– Reveals real reason behind her marriage break up
Afro beat star, May7ven recently had an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly at Pattaya Oriental Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos, where she talked about a lot of issues including her new music release. She further spoke about women in the afro beat genre commending the likes of Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay. She revealed the real cause of her marriage breakup and how she has been coping as a single mother…
Why did you move to Nigeria this time?
I have always had a house here, it is not a permanent move. I am here to do promotion. I can’t be here all the time because I have my base in the U.K. It was not a decision to move because I have my base in the U.K.
What are you working on presently?
I am working on my album. I plan to release it this year. I have never had an album, but I have EPs and different bodies of work but not an album so, that is the main focus, new music, new video and collaborations.
What do you have to offer the Nigeria market?
I have to offer them what has been missing for a long time which is pure originality as a true musician and make sure the music is on great platforms all over the world. I have been fortunate to be on MTV, not African MTV. I have not been tagged under the African umbrella. So, when I get my awards I am not on afrobeat, I am an artiste, coming to the Nigerian industry I have tons of experience outside of Nigeria and I have original music. It is not going to sound like something you have heard before. My music is different; we can’t all sound the same. Music should be different that is why it is a competitive industry, but if you have something to offer, you should not worry about competition.
How challenging has it been shuttling Nigeria and the U.K.?
It has been very challenging, flight cost, it has not been easy, because I am funding myself. There is no rich man paying my bills. And I don’t have a record company. All I have is my family in the U.K., my business in the U.K. So, flying back and forth has been the main challenge.
There was a rumour that Tiwa and Seyi Shay used to be backup singers for you. What do you have to say about it?
No, they were never backup singers for me. We use to backup together. So Tiwa and I used to be backup singers for Blue Kantrel and that was before we were anybody. When I gave birth to my son, Tiwa was there, so there is no rivalry amongst us. We are very close. Tiwa is like my little sister. When she wanted to come to Nigeria, it was me she came to, and I have been doing my music here, then I had done two MTV hits. I had toured with Glo before she came to Nigeria. So, she came to me in Nigeria and said, Yemisi Odunsi, what is in Nigeria? Why did you go to Nigeria? And we spoke openly about everything and a few months after, she came back to London and said I have this new song called Kele kele. Few months later, she came back to my house in London to show me and my sister the video, so we have been together. Obviously, with time and she being here and I am there, it is hard for us to communicate because she is busy with her life and I am busy with mine. But I and Tiwa, we are forever more because I still have video of I and Tiwa singing in parks when I was 12.
For Seyi Shay, I met her in a studio a year or two before she came to Nigeria. So, these girls are friends to me. There is no competition, and mind you, whatsoever. I love them; I always congratulate Seyi Shay about whatever she is doing, equally with Tiwa. But people have their different approaches. I don’t know what they will feel about me now.
Aside music, what else are you into?
I am into property and architecture and I am also into PR in the U.K. I am a philanthropist and into charity.
How do you think you will be relevant in the music industry due to the saturated Nigerian music scene?
For me, I think everyone is the same, there are only five to 10 key people that are doing well. The rest are just doing their thing and claiming big. In Nigeria, I have seen a lot of loopholes and I know who is doing well and who is not. So, I don’t see myself having difficulty rather I have a lot of advantages because people know me and I have made a name already.
You have your own unique style but people tend to judge you by the fact that your dad was a popular person in Nigeria and he must have made the way for you, is that true?
The thing is, I have been doing this before we had a proper industry, thank God for God and YouTube. So, if they are still saying that now, that means those people have small brains, because I have been doing it consistently for 15 to 20 years. Anyone writing that I am new in the industry has not done proper research. My dad did not bring me into the industry. He saw me on TV the same time everyone saw me on TV. He did not even know about the video I was doing, I did everything independently. When I was on MTV, my dad could not help so, if it was my dad’s help, how did I do it in the U.K?
When you divorced, how easy was it for you to move on?
It was devastating that we ended the relationship but as Tiwa said, he made it easy, because if you have a spouse that is cheating left right and centre, bringing women to the house, it is easy to use that energy to divorce him, he made it easy but many years down the line, I have learnt that as a woman, you don’t make decisions while in a state of argument level. You have to pause and look at the marriage and look at the man. You married him for a reason, then you should try to work things out and if at the end it didn’t work, then you can make a decision. But me, I did not do that, I just packed my bags and left my home and I was very angry but now, I will like to say we are friends.
I met him when I was 15 in school and we have been separated for over nine years now. So, I met him when I was very young, I was not matured when we married. I had my first son when I was 17 and after I left he suffered depression.
What is your relationship status?
Presently, I am in a serious relationship.
For how long?
Since I left my husband, I did not wait, I moved on about a year later, because my boyfriend had always been there. But for the first year of the relationship, we were just flirting but, he needs to get serious. We are so compatible because we do everything together.
What should your fans expect from you?
My album should be coming soon, you will see more of me in Nigeria. This is home, no matter wherever I go in the world, I still want t come here, and I will have more music for the women to empower ourselves. People believe it is a man’s world but my agenda is to break it down which one person cannot do alone. I want to make sure I educate the girls, make them have and confidence in themselves.
– GLORY OSIGWE