Celebrity Of The Week – Meet Nigeria’s sultry songstress, Seyi Shay

Nigeria’s sultry singer and diva, Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua with stage name, Seyi Shay who came to lime light in the music scene in 2011 with hit songs ‘Loving Your Way’ and ‘Irawo’, features on our Celebrity of the week segment.

Seyi Shay signed under Island record, has carve out a niche for herself in the entertainment industry, off her new EP, Seyi Shay releases one of her most anticipated song, Alele featuring Flavour & Dj Consequence.

The sultry songstress/actress who was on TVC’s breakfast show, Wake Up Nigeria performed ‘Alele’ live on the show.

After her performance the actress talked about her latest EP which she titles ‘Electric Package’, her big move into acting and more.

Seyi Shay’s Early Life

Seyi Shay,born 21 December 1985 was brought up in London by Nigerian parents. Her late 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 came to Nigeria when she was two where 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.

Music Career

Seyi has started music from a very tender age. 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 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.

At the university four years ago, Seyi joined a British all girls singing group. It consisted of five girls, two white girls, one mixed breed girl, one Asian girl and Seyi. They were 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.

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 defunct Pop girl group.
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.

Seyi Shay’s BIG Break into the Nigerian Music Industry

Seyi met one on one with Sound Sultan when he came to London in 2011. The 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, Seyi 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, Seyi left the record label.

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.

She released her debut studio album, Seyi or Shay, in November 2015. It has popular singles like ‘Jangilova’ and ‘Right Now’.

In 2017, she got everybody stepping to “Yolo Yolo”.


Seyi Shay and Controversy

In December 2017, rumours had it that Seyi Shay underwent cosmetic surgery to increase her butt.

Rumors of her surgery stirred up after a picture of the singer appeared online dressed in a transparent outfit.

The singer who spoke with Punch refuted claims that she did a butt surgery but revealed she almost had her boobs operated on.

I did not get this big bum through injections or surgery. If I did not do surgery on my boobs, is it my backside I would then operate on?

I have been getting a lot of compliments since my backside added. I wanted to do a boob job but I changed my mind and the reason is that I realised that I could fit into almost anything especially sample sizes from designers.

Someone advised me to be doing squats. Till now, I spend most of my time in the gym.

Having big buttocks was one of the good things that happened to me this year. I do 100 squats in the morning, in the afternoon I do 50 and then at night, I do another 100. It hurts a lot but it is worth it; I would not lie about that, the pain is worth

Addressing the transparent dress that broke the internet, Seyi Shay said, “I wore that dress in New York. I dare not wear such in Nigeria. New York is one of the most fashion inclined cities in the world. The dress was made by Sokayna who is a crème de la crème designer in the world.

He is Senegalese but he is doing very well for himself. Recently, Rihanna, Madonna and even Nicki Minaj, wore the same jacket I got from him. They all shop from him so it was an honour and a privilege to wear his piece.

Why would I say no to such an offer? Even if the dress were a string, I would have still worn it. Also, if I had worn anything underneath the dress, it would have spoilt the design, it was not designed for anything to be worn underneath it,” she added.


In 2013, she signed an endorsement deal with telecommunications service provider Etisalat to become their brand ambassador.

In 2015, she was made a Pepsi Ambassador.

In 2016, she was made an ambassador for Nigerian Stock Exchange alongside Burna Boy. She also became an ambassador for Middle east telecoms company, Samssons.

In 2017, she became yet another ambassador for phone brand, Gionee.

Awards and Nominations

She was nominated for The Headies in the Next Rated and Best Female Vocal Performance category in 2013.

She won City People Awards for Best New Musician in 2013.

She was nominated in 2015 for MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) for Best Female And Video Of The Year.

Watch her performance and Interview below:

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