For Oyo State-born pop singer, Seun Oni, otherwise known as Saeon, it has been mixed feelings since she made her debut in the music industry. The ‘Boogie Down’ crooner has had her fair share of the good and bad side of the industry. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, Saeon speaks on her career and other issues.
What prompted the open letter you released recently?
It was because I wanted to connect with the people and I want to feel them too. I wanted them to connect with the real me and not my personality that had been painted or defined. I wanted them to let go of the perception they might have had due to past events in my life. I also felt the need to take them on the journey of my transition and revelation.
What was responsible for