Popularly known as Seyi Shay, Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua is one of the hottest entertainers that are storming the Industry right now. Having already broken through the international barrier, settling into the Nigerian music scene has been a tremendous step forward for the sexy and vibrant bundle of talent.
Seyi Shay was born and raised in the UK with 3 older siblings, being the youngest of four children. She was raised by a single parent, a mother whom she is always quick to describe as a strong hard working woman who provided all Seyi needed growing up before she sadly passed away in 2006.
The songstress, consistently compared to Tiwa Savage, graduated with a degree in Music business management at the University of East London. She did however; attend primary school and secondary school in Nigeria, Command and the popular Queens College.
The OnoBello team got the opportunity to have an interview with the beautiful and exciting layers of talent that is Seyi Shay as she spoke about Passion, Fashion, Music and kissing Vector at Felabration.
OB: Tell us what growing up was like for you?
SS: Growing up for me was a great experience. I was part of an extracurricular activity for most of my childhood and teenage years, mainly in music and the arts. Because my mother worked all the time, we were never really close but the out of school activities really helped develop my creativity and kept me busy.
OB: What ignited your passion for music?
SS: I had the opportunity to go on tour with a gospel choir I was part of. We toured Japan for 3 weeks, performing at the Blue note jazz venues, concert halls and arenas in Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and other cities in Japan. I had a lead song in each city and by the time the tour was over, my passion for music and performing cemented.
OB: Can you remember the first cash you made through your music career, how did it feel?
SS: The first cash I made was from the Gospel choir tour I did in Japan. It was approximately 4000GBP and I felt rich at the time. *laughs* I was 14 years old.
OB: Which artistes do you look up to, both Nigerian and foreign and which ones would you like to have a collaboration with?
SS: The Nigerian artists I really look up to are Dbanj, 2face and I admire Omawunmi for her business savvy and achievement.
OB: You’ve had some massive collaborations and international recognition, how has that shaped you?
SS: I'm very grateful to God and remain humbled by all the opportunities I have had including touring with Beyonce and my former girl band From Above, my MTV reality show, the documentary I featured on for CNN and the stages I've shared with the likes of Chris brown, Rick Ross, 2face, Dbanj etc. it's really a dream come true.
OB: What collaborations do you have in store, and what plans do you have brewing?
SS: 2face and I are working on a song together. I also have a surprise cooking with an international artist I cannot name right now but please look forward to it.
OB: Several times you are compared to Tiwa Savage in terms of looks, performance and singing abilities, what is the implication of that for you?
SS: Tiwa and I are nothing alike. We have a similar background. We dress differently, sing differently and definitely entertain differently. I only just came onto the Nigerian scene. I think with time people will spot the huge differences.
OB: In the entertainment industry, who are those you look up to?
SS: I admire a lot of oldies like Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and of course everyone loves Beyonce!
OB: What is your regular routine before going on stage for a performance?
SS: I do vocal warm ups for 30 to 45 minutes, I pray and sit silently often shaking my leg until it’s time to get on the stage.
OB: How do you see the place of female artists in the entertainment industry, do you think they are getting enough attention like their male counterparts?
SS: I feel like the females in our industry in Nigeria are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Most of my shows this year have had 1 or 2 females in a lineup of mainly men. In the past, this was never the case.
OB: Where do you see the Nigerian music industry in the next 5 years?
SS: Competing and playing on the same platforms as the A list international artistes.
OB: Let’s talk about fashion; do you see yourself as a ‘fashionista’?
SS: I've been called a fashionista on many publications lately. I never even knew what that meant before. *laughs* I guess if they say so, then I am. I owe the rebranding and new image to my fantastic team of designers, stylists and makeup.
OB: Do you work with a stylist to achieve your looks for TV and red carpet? Give us a brief into the process of picking an outfit for TV or red carpet?
SS: I work with a glam squad for every appearance. We often look at the calendar for the month and select each piece for each event. Sometimes the team designs and outfit from scratch too.
OB: Would you say that your fashion style has evolved in the last year? And how so?
SS: I have gone from quite reserved and safe to more experimental, high fashion and ageless.
OB: How would you describe your style?
SS: The high fashion, Boho chic. LOL
OB: What is your most expensive fashion item?
SS: My limited edition Louboutin pumps.
OB: What last three things did you buy?
SS: Limited edition Christian Dior shades, Swarovski crystals and a silver fish scale catsuit from Nigerian fashion brand, IamIsigo.
OB: Who is your favourite designer and where is your favourite place to shop?
SS: My favorite designer is Massimo Dutti and my favorite place to shop is Selfridges in the UK.
OB: Going personal, with all the wedding bells and engagement rings trending in the entertainment industry, what romance is brewing in your life?
SS: I am courting a very handsome, charming gentleman and above all, he is a great friend. No names just yet!!!
OB: You and Vector shared an intriguing kiss on stage recently was that just publicity or is there something there?
SS: It was a friendly kiss on the cheek. People have turned it into something it's not. Vector and I are just friends. He is like a brother to me.
OB: If you were to choose amongst your male counterparts in the entertainment industry, who would you like to date?
SS: This question has often got me into trouble so I won't mess with your heads anymore. I'll just say, I'm dating the person I would rather date already and he is good enough for me.
OB: What are your final words to your fans?
SS: Live well, laugh hard, love unconditionally and follow your dreams.
You can contact Seyi Shay in the following ways:
Photo Credits: Seyi Shey
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