 27 July 2012, Shay released "Irawo" as the album's lead single. The song was produced by Del B and was originally titled "Erawo".[28] During the aforementioned interview with Ajose, Shay said she wrote "Irawo" to inspire her colleagues and workmates to pull together. The music video for the song was shot and directed in Nigeria by Clarence Peters. It was uploaded onto YouTube on 3 June 2013, at a total length of 3 minutes and 47 seconds.[29] The remix of "Irawo" features rap verses from Vector and was released on 6 December 2012.[30]

In August 2013, Shay released the album's second single "Killin' Me Softly", featuring Nigerian singer Timaya. The song was written and produced by Del B. Shay told Ajose she felt in love with the song when she first heard it. Moreover, she reached out to Timaya for a verse because she wanted a different vibe on the song.[16] On 6 October 2013, Shay released "Ragga Ragga" and "Chairman" as the third and fourth singles from the album.[31] The songs were produced by Del B. The latter features vocals from KCee, a recording artist who was present during the song's composition.[16] Prior to releasing the singles, Shay signed a partnership deal with the international talent company J-Management.[32] On 8 January 2014, Shay released the music video for "Ragga Ragga"; it was shot and directed in Lagos by Peters.[33] "Ragga Ragga" peaked at number 7 on MTV Base's Official Naija Top 10 chart from 15 March through 19 March 2014.[34]

In May 2013, Shay told Lanre Odukoya of Thisday that she recorded a single with Olamide. She said that working with him was easy because of their work ethic. She also told Odukoya the song was written by Olamide and will be released in 2014.[12] Shay has been featured on the records of several promising artists, including Praiz, Mr. Walz, Yung GreyC and Amir.[35] On 1 April 2014, Shay released the Dokta Frabz-produced single "Murda". The song features additional vocals from Patoranking and Shaydee.[36] Aribaba of Jaguda gave the song 9 out 10 stars, stating, "Seyi Shay's flow is clean, comes as the perfect ying to Patoranking's yang. The use of familiar lyrics "Don't know what you've got till it's gone" makes the first time listening experience even more enjoyable."[37] On 11 May 2014, the music video for "Murda" was uploaded onto Vevo. It was directed by Meji Alabi for JM Films.[38]

In March 2019, Shay took to her instagram page to announce that she had just been given a concert residency in the United Kingdom.[39] The 2-night residency at the Biosdale of Canary Wharf in London was billed to hold on the 29th and 30th of May 2019.[40][41]




  • Electric Package (2018)

Selected singles[edit]

As lead artist
Year Title Album
2011 "Loving Your Way" Non-album single
"No Le Le"
2012 "Irawo"
"Irawo" (Remix) (featuring Vector)
2013 "Chante" (featuring Ajuju)
"Killin' Me Softly" (featuring Timaya)
"Chairman" (featuring Kcee)
"Ragga Ragga"
2014 "Murda" (featuring Patoranking and Shaydee) Seyi or Shay
2015 "Crazy" (featuring Wizkid )
"Right Now"
2016 "Pack and Go" (featuring Olamide )
2018 "Ko Ma Roll" (featuring Harmonize) Non-album single
As featured artist
Year Title Album
2013 "For You" (Praiz featuring Seyi Shay) Non-album single
"Paradise" (Mr Walz featuring Seyi Shay) Walz Have Ears
"Get Down" (Yung GreyC featuring Seyi Shay) Non-album single
"Yarinya" (Amir featuring Seyi Shay)
2014 "In Love" (Wizkid featuring Seyi Shay) Ayo
2015 "Sugar" (Ayoola featuring Seyi Shay) Non-album single
"The Motion" (DJ Lambo featuring Seyi Shay, Cynthia Morgan & Eva Alordiah)
2016 "Only You (Remix)" (Nikki Laoye featuring Seyi Shay)
2017 "Celebrate" (NC Dread featuring Seyi Shay)
2018 "Bia" Electric Package
2018 "Alele" (featuring DJ Consequence and Flavour N'abania)

Selected videography[edit]

