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Why I See Music As My Drug – British-Nigerian Singer, Shady Blue Opens Up

Posted by Samuel on Thu 28th Apr, 2022 -

In this interview, the mother of two opened up on her life challenges and revealed how she battled cancer with music.


Shady Blue, the Afrocentric soul queen, is a talented British-Nigerian singer, who came from an illustrious family. 

She, nevertheless, embraced humility and began fending for herself from the age of 12. 

Shady worked her way through the ladder of life to establish her pedigree as a sonorous musician, mother, consultant, entrepreneur, and an icon of the African ethos of ‘Ise logun ise’ (hard work, the antidote to poverty and lack).

In this interview, the mother of two opened up on her life challenges and revealed how she battled cancer with music. Please enjoy it.

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I’m a mother of two boys and I work as well. I’m a programme manager in an information technology firm, but I’m a musician first because that’s the way I was born. It’s in my blood and I’m also a business owner. The business didn’t actually happen until COVID-19 started, and since then, I’ve released a lot of songs in the last two years. I’m focusing more on my music now because my kids are at the age where I can afford to focus on music fully, and I am back home (Nigeria) to promote a couple of my songs.

You went back to music at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, the onset of COVID-19 stopped a lot of people, but also gave others more opportunities, because if you’re creative enough, you can think outside the box and figure out how to let the restriction innovate you. I used that period to my advantage and decided to focus more on my music.

Your latest body of work with Neo Phlames is a true-life story; can you share what your childhood was like?

My childhood was very humble. I didn’t have the silver spoons. I didn’t get handed things. I’ve always been a hard worker. And I realised that most times I’m always doing things myself. I carried all my burdens by myself. And, of course, for those that have heard my song, I remember when nobody had my time, but now everybody wants to be a part of what I’m doing. There was a time when I was struggling. I was hustling and couldn’t even do half the things I was meant to do. I’ve been so self-sufficient through God’s grace. So far, I’m able to do anything I want to do myself. For some reason, I’m getting more interest from the people that weren’t there from the get-go. They didn’t have my time then, but all of a sudden they all want to be a part of this journey when all the hard work has been done, which is quite strange. But I guess that’s life.

Would you say your childhood is one of the reasons your style of music is Afrocentricsoulful?

Yes, very much. My dad is a jazz musician. So, my background is jazz. We had a lot of top musicians come into the house. Tunji Oyelana is like a mentor to me because he’s my dad’s best friend. So, my background was around jazz. I used to watch my dad and the things he did when he played all instruments. My original style is jazz, which is why it comes with my style. Afrocentricsoulful jazz is a fusion of different sounds because I’ve got a jazzy voice.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve written many songs but I’ve only released 15. My favourite of all is titled, Sokagbo. Flip Ties produced it. The song was written by Neo Phlames and I. Sokagbo is also a love story, or let me say it is a love story gone wrong. It’s not a personal story by the way. We were just being creative. And it’s about having a new relationship and the person is acting the same way as your other failed relationships. And I’m saying everybody keeps doing this to me and you’re doing the same thing.

What inspired most of your songs?

Real-life scenarios; I like people to be able to relate to my music. It is also more about the passion for music. Music is the most creative part of me. It is my happy place. It is where I’d go when everything goes wrong. It is where I go to if I’m sick and when I am on sickbed. I have been through a lot in the last few years. I guess that’s what brought about this inspiration. And I’m going to be open about it. The last time I came to Nigeria, I was diagnosed with cancer. However, when I got back, thank God I didn’t even have to do the surgery, I only went for a biopsy and that disappeared. I have a second skin. The second skin made me think of life in a different way, that tomorrow is not promised. So, I had put more effort into my happy place, which is music. I also get my inspiration when I sleep; I dream of new ideas for my creatives. I have a lot of young people around me, including Neo Phlames, and a lot of producers.

Everyday young, vibrant musicians are springing up; do you feel pressured?

It is not the most talented in music that succeeds. Music is a part of my life. I do it for passion, not money. I have never made profit from my music. My music career has cost me a lot of money. I have a regular job. Music doesn’t pay me; I pay music. I see music as my drug. I don’t drink or smoke. Music is the biggest risk of my life.

Any plans on featuring big names and the collaboration you would love to see?

There are some amazing artistes I really love, like Simi; I love her creativity. I love her husband too, especially the way they work together. I’m beginning to like Wizkid even though Davido was the one I really liked. Wizkid is growing, his music is maturing, and we all need to mature with time. Another collaboration I’d like to see is that of myself, Dbanj and Seun Kuti. That would be a killer!


Source: Sun News

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