I was born in Tottenham, London, United Kingdom. My late mother was from the northern part of Nigeria while my father is a native of Ile Ife, Osun State. I have two elder brothers and an elder sister. I grew up in a religious home.
Before coming to Nigeria, I was enrolled in an elementary school in the UK. When I got to Nigeria, I attended Command High School in Maryland, Lagos, Nigeria. I then travelled back to the UK where I went to a music school before proceeding to the University of East London, United Kingdom. I studied Business Management.
My interest in music was influenced by my family members. My mother was a chorister and my sister used to compose songs for television series, while my brother was a disc jockey. After leaving my former girl band, my parents advised me to move to Nigeria and I was introduced to some people who had connections in Lagos. Within a year that I relocated to Nigeria, I recorded two songs and a video. I began with free shows before I started earning money.
I call my style afro-salsa. When I released Yoloyolo, I loved the way people fell in love with it; so, I decided to stick to the style. I call it a happy sound. With the situation in the country now, people need to be happy and stay positive. Yoloyolo is an original afrobeat song but I commercialised it. If you listen to it deeply, it has an element of the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s afrobeat. I only made the sound contemporary.
I get inspiration from my mood or experience. Also, a good beat inspires me. Right Now is my favourite song so far. When I performed Right Now at the last edition of the All Africa Music Awards, the crowd was very excited and everyone sang along with me. Despite the hall being crowded with people from different parts of Africa, they connected to the song. But Yoloyolo has transformed my music career. It has taken me to East Africa and South Africa.
I am the star of the movie, Lara and the Beat. I acted the role of the lead character, Lara. It is my first acting role and I can’t wait till July 20 to see what Nigerians think of my acting skills because it is something new for me. The experience on the set of Lara and the beat was amazing and fun for me. When I was told that I would be playing the lead role in a movie, I did not want to do it. It was after visiting Aunty Biola Alabi (executive producer of the movie) that I had a second thought. When I read the script, I fell in love with it as it is similar to my story. I just felt the producer wanted me for the originality of the character. If I were the executive producer, I would also have settled for someone who has not acted before but would deliver the role.
We started the process of my new EP, Electric Package, in November last year. I recorded over 20 songs and I picked what we were looking for. With this new project, I want to connect to our roots. I want to connect with the grass roots more as certain people think Seyi Shay is too far from Nigerians. I still plan to release the second and third volumes this year and I plan to add international collaborations. Once I have released three volumes, I would have more than an album.
Before my mother died, she told me I should do all I wanted to do before marriage. She also told me not to allow any man to come between me and my dream. I just feel we have many men who are scared of successful women. However, I am ready for marriage whenever it comes.
I like classy things and I like to look timeless. However, whenever I am home, I like to wear a T-shirt and shorts.
I like to cook. I have found a new love for cooking. For me, this shows that all the time I spent in the kitchen with my mother and siblings did not go to waste. I like preparing efo and egusi soup and it is my favourite Nigerian dish.