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May7ven Standing out and up for the challenge...


Having Segun Odegbami – a Nigerian football legend – as her father is nothing but the norm for this First Lady of Afrobeats; greatness runs in her DNA. Her striking white hair isn’t the only thing you notice immediately; her style is so completely different to what’s out now, she’s sure to give listeners a delectable treat. With the release of her debut single ‘Ten Ten’ and the brink of her second- time music career, Flavour catches up with the rising star to find out why she’s 10 out of 10...


Who is May7ven when off stage? On stage I look like I’m the most confident person in the whole world – I’ll command the audience, dance, sing, jump up and down. In real life I’m very shy, especially with the opposite sex.


You’ve been tagged First Lady of Afrobeats, but is there a lot of pressure to deliver? The expectation is very high, because that title, it sticks to you; so everything I do is being watched. It’s a lot of pressure, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.


How will you challenge yourself now you’re enjoying success?


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I’m trying to do something that’s never been done by a female Nigerian artist. So the way Rihanna put Barbados on the map, the way Shakira put herself on the map for Colombia – I want to do that for Nigeria and Africa. Also, being aware of potential competition and making sure I’m one step ahead.


How do you compare to other female singers out at present? My uniqueness is my culture, dance and vocals. A lot of people say I’m an RnB singer, but I don’t think I eject RnB. I project Africa and Afrobeats. Even down to instruments and lyrics – I’m bringing Africa to the world stage, which hasn’t been done before.


What sparked the change from black to white hair? You know, it is a competitive industry: I do want to stand out and I don’t want you to miss me, so I thought, let’s find a brighter colour hair. I know girls like Nicki Minaj go for pink and all that kind of stuff – [but] the rarest form of hair ever is white. So it is very unique hair to help me to stand out and show where I am mentally and emotionally.


Who was the artist that made you want to become a singer? Primarily Michael Jackson; probably the world’s greatest entertainer, one of the best vocalists, best dancers – he


was the best at everything he did, and because of that I wanted and want to be like him. Even to have one per cent of what he had would be a dream come true. And then Fela – he represented Africa, started Afrobeats, and was a crazy eccentric entertainer on and off stage. He didn’t care what anybody thought about him.


How excited were you when ‘Ten Ten’ was released? Very excited. I’ve been away for a while; it’s been two years from music. To have a single [where I can] jump into my car and turn on Choice FM and they’re playing it is phenomenal.


You’ve won awards and toured, but what’s your biggest highlight? Definitely the awards mean a lot to me and I hope get more, but, getting acknowledgement from the Jackson family – as Michael Jackson’s biggest fan. Before he died I had the honour of performing to his brothers in Nigeria. After the show, Marlon Jackson said, ‘You remind me of my sister Janet – you’re talented, you’re gifted, so keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to go far.’ I know it wasn’t Michael Jackson directly, but it’s just as good.


Follow May7ven on Twitter @May7ven


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