top of page

Diaspora Stars: Seyi Shay

Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, popularly known as Seyi Shay, is a Nigerian actress, singer, and composer who was born on December 21st, 1985. She wrote and produced three songs for the soundtrack to Konami's video game Crime Life: Gang Wars (2005). She also contributed to Melanie C's third studio album, Beautiful Intentions, with the song "You Will See" (2005). "White Lies," a song from Chip's Transition album, was written by Shay. Oluwaseyi  assumed the role of lead vocalist for the now-disbanded pop girl group From Above in 2008. The trio was under the management of Mathew Knowles' Music World Entertainment organization and had a recording contract with Sony's Columbia Records. Shay inked an endorsement agreement with the phone company Etisalat in November 2013. She inked a record deal with Island Records in July 2015. She agreed to a two-year endorsement contract with Pepsi in 2015.

Seyi or Shay, Shay's debut studio album, was released in November 2015. It was supported by the promotional tracks "Irawo," "Ragga Ragga," "Right Now," and "Murda," which featured Patoranking and Shaydee. She inked a publishing contract with the Universal Music Publishing Group France branch in January 2021, working together with Universal Music France.


Shay was born and raised by Nigerian parents in Tottenham, London, England. Her father is an Ife native, while her mother is from Northern Nigeria. She has an older sister and two older brothers. Her single mother reared her and her siblings. Shay was raised in a Christian household. Since she is the only child of her mother and father, she frequently felt like a lone child during her youth. She began travelling to Nigeria when she was just two years old and finally enrolled at Maryland's Command High School in Lagos.

She returned to London to finish her undergraduate degree at the University of East London, which she also attended and from which she received a BA Hons in Music Business Management. Her family members had an impact on her musical interests. Her brother was a well-known club and radio DJ in London, her sister used to write music for the BBC, and her late mother was a chorister.

At age 6, Shay joined the chorus at her high school and began singing. The London Community Gospel Choir visited 13 cities in Japan as part of their globe tour, where she gave a performance. Thisday's Lanre Odukoya had a conversation with Shay, who said that her mother wasn't a fervent advocate for her musical aspirations. Her mother also wished for her to pursue a career as a doctor or lawyer. Her mother encouraged her before she left the Earth to concentrate on her music career and put God first.


Her music career took an upswing when she signed her first-ever record deal with No Apologies, a record company affiliated with Sir George Martin (commonly referred to as the "Fifth Beatle"). In 2006, Shay formed a girl band in the UK called Boadicea; they were managed by Ron Tom, the founder, and manager of All Saints and Sugababes. The band separated after two years, and Shay decided to partake in the From Above UK singing audition. After the conclusion of the audition, she emerged as the lead vocalist for the now-defunct girl group From Above. The group inked a record deal with Mathew Knowles' management company after performing for him. They were taken to Houston to undergo energetic vocal and dance training. The group supported Beyoncé while she was in the UK for her I Am... World Tour. They presented the Best New Act award to Bruno Mars at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards and had their own MTV reality show called Breaking From Above, which aired in over 166 countries around the world. The group later disassembled and Shay had an opportunity to continue her management deal with Mathew Knowles, as well as secure a recording contract with Sony. Instead, she made a decision to join Fly time Music after getting an offer from them. Shay has worked with a number of musicians, including Justin Timberlake, Brian Michael Cox, Darey, Bilal, Michelle Williams, Chip, Rob Knoxx, H-Money, and Cameron Wallace.


Follow me for more:

visit my website

Featured Posts
Follow Me
bottom of page