Seyi Shay (Real Name: Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, born 21 December 1985) is a United Kingdom-born Nigerian singer-songwriter, recording artist, performer, and actress who has an estimated net worth of $4.5 million. She is known for several of her songs such as ‘Right Now’ and ‘Irawo’.
Only a handful of female artists have succeeded in making a huge breakthrough with their singing talent, and their efforts largely impact the Nigerian music industry. One of such women with an excellent career in the industry is Seyi Shay. As a reward for her efforts, Seyi Shey not only boasts a massive fan base but also a mouth-watering net worth estimated at $4.5 million.
Seyi Shay is undoubtedly one of the reigning queens of the Nigerian music industry, thanks to her ability to churn out some chart-topping hit after hit.
Seyi Shay Hails from Osun State, South-West Nigeria
The Afropop singer is one of many Nigerian celebrities who were born abroad. She was born in Tottenham, London, England, to Nigerian parents who named her Oluwaseyi Odedere. Seyi’s father is an indigene of Ife (a town in Osun State, South West, Nigeria), which means the singer’s ethnicity is Yoruba. However, her mother hails from one of the Northern states in Nigeria. Nothing much is known about her parents and siblings except that they lived in the United Kingdom for many years.
Seyi spent her early years in England until she was 2 years of age when she started visiting her home country, Nigeria. She eventually relocated to Nigeria, where she completed her high school education at Command High School, Maryland, Lagos State. She holds a degree in music and business management, which she obtained from a local UK college and the University of East London, respectively.
Her Family Has an Extensive Background in Music
Being born into a family with proximity to a certain profession could help you develop a special interest in it, gain inside knowledge, and even be privy to career-centered opportunities that others may not have access to. This is a true situation for Seyi Shay, who grew up among family members with a passion for music. Shay was raised by her single mother, who, as a Christian, was a church chorister. She has three siblings- two brothers, one of which was a prominent club and radio DJ in London, and a sister who used to compose songs for the BBC.
It took Seyi Shay only a few years to master some aspects of music, after which she decided to pursue a professional career in music. At the young age of six, Shay joined her secondary school choir to perform for the London Community Gospel Choir during their world tour, which included 13 cities in Japan. She was also a member of several musical groups over there. Her talent has also taken her to several cities in many countries, where she wowed the audience with her wonderful voice.
Her participation in the competition further fueled her passion for pursuing music as a career. When it was time for Seyi to take up courses that would help her boost her career in music, she faced strong opposition from her mother, who wanted her to become a doctor or lawyer. However, before her death, her mother told her to focus on her music career and put God first.
A Look At Seyi Shay’s Breakthrough in the Music World
Being a successful female musician in a competitive industry dominated by men is not an easy feat. It requires talent, prowess, effort, expertise, and a lot of hard work, and Seyi Shay has proven she has all it takes to take over the music industry in her home country and beyond. Her music career started when she signed her first music deal with the record label No Apology, and afterward, formed a UK-based girl band called Boadicea in 2006. However, the group went their separate ways two years later.
The Nigerian-based artist became the group’s lead vocalist after she won the highly-coveted ”From Above UK singing audition,” which led to the group signing a deal with Matthew Knowles’ management company and undergoing serious vocal and dance training. The girls also launched their own MTV reality show titled: “Breaking From Above” (it aired in over 166 countries worldwide) and were also present at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards, where they presented an award to recipients.
Seyi Shay later scored a recording deal with Sony and has continued to move from one level of success to another. Her return to Nigeria to pursue her music career was inspired by Nigerian rapper and singer Sound Sultan, who she met in London in 2011. After listening to her demos, Sultan convinced her to relocate to Nigeria and pursue her musical career. Under Cecil Hammond’s record label Fly time Music, Seyi was able to launch her solo career in Nigeria and promote her brand. The superstar’s debut album “Seyi or Shay” was released in 2015, while her second studio album titled: “Electric Package” followed in 2018.
