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I Was Born To Be A Superstar-Shaydee Blue

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Shaydee Blue

Shaydee Blue is a fast rising Nigerian musician. Based in America, she recently came to Nigeria. In this interview, she spoke exclusively about her music and challenges of women in the industry.

You are known to be based in America, what are you doing in Nigeria?

It is always a delight to visit one’s source. It has been an awesome experience since I came into the country. I have been engaged with a lot of big wigs in the industry and I have had a feel of the Nigerian entertainment industry.

What is the objective of this trip?

I am in Nigeria to prepare the ground for my music. I cannot wait to storm the industry.

Shaydee Blue

Having been on a break for a while, do you think you can still make an impact?

Yes, definitely. Despite a seven years break from my music career to raise my children and focus on other aspects of my life, I am yearning to get back to my passion and what I love. I never stopped writing, recording or performing with my band. My collaboration with my producer TeebeeOto has been consistent.

How has the feedback been thus far?

The feedback has been awesome so far. I am very grateful that despite the break I am still being accepted and my music is still being embraced by all. The feedback has been very positive so far.

Despite being based abroad, your songs still have Nigerian flows, how have you managed this?

I try to stay current by listening to what is being released. I am very passionate about what I do. I always like to do my best and still stay true to myself. I was born to stand out.

 You collaborate a lot with TeebeeO, why is this so?

We have similar influences. He seems like the only one who understands me. He understands my tone and my influences.

Having released several singles, do you have plans to drop an album soon?

Yes, I do. I hope to drop an album titled ‘My Way’ this year. After that, I will go on a European and African tour while I work on my next album.

 What is the essence of the tour?

The tour will enable me to connect more with my fans.

How easy is it to combine being a mother, an artiste, and couture?

It’s hard to find a balance but God has been faithful and has enabled me to carry on and make things happen. I wouldn’t want to pretend and say it’s been easy; God’s Grace has afforded me the tenacity. There are times I survive on little or no sleep. I have days when I get so overwhelmed and emotional but I thank God for always keeping me strong and seeing me through. Basically, I would say that my faith in God keeps me strong.

What is your assessment of the music industry in Nigeria?

I feel there is still lots of room for improvement, but I also know there are true talents in Nigeria. Nigerian entertainment is highly rated overseas compare to other countries, especially in Africa. Back in those days, it used to be the Jamaican industry, but Nigeria has taken the lead now.

How comfortable is it rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tiwa Savage, Omawunmi in the industry?

Everyone is unique. As long as you are not trying to be who you are not you succeed.

 What has been your greatest challenge in the industry?

Being a woman most of all. There seems to be a wrong perception of women in the industry, especially in the African music scene. The life of a music artiste is difficult and the schedule is demanding. Another issue is age discrimination and sexualisation of women by the industry as portrayed in the media. The media portrays a distorted view of the successful female music artiste. It seems to affects women in the professional music scene. It is also hard to decipher between which men are honestly being helpful and nice, and which are just trying to sleep with you, it can be daunting. The biggest issue affecting women is that most men still think the industry is a boys’ club. Most of all, I feel even in the 21st century, women with something to say and something great to offer are not acceptable commercially unless they “sex it up” or look like a supermodel. Finally, artistes and musicians do not support each other enough rather they focus on competing instead.

 What stands you out among other female artistes?

I have a unique jazzy, bluesy voice with a strong natural vibrato. My sound is very unique. Basically, you will recognise my voice on the radio without seeing me. I have a very unique tone to my voice.

 Was yours also a musical family?

Yes. I started music at the age of 4. My father Anjola Aboderin is a renowned musician who plays all instruments. He built his own guitar when he was a child in Primary School. I would describe my father as a musical genius. I was raised in a musical home, and our compound was filled with musicians’ day in day out. I am a product of many top musicians mentored by my father. I would watch bands rehearse daily and even have to sleep through my father and his band rehearsing for their next gig. Can you imagine waking up to the sound of your father’s saxophone playing the same song over and over trying to perfect the song and expect music not to be a part and parcel of your existence? Music is my foundation.

How did it all start?

I had my first group at a tender age of 6 performing my first gig at cultural centre Ibadan alongside Wale Thompson and others. I then continued singing and pursuing my passion for music in church as a lead singer and a key member of the church choir.

 Like Don Jazzy and D’banj, you were a member of the JJC 419 Squad, why did you move on?

Then, I was the only girl in the group. After about four to five years, I decided to form my own girl-group called Quali-tee. After a couple of years, I went solo.

You were once quoted as saying that you thought Don Jazzy and D’Banj made a wrong decision in returning to Nigeria, what do you think today?

I feel it is the best time to explore my talent in the Nigerian music scene.

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