Year Title Director Ref
2014 "Murda" (featuring Patoranking and Shaydee) Meji Alabi [42]
2015 "Right Now" [43]
2017 "Bia" Clarence Peters [44]
"Weekend Vibes" (Remix) (featuring Sarkodie) Moe Musa [45]
"Your Matter" (featuring Eugy and Efosa) Meji Alabi [46]
2018 "Surrender" (featuring Kizz Daniel) Clarence Peters [47]
2019 "Ko Ma Roll" (featuring Harmonize) Cardoso Imagery [48]
"Gimme Love" (featuring Runtown) Clarence Peters [49]


Year Title Role Notes
2018 Lara and the Beat Lara [50]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Prize Recipient Result Ref
2015 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) Best Female & Video of the Year TBA Nominated [51][52]
2014 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards Most Gifted Female "Irawo" Nominated [53]
City People Entertainment Awards Musician of the Year (Female) Herself Nominated [54]
2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Female Artist of the Year Nominated [55]
World Music Awards World's Best Song "Ragga Ragga" Nominated [56]
World's Best Video Nominated
World's Best Female Artiste Herself Nominated
World's Best Live Act Nominated
World's Best Entertainer of the Year Nominated
2013 The Headies 2013 Best Vocal Performance (Female) "Irawo" Nominated [57]
Next Rated Herself Nominated
City People Entertainment Awards Best New Musician of the Year (Female) Won [58]
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best New Act of the Year Nominated [59]
Chase Awards Artiste of the Year (Female) N/A [60]
Song of the Year "Irawo" N/A


