Full Name: Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua
Stage Name: Seyi Shay
Place of Birth: London, England.
State of Origin: Lagos State.
Date of Birth: 21 December 1985.
Education: Business Management at the University of East London
Occupation: Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Performer..
Label: ISLAND RECORDS.
Seyi Shay goes by the name of Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua and she is a Nigerian based English singer-songwriter, recording artist, performer, and record producer. Her music has been dubbed a mix of Afro-pop and R&B. Her songs, “Loving Your Way” and “No Le Le” were instant hits when they dropped.
BACKGROUND AND MUSIC EDUCATION
Seyi was brought up in London by Nigerian parents. Her mother was from Northern Nigeria and her father is an indigene of Ife. Seyi was raised in a very religious setting by her single mother. Seyi Shay started coming to Nigeria when she was two and she then she attended Command High School in Maryland, Lagos for her primary education.
When it was time for her tertiary education, she went back to London. She studied music at a local UK college, and went on to study Business Management at the University of East London.
Seyi has been knee deep in music since she was a kid. She started performing at the tender age of 6 and was part of her secondary school choir. She performed for the London Community Gospel Choir during their world tour which spread across 13 cities in Japan and won her critical acclaim.
Her family had a huge role to play concerning her decision to do music. Her mother who is currently late was a chorister in church and her sister used to compose songs for television. Her brother was a radio and club DJ so she had a lot of musical influences.
According to an interview with a Thisday reporter, Seyi Shay revealed that at first, her mother was not in full support of her choice to pursue music as a full time career. She wanted Seyi to finish her studies and become a doctor or a lawyer but eventually, before her death, she came to terms with Seyi’s choice and supported her asking her to put God first in her career.
Seyi Shay is currently working on her debut album. Some of the singles she has dropped leading up to the release of the album include: “Irawo”, “Ragga Ragga”, and “Chairman”.
Seyi is no novice to the music business. She wrote and produced three songs for the soundtrack to Konami’s video game Crime Life: Gang Wars (2005). 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. In 2008, she became the lead singer for the now defunct Pop girl group, ‘From Above’. The group got signed to Sony/Columbia and was managed by Mathew Knowles’ Music World Entertainment Company.
Shay met one on one with Sound Sultan when he came to London in 2011. The Naija Ninja artiste convinced her to relocate to Nigeria and pursue her musical career in her motherland after he heard some of her songs. While working with Sound Sultan in the UK, Shay met with Cecil Hammond of Flytime Promotions who promptly signed her to his record label called Flytime Music. Flytime Music helped launch her solo career in Nigeria. In 2013, Shay left the record label.
Currently, Seyi Shay has worked with a number of producers in Nigeria, including Jay Sleek, Tee Y Mix, Del B, and Cobhams Asuquo, among others. She has also performed at various A-list events and concerts. One of her most noteworthy moments on stage was when she performed the hit song, “Bad” alongside international rap sensation, Wale at the Johnnie Walker Step Up to VIP Lifestyle Launch event.
MEETING BEYONCE’S DAD AND BEING PART OF A GIRL GROUP
At the university four years ago, Seyi joined a British all girls singing group. They were called From Above. It consisted of five girls, two white girls, one mixed breed girl, one Asian girl and me. They rehearsing at the studio in the UK one day and Matthew Knowles, Beyonce’s dad saw them.
They sang for him and there and then he decided to sign them to his Sony/Columbia Record and Music World Entertainment Company. He later took them to Houston and things began to shape from there.
They underwent intense training like vocal and dance training because they were under contract to do stuff. It was called the Star Power Boot Camp. Apparently that was what Destiny’s Child went through back in their time.
A year went by and they were offered the opportunity to support Beyonce on tour, they went round the UK since it’s their territory and the tour was called ‘Beyonce I am’ tour. They went to Manchester, New Castle, Nottingham, London and performed in front of about 16,000 guests every night.
In November 2013, she signed an endorsement deal with telecommunications service provider Etisalat to become their brand ambassador.
2011 “Loving Your Way” “No Le Le”
2012 “Irawo” TBA
“Irawo” (Remix) (featuring Vector)
2013 “Chante” (featuring Ajuju)
“Killin’ Me Softly” (featuring Timaya)
“Chairman” (featuring KCee)
2014 “Murda” (featuring Patoranking and Shaydee)
2013 “For You” (Praiz featuring Seyi Shay)
“Paradise” (Mr Walz featuring Seyi Shay) Walz Have Ears
“Get Down” (Yung GreyC featuring Seyi Shay)
“Yarinya” (Amir featuring Seyi Shay)
Awards and nominations
2015 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) Best Female & Video of the Year TBA Nominated
2014 Channel O Music Video Awards Most Gifted Female “Irawo” Nominated
City People Entertainment Awards Musician of the Year (Female)
2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Female Artist of the Year
World Music Awards World’s Best Song “Ragga Ragga” Nominated
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
Next Rated Herself Nominated
City People Entertainment Awards Best New Musician of the Year (Female) Won
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best New Act of the Year Nominated
Chase Awards Artiste of the Year (Female)
Song of the Year “Irawo”