Music Industry Diary

Artist Focus: Seyi Shay The Vocal Dynamo

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Seyi Shay

No one does it like Seyi Shay!


Real name: Oluwaseyi Deborah Odedere
Stage name: Seyi Shay
Date of birth: December 21, 1985
State of Origin: Osun
Nationality: Nigerian
Genre: Afropop, R&B, Reggae


Seyi Shay is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, performer, and actress whose introduction to Sound Sultan in 2011 started her on the course of relocating to Nigeria to pursue her musical career.

Born and raised in Tottenham, London, both her parents are Nigerians (her father is a native of Ife in Osun State while her mother hails from Northern Nigeria. Theirs is a family of four children and she is the last. She has two older brothers and an elder sister.

Seyi Shay and her siblings were brought up by their mother in a religious background. She has stated that she often felt like an only child as an adolescent.

Her visits to her native country started when she was two years old and she ended up attending the Command High School in Maryland, Lagos. Her undergraduate studies took her back to London where she completed her university program.

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The singer

The singer’s musical influence is traceable to her family as her mum (who is now late) was a singer in the church choir and her sister composed songs for television. Additionally, her brother was a radio and club DJ.

Seyi Shay became a part of her secondary school choir and began performing at the tender age of 6. She performed for the London Community Gospel Choir during their world tour which saw them visit 13 cities in Japan.

Her rendition in Japan led to her being applauded and she eventually studied Music at a local college in the U.K. after which she bagged a degree in Business Management from the University of East London.

According to her, her mother was never in support of her musical career as she wanted her to be a doctor or a lawyer. But before her death, the parent told her to focus on her musical path and put God first.

Seyi Shay’s foray into professional music kicked off when she signed a deal with No Apology, a record label associated with George Martin.

She formed a female group in the UK called Boadicea and after a period of two years, they went their separate ways. That was when Seyi Shay decided to participate in the From Above UK singing audition. This was in 2008.

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After the audition, the singer emerged as the lead vocalist for the now-defunct girl group From Above. The group secured a deal with ’s father’s management company after he watched them perform.

After undergoing vocal and dance training, From Above supported Beyonce in her UK tour and later disassembled, giving Seyi Shay the opportunity to continue her deal with Matthew Knowles (Beyonce’s dad).

The artist

She also got a recording contract with Sony and worked with several musical stars like Justin Timberlake, Brian Michael Cox, Darey, Bilal, Michelle Williams, Chip, Rob Knoxx, and Cameron Wallace.

After being convinced by Sound Sultan to go back to Nigeria in 2011, Seyi Shay launched her solo career in the country, signing with Flytime Promotions. Two years later, she announced that she had left the label.

That same year, she started working on her debut album and in November 2015, she released it with the title Seyi or Shay. The album was a result of a collaboration with different Nigerian producers including Jay Sleek, Tee Y Mix, Del B, and .

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The performer

Her singing career in her native country had been promoted by the release of two singles (Loving Your Way and No Le Le) in August 2011.

Seyi Shay released an EP in 2018 titled Electric Package and her foray into the Nigerian music scene has been successful. She was worked with popular music video director Clarence Peters and notable artists like Vector, Timaya, Wizkid, Kcee, Olamide, Praiz, Shaydee, and .

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