Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua

Seyi Shay
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Updated: Nov 16, 2021

She was born on December 21, 1985, in Tottenham, London, England to a mother from Northern Nigerian and a Nigerian father from Ife. She started visiting Nigeria at the age of 2. Although she had her elementary education in London, she attended Command High School, Maryland, Lagos for her secondary education.  She later moved back to London where she studied music in a local UK college.  She also earned a degree in Business Management from the University of East London.

Her music interest was motivated by her mother and siblings who were also involved in music. Her mother was a chorister, her sister composed songs for TV and her brother was a radio and club disc jockey. At age 14, she performed at the London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) world-wide tour which included 13 cities in Japan.

Her first-ever record deal was with a record company in affiliation with George Martin (Fifth Beatle) ‘No Apology’. Shay formed ‘Boadicea’, a girl band, in 2006. The group got disbanded in 2008.

Sound Sultan convinced Shay to return to Nigeria after they met during one of his visits to London in 2011. She got introduced to Cecil Hammond of Flytime Promotions and got signed into the record label to launch her solo career in Nigeria. In 2012, she released ‘Irawo’ which became an instant hit. Shay left Flytime Promotions in 2013.

In July 2015, Seyi signed an international record deal with Universal Island Records UK which distributes her music worldwide.

Seyi Shay wrote ‘You Will See’, a song that was included on Melanie C’s third studio album ‘Beautiful Intentions’. She also wrote ‘White Lies’, a song from Chip’s Transition album.

She dropped her debut album ‘Seyi or Shay’ in 2015.



2017 – Nigeria Entertainment Awards, Afropop Artist of the Year

2016 – Nigerian Ten Choice Award, Exemplary Female Artist

2016 – Nigerian Entertainment Awards, R&B Artist of the Year

2015 – Nigerian Entertainment Awards, Best Collaboration of the Year

2015 – Nigerian Teen Choice Awards, Choice Female Artist of the Year

2013 – City People Entertainment Awards, New Musician of the Year

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