Music Business

Newcomer Seyi Shay Reveals Way Too Much Information to Media & Fans: Mathew Knowles (Beyonce’s Father’s) Indecisiveness, Unauthorized MV Upload & More!

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She is talented, smart, beautiful and I don’t get why anyone would even compare her to artist Tiwa Savage. Tiwa is talented, equally beautiful but the difference is clear, like 7up. ( I also think) she is a newcomer that, in my view, can really do some serious damage in Africa’s music industry but that is left to be seen. Nevertheless, Artist Seyi Shay, the first and sole artist signed to Cecil Hammond’s Fly Time Music Records, definitely gave way too much legal drama information as a “new” artist on Nigeria’s music scene. Typically, most new artist, regardless of how many years they have been doing music, do not arrive on a new music scene/market and just unfold all of their drama on the ears of the music industry and new fans. Clearly not Seyi Shay.

In a recent interview with Factory 78, alone, the artist drops so much legal drama about her past it feels awkward just listening. I’m thinking, “beautiful, I’m just trying to get to know you. Think of it as being on a first date Miss. Can you not spill so much, just yet?” We are just getting to know Seyi Shay, at least other African diaspora groups beyond the UK as well as the rest of Africa. I’d like to have seen Ms. Shay either: 1) hold off on the interview till more people know about her; or 2) diplomatically say she would rather not discuss the details on the direct questions asked.

Also, her single ‘Loving Your Way’ is hot but when she explains how it came about, and given all she discussed in the interview with Factory 78, I kept thinking, “I hope legal drama does not show up here too. Sheesh!”

The key issues I had with her interview are as follows:

1. Her statement, “From Above is in a place where we are deciding what to do and I’m not too sure what Mathew Knowles plans to do.” Her body language and delivery didn’t help either. Both from a legal and non-legal perspective, this was too much information (TMI). Why do we need to know all that? She could have just said, “there is so much going on and you will be the first to know about plans we have for From Above when we are ready to reveal it.” She denied leaving the group yet discussed her moving on and/or Mathew Knowles moving on.  For the UK fans, given she is a lead singer of that group, they do not need their confidence shaken; since her manager is the one that should be speaking on this issue. (You are still with the group. Stop right there.) For Nigeria/USA and Africa in general it is totally TMI.

2. Discussions on what amounts to an admission that she violated an existing  agreement, implicit or explicit, with Mathew Knowles when she uploaded a video she should not have ; and had to take it down. She went into waaaaaaay too much details here.  Her revelation also showed the right hand does not know what the left is doing in Mathew Knowles’ camp. This was unnecessary. She could have been diplomatic here too. Also, is that what Flytime should look forward to if there is ever an issue with the terms of her agreement and Flytime? Substitute every Mathew Knowles mention with “Cecil Hammond.”  She needs to work more on her interviews. I am not feeling the walking liability component she carries with her.

Seyi, fellow Command Ikeja woman here. Check it. Even if Factory 78 is a UK media brand you are intimately familiar with (i.e. e chill on first name basis e de je amala ati ewedu and gbo gbo e), you are speaking to a Nigerian and African audience at large who do not know your personal or corporate brand. Many of us are meeting you, for the first time. Take it easy on the legal drama  you reveal from your past. It is unnecessary, could potentially expose you and Flytime to liability and is very distracting from what we need to know about you. All we need to know is that you are a new talent, beautiful, have the experience and you are ready to take on Nigeria and Africa’s music industry. You shouldn’t be dumping, on the laps of  Nigeria/Africa’s media, bloggers and new fans, unnecessary old drama from the UK, unless of course you want us to make that the focal point of what you represent.

I love your Tiwa Savage answer. Now apply the same idea to responses dealing with Mathew Knowles and ‘From Above.’


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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
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