There’s no doubt Balogun Afolabi Oluwaloseyi is special, whether it’s his reinvention of a trappy blend of hip-hop, his unique traditional African sound with heavily worded lyrics, pop hooks delivered with the calm certainty of a superstar, or the catchy melody he blesses every record with, something undoubtedly sticks about him.
Seyi Vibez is one of the youths from the trenches turning to music not only as a source of escape but a source to a better life, who are bringing stories of the Lagos hood to the mainstream. He rose to prominence with the release of his viral breakout single ‘God Sent’ a narrative ballad about a hustler trying to be successful, grinding from rags to riches, and being a generational talent. Ever since then he has been on an upward trajectory, he has not retreated into the shadows, replicating the success on several records with numerous hit songs like “Catalyst,” “90s,” “Bad Type,” “Payday,” and the newest release “Professor Peller,” featuring Zlatan all usually focused on topics that bother around endless struggles of trying to make it out of the hood, breaking free from the limiting situation of underprivileged people, stream of consciousness, chock full of reflections with countless features showcasing his diversity.
Seyi has gradually built one of the most loyal fan-base organically as an emerging Street-pop artist touching deep with young hustlers and people from the hood, establishing himself as a new-age digital artist with over 100 million streams across DSPs on his projects.
Playmode music spoke to the fascinating artist where he gave us a thoughtful glimpse of his life and times, bouncing back from his early days of label setback, critical moments that shaped him and his upcoming album.
Q Let us in on what growing up was like and how it affects the music you make?
Omo to be honest growing was not easy at all, from my hood at IKORODU “IGBO OLOMU” is a very rugged area and to survive you must be strong and know what you want for your life.
Q God sent marked a definitive turn for your career, what was your state of mind while recording the song?
“GOD SENT” Is not an ordinary lyrics song. It was recorded in my darkest moment when someone said to me that am just useless and every good artiste are getting signed but am here at IKORODU wasting my time singing. I wept bitterly and recorded the song “EYIN TO LAYE E DURO TIMI, KI ALANU MI KO WA MI RI” and thank God that the PAINS lead to BLESSINGS.
Q The name Seyi Vibe is fast becoming a household name among music lovers, what was the first moment it dawned on you that you are a star?
I could remember when a club paid me “70K” for a show at IKORODU and getting to the venue I see crowds everywhere in and out because I don’t know am ‘blown’ and I see the club sending the escorts and jeep to pick me lols… it was new to me.
Q How prepared were you when what most people will refer to as sudden success happened to you?
I was fully prepared because I don’t settle for less and whatever I have now is not by chance but through my hunger for more and hard work and am still not satisfied I keep moving.
Q Tell us about that life-changing experience that shaped everything, your style, and who Seyi Vibez is today?
When I drop “GOD SENT” am sure everyone was thinking I won’t have a song to back it up but at this point, I knew I had to put in extra work to keep my career going and I was in the studio for 3 straight weeks recording and that was what brought about “12:07,” they say Omo Baba plumber want to become a superstar. And so many other songs people are enjoying today, I am just glad the universe has been aligning with me.
Q Talking about being dropped from a label at a very tender age, how were you able to bounce back, and what kept you going?
Well I wouldn’t say it was a record deal because I was just 16 years growing into my 17th year but my hunger for growth made me take the offer even though I didn’t know what I was doing and the funniest thing was that there is not a single witness at the signing of the deal; all was done by me but along the line, I was getting what I expected and none of their promises was kept so my hunger for greatness made me opted out and keep moving.
Q How would you describe your artistic progression from the breakout single ‘God Sent’ till now?
It has been God and it’s a wonderful movement because it’s beyond my imagination
Q How have you been able to deal with the demands of fame, success, and thought of not being like a flash in the pan which is associated with Street-hop artists?
I know where am coming from and I know where am going so I don’t allow anything to get into my head. I keep my head up high and keep pushing for something better than what has achieved.
Q What next should the world expect from Seyi Vibez?
My EP drops soon “NO SEYI, NO VIBEZ” having a lot of surprises on that project.
Q What does your upcoming album No Seyi, No-Vibes feel and sound like, is it consistent with the sound we know you for, or are you experimenting?
“NO SEYI, NO VIBEZ” is a combination of what people know me for and what you are yet to experience about me. Let us just wait for it.
Q You have been compared a lot with one of the fastest-growing street-hop artists Bella Shmurda, what does that mean to do, does it comes with any kind of pressure?
I just believe everyone has their kind of music and pattern. Am here to make my fans happy, give them hope and be successful. Nothing more! Zero competition.
Q As one of the emerging artists being tipped by the Academy for the Fresh Acts Music Award (FAMA), how does that make you feel?
Wow, I am so excited about it, this is just one of the validations that my hard work is being appreciated by big names in the industry and we promise to bring the world more vibes.
Q Every of your song mirrors the struggles and amplifies the stories of street kids; you seem big on life reflections, what is your creative process like when making music?
I am a conscious artiste and I know what it means to come from a poor family and background. It’s not easy as “the plumber son”.
Q As an Independent Artiste in a digital age, how easy is it navigating the industry, deciding what is next for your career, making the right decision to keep it going?
Answer: Knowing what I want for myself has been so helpful and I tried to make sure I get every hand needed on deck for my next move, so my team keyed into the dream, understands my audience, marketing approach and you can tell it’s only a matter of time, meself go sell-out O2 arena. (Ahahahahahahahahaa burst into laughter).
Q Would you have any advice for young artists who are trying to get their music heard, any winning formula?
No winning formulas, it’s just following basic principles of growth; work hard and pray for grace, also I will say try to understand those you are making music for, work with the best hands in terms of production, A&R, digital marketing, and management, then don’t give up on your principles also make sure you experiment a lot, that’s what art is all about, try anything and everything.
It will surely turn out good.