Having made a bold statement in music, Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua aka Seyi Shay, is set to carve a place in Nollywood. With a new movie, Lara and the Beats where she played the lead role and featured alongside top acts, the singer-turned-actor is ready to shatter the glass ceiling in the industry.
In this chat, Seyi Shay speaks about the sacrifices she made to feature in the film and her relationship with Vector among others. Enjoy it.
You are a musician but acted in Lara and the Beats, what does it feel like been an actress?
There is a slight difference because I write my own music and I perform it. I tend not to act as much, but with a movie, you have to adopt a character. It is quite different since you have to immerse yourself in the character you invent. It’s kind of make-belief, at the same time, it’s still entertaining.
What sacrifices did you make to be part of the movie?
I had to leave my singing career for about a month, because the hours spent on the set were very long, so I couldn’t go to the studio and do my own shows. I lost some shows but I made a great movie. So, I am happy.
Were you worried about the time you took off singing?
I was a bit worried about spending so much time outside the music scene. I thought it would work against me but thankfully, it didn’t. This situation has added to my profile and personality. By the time the movie comes out, it would add to my popularity. It’s just nice to have another category added to my resume.
Would you take on more movie roles?
I had actually said that I won’t take up movie roles again, because it was so long and tiring. As a musician, the longest you do is six to eight hours to shoot a music video, but this took over a month to do. Half way through, I was like ‘oh my God, why did I do this?’ I wished I could turn back the hands of time. But at the end of the movie, I was thoroughly pleased with myself, watching snippets of myself on movie screen. So, would I do it again? Yes, with this production.
What’s Lara and the Beats all about?
Lara is a baby who has a wonderful sister called, Dara. Their parents died, so her uncle takes advantage of the trust fund and squanders everything left to them and they had to make a big adjustment from grace to grass. They had to make their ways through life. What you see as the audience is the journey between riches and rags, and the journey to fame. I really wanted to prove a point, that’s my biggest reason for taking this role. It’s my first role and I feel like I was thrown into a deep end, but I handle pressure well. I like challenges. I feel like I have come this far, and it was just time to venture into something new, and I felt like acting in a movie was the best thing.
What was it like working with Vector?
Vector and I have a long history. He is one of the reasons I stayed in the Nigerian music industry. I was glad it was him and nobody else. It was easy working with him. He was one of the first music friends I had when I moved to Nigeria. He showed me the ropes and he did the remix of Irawo. It was easy to work with him.
Could there be something more to both of you?
I don’t think Lara and the Beats got married but the chemistry that he and I needed was there, and it makes the movie worth seeing.
There were pictures of you and Kiss Daniel flying around on social media, could you tell us what’s going on between both of you?
Kiss Daniel and I have shot a new video, and when it drops, I will talk about it.
How did you feel working with big stars in the film?
I am quite privileged because there are so many big stars in this movie and it’s not often you debut in a movie, playing the lead role. Everybody was nice to me like it was my first movie role. I was having daily coaching and acting classes from different people in the cast.
If you weren’t Seyi Shay, do you think they would have treated you differently?
No, I don’t think Chioma would have cared, she is very professional and everybody on set was there for one thing, and that was to make sure the movie came out excellent.
How do you beat challenges?
I think it’s not always important to show the challenges that you have. Sometimes you just have to make it look easy for people and that why it’s called showbiz. The main thing is that I ensure I work hard and that’s really it. I have overcome obstacles
by the grace of God, and of course, I am not perfect. I have so many problems, but as long as people understand that hard work is really the message, then it’s cool.