Her Awards and Recognitions
In addition to gaining a huge fan base, Seyi Shay has also received awards for a job well done in most of his hit songs. Her name was first listed for an award in 2013 when her song ‘Irawo’ was nominated for the ‘Best Vocal Performance (Female)’ award category at the year’s Headies. While she lost it to Nikki Laoye’s “Only You,” Shay received her first award at the City People Entertainment Awards for the ‘Best New Musician of the Year (Female)’ category. Her next and latest award won was at the 2019 Headies, where she received the award for the ‘Best R&B Single’ category for her song “Gimme Love,” which was released in 2018.
A complete list of awards Seyi Shay has won so far include
- 2013 City People Entertainment Awards for ‘Best New Musician of the Year (Female)’ category
- The Headies (2019) awards for ‘Best R&B Single’ category
How Seyi Shay Accrued Her $4.5 Million Net Worth
Sold-out tours, hit songs, endorsement deals, concerts, enviable accolades, huge fan base, and global achievements are some of the ranking factors of the best in the music industry. Though not the richest compared to Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, and Omawumi, Seyi Shay is definitely one of the richest female artists in the Nigerian music world.
She could be rated as one of the top five of the most successful female artists in the country, thanks to her talents and hard work. Seyi is one woman with many talents – she sings, writes, and records songs, but beyond that, she has garnered much income from various other channels. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Shay was able to gain her financial stance.
Her Music Career
Ever since Seyi Shay broke into stardom with her talent, she has been in the spotlight for outstanding performance on stage and collaborating with several big artists like Michelle Williams, Justin Timberlake, Rob Knoxx, Brian Michael Cox, and many others. According to several websites, she makes her highest income from her music career. Musicians like Seyi Shay make money from royalties, advances, playing live, selling merchandise, and licensing fees for their music.
Although the exact amount she made from selling thousands of her records while also performing at numerous shows, tours, and events across the globe is unknown, it is quite clear that the Afropop star has left no stone unturned in ensuring those areas are covered. Her biggest performances include the Darey Art Alade’s Love Like A Movie concert held on 15 February 2014, the 2013 COSON song awards, and one of Big Brother Africa 8’s live eviction shows.
Shay’s record label signings with Island Records and the universal music publishing group were six-figure deals that surely lined her pocket with a few more millions. One of her hit songs, Yolo Yolo, has garnered over a million views, translating to thousands of dollars for her. The music video was also nominated at the 12th edition of The Headies for Best Music Video, and it became Bailey’s commercial soundtrack for the West and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Like most other music stars, Seyi Shay earned part of her net worth from side gigs, including brand endorsements. One of her earliest deals was signed in 2013, with telecommunications service provider Etisalat, now known as 9Mobile. In 2015, the ‘Right Now’ crooner joined music stars, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage as ambassadors for the world-class beverage company Pepsi. This came after she signed a 2-year contract with the company. In 2017, she bagged an endorsement deal with Gionee, another telecommunications company.
She Also makes Money From Acting Gigs
Seyi Shey added acting to her career list after playing a role in Urenna Ukiwe’s 2018 drama film, Lara and the Beat. The 137 minutes film, which talks about two sisters, Lara Giwa and Dara Giwa, who were stripped of their wealth due to a financial scandal that ruins their father’s empire, has Shay playing Lara Giwa.
She shared the screen with Saheed Balogun, DJ Xclusive, Uche Jombo, Chioma Chukwuka, and Chinedu Ikedieze. The drama premiered on July 8, 2018, and grossed up to N31 million at the box office. This is her first lead role in a Nollywood film. It is not known if she has made further appearances to date.
Seyi Shay is Currently Single
The Afropop singer is still in the market. In other words, she is not married yet but could do so sometime in the future. It is unknown to the media if she is secretly dating someone, but her fans are pretty sure she would show her man to the world someday. More so, Shay has no children of her own neither has she been in the news for getting married to a man previously.