  1. ^ Shay told Kemi Lawal of The Punch that she became a professional singer at the age of 14.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Men see me as a sex symbol – Seyi Shay". 17 March 2013. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  2. ^ Oreoluwa Peters (14 November 2015). "Seyi Shay floats record label with 'silent partner'". YNaija. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  3. ^ Dionne Searcey (3 June 2017). "Nigeria's Afrobeats Music Scene Is Booming, but Profits Go to Pirates". New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Beyonce's dad 'keeps us grounded'". Independent. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Seyi returns home with a promise – Vanguard News". 28 July 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b "ARTISTE UNCENSORED: I'm very passionate about Nigerian music". 10 October 2012. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  7. ^ "News "Soundtrack to a Crime Life" – Konami". Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Top 'returnee' musicians ruling Nigerian airwaves – Vanguard News". 25 January 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  9. ^ Seyi Shay signs endorsement deal with Etisalat (9 February 2014). "Seyi Shay signs endorsement deal with Etisalat". Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  10. ^ Sanusi, Hassan (23 June 2015). "Seyi Shay signs record deal with UK's Island Records". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  11. ^ Onibada, Ade (16 April 2016). "London To Lagos: British-Nigerian Songstress Seyi Shay". Young Voices. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d Powered by DMflex WebGen --- (25 May 2013). "Seyi Shay: Touring Uk With Beyonce Was Fantastic, Articles". Thisday Live. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Agadibe, Christian (13 April 2013). "Seyi Shay: Beyonce's dad made me!". The Sun. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  14. ^ a b Personalities (22 August 2013). "SEYI SHAY: MY FIRST PROFESSIONAL HIT MUSICALLY WAS A TOUR TO JAPAN AT AGE 14". Rhodies World. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  15. ^ 26 June 2012 5:23 pm Updated: 29 June 2012 11:39 am. "Mathew Knowles' Reality Show 'Breaking From Above' Premieres in America". Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Why I don't read comments on blogs – Seyi Shay". 22 November 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  17. ^ "I Admire 2Face Idibia, Says Singer Seyi Shay". P.M. NEWS Nigeria. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  18. ^ "COSON Song Awards soon for network TV broadcast". Champion Online News. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Seyi Shay storms Big Brother". Champion Online News. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay To Rock Asaba, Lagos". P.M. NEWS Nigeria. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  21. ^ "How Mary J. Blige rocked Lagos – Vanguard News". 5 October 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Wale, D'Banj, Seyi Shay headline Johnnie Walker's step up to vip lifestyle launch – Life, Slider". Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Dbanj, Burna Boy, Phyno & Others Party Hard at the Hennessy Artistry Club Tour 2013". Bella Naija. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Artistes shine at Rhythm Unplugged". The Sun. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Breaking News… Kelly Rowland to Perform at Darey's Love Like a Movie – Season 2!". 27 January 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  26. ^ "Seyi Shay – Loving Your Way + No Le Le". Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  27. ^ "New Video: Seyi Shay – Loving Your Way". Bella Naija. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Seyi Shay's Back With a Bang! Listen to Seyi Shay – Erawo & Loving Your Way Music Video". Bella Naija. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Seyi Shay set to shine with Irawo video". 25 May 2013. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  30. ^ "Now Playing: Seyi Shay Feat. Vector – Erawo Remix". Bella Naija. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  31. ^ Akinloye, Dimeji (7 October 2013). "MUSIC: SEYI SHAY – Ragga Ragga + Chairman ft. Kcee". Hip Hop World Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  32. ^ "Singer Seyi Shay Signs New Deal Releases Hot Singles 'Ragga Ragga' & 'Chairman' Ft Kcee" (in German). 7 October 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  33. ^ "Teen Y! Video Review: Seyi Shay's Ragga Ragga deserves an "A" for audaciousness | Teen Y!". 13 January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  34. ^ Music & Tv. "Seyi Shay Co-Hosts This Week's MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 Chart". Rhodies World. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  35. ^ Ogunjimi, Opeoluwani (7 January 2014). "Seyi Shay Drops Paradise". Daily Times of Nigeria. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  36. ^ "iTunes – Music – Murda – Single by Seyi Shay". 1 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  37. ^ "Two To Review: Seyi Shay – Murda Ft. Patoranking & Shaydee + May D – All Over You". Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  38. ^ "VIDEO PREMIERE: Seyi Shay Ft. Patoranking and Shaydee – MURDA". 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  39. ^ "Seyi Shay Becomes First African Artiste To Be Given Residency In UK". Gistreel. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  40. ^ "Seyi Shay To Perform At Biosdale Of Canary Whale". Leadership Newspaper. 16 March 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  41. ^ "Seyi Shay is hosting a 2-Day Residency in London & we've got the Scoop". BellaNaija. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  42. ^ "VIDEO: Seyi Shay - Murda Ft. Patoranking & Shaydee -". 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  43. ^ "VIDEO: Seyi Shay - Right Now -". 7 July 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  44. ^ "Seyi Shay - Bia [New Video] » tooXclusive". tooXclusive. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  45. ^ "VIDEO: Seyi Shay ft. Sarkodie - Weekend Vibes (Remix) -". 17 July 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  46. ^ Bilo. "VIDEO: Seyi Shay - Your Matter Ft. Eugy & Efosa |". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  47. ^ "Watch Seyi Shay and Kizz Daniel in "Surrender" music video". The Native. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  48. ^ Ohunyon, Ehish (3 January 2019). "Seyi Shay - 'Koma Roll' feat Harmonize [Official Music Video]". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  49. ^ Njoku, Chisom (21 January 2019). "Watch: Seyi Shay Releases Video For "Gimme Love"". Guardian Nigeria. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  50. ^ Ukiwe, Urenna (1 July 2018). "Meet The Cast Of Lara And The Beat". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  51. ^ "Seyi Shay Singer thanks 'God almighty' for MAMA nomination". Pulse Nigeria. Joey Akan. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  52. ^ "#MTVMAMA2015 NOMINEES ANNOUNCED!". MTV AMA. MTV. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  53. ^ Marshall, Rhodé (5 September 2014). "Channel O Africa announces Music Video Awards nominees". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  54. ^ "Rita Dominic, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Majid Michel – 2014 City People Entertainment Awards Nominees". 6 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  55. ^ Abimboye, Micheal (31 May 2014). "Pop duo, Skuki, reject Nigerian Entertainment Awards nomination". Premium Times. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  56. ^ "D'banj, Tuface, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Davido, Kcee Nominated at World Music Awards". 20 February 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  57. ^ "Olamide wins big @ Headies 2013 + full list of winners". 27 December 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  58. ^ "2013 City People Entertainment Awards: First Photos & Full List of Winners". Bella Naija. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  59. ^ Abimboye, Micheal (31 May 2013). "Nigerian Entertainment Award announces 2013 nominees". Premium Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  60. ^ "CHASE Awards 2013 unveils nominees – Premium Times Nigeria". 12 October 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.

External links[edit]