Interviews, Music

‘I am particular about music that has depth’ – SEYI AJAYI

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Music that speaks to the heart, with depth and originality, that’s what Seyi Ajayi stands for. Clearly, she’s not one for mediocrity!

Having honed her skills working with A-listers like Sunny Neji, Mr Kool, Dekunle Fuji, African China for years, she’s ready to launch her solo career and she’s bringing unexplored music.

Oluwaseyi Kehinde Ajayi, known in the music circle as Seyi Ajayi, a soul singer and songwriter sits down with ENCOMIUM Weekly and talks about her music

 

IMG-20151009-WA000There are a lot of career choices, why music?

I started singing at age five. Whenever I sing I’m always happy, and in life you have to do whatever makes you happy. I could have been an engineer or something else but I didn’t find joy doing those things, I found joy singing. I just knew music was it for me, it’s my passion, so I decided to follow it through!

You studied a bit of law, then switched broadcasting, tell us about that?

I went to Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University) to study Law in 2004 and I started with Diploma, but there was problem in my school. It was a period when you had to have a relative that was either a Justice in the state or Lawyer before you could gain admission to study Law. It was difficult for someone without any of this to pursue Law at that time. I just though since it wasn’t possible to pursue a degree in Law, I decided to go for broadcasting.

You are both a broadcaster and musician, is there any connection between them?

IMG-20151009-WA001I would say yes! When I was working on radio at Eko FM, I had a slot where I was interviewing musicians and actors. We talk about many things, I had the likes of 9ice, Funsho Adeolu and others on the programme. I didn’t actually go out of what I love, the two were going hand in hand and it was fine for me.

You were a backup singer to quite a number of stars, how has it been going from behind the scene to being the main person?

It’s been somewhere in-between smooth and rough for me. I started backing up in 2000 and I started with Dekunle Fuji, I’m not even sure he will remember me now. From there I started looking for a band I could sing with. In this industry, you have to know what you want and be focused to learn from people you work with. Believe me, we have a lot of talent in the industry, most of the people I have worked with are very talented.

There are some musicians that just wow you with their talent and you are asking yourself, “is this how this person composes his song? Some people don’t have to tell you to come and learn, you just have to observe them and you’ll learn w whole lot. So, for me if you strive hard and have a focus you will get there.

I have always wanted to do this but I didn’t have the platform to launch the way I would like to. I just try my best to gather my resources together because nobody is really ready to help you. For me it’s been a rough one.

Who are some of the artistes you have worked with?

IMG-20151009-WA002-1Sunny Neji, and I would like to emphasise on that because he is one of the few people that gave me the chance. I actually met him via SMS, I sent him a text and interestingly he gave me audience. He asked if I could sing and I said yes, I sang and he liked it! That was how I joined his band. For me if I’m gonna rate an artiste in Nigeria, I can’t list three artiste without mentioning him, he is super talented. I call him a walking Mp3 (laughs). I have also worked with 9ice, Mr Kool, African China and others.

There are a lot of singers out there, what do you bring to the table that stands you out?

Firstly, I’m a very versatile artiste, though I’m at peace with soul and RnB, it’s my identity, like a part of me. I’ll be doing songs in different genres, being flexible I still want people to listen to my song and go “oh! Is that the same person?” Actually, I’m an inspirational singer but versatility is the title of the game; a little bit of highlife and a lot of soul. My goal is for people to listen to my songs and say “this lady keeps giving me chills”. I’m exploring uncharted territory, music that’ll make you stop in your tracks and listen to it.

Do you think the Nigeria audience is ready for that?

I have realised one thing about Nigeria music audience and it is that they are very unusual, they are not very easy to predict. One thing is that they know good music when they hear it and they are ready to buy into good music. All they need is to identify who you are, understand your style and they will accept you. As long as you are original. The industry is evolving.

Who are the artiste you would like to work with?

First, I would say Oritsefemi. I like him a lot as a singer, he adds that something special to collaborations. He is very talented. Another person is Cobhams. Everything Cobhams does has depth, if he is working on your song, just go and rest. Of course, my boss Sunny Neji, I would still like to work with him. Also, Darey Art Alade, P Square and Waje, she’s good! I know people would be wondering about my choices and it’s because I want depth. I’m not saying every other person does not, but these guys have the kind that connects to me, that calls to me.

IMG-20151009-WA001-1Who are the artistes you would like to work with?

First, I would say Oritsefemi. I like him a lot as a singer, he adds that something special to collaborations. He is very talented. Another person is Cobhams. Everything Cobhams does has depth, if he is working on your song, just go and rest. Of course, my boss Sunny Neji, I would still like to work with him. Also, Darey Art Alade, P Square and Waje, she’s good! I know people would be wondering about my choices and it’s because I want depth. I’m not saying every other person does not, but these guys have the kind that connects to me, that calls to me.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Oluwaseyi Kehinde Ajayi, I’m a musician and I have been doing music for quite a long time. I studied a bit of law, then furthered in broadcasting. Basically, music has been it for me all along, I have been always been in music. I come from a family of eight, and five of us use to sing together in an acapella group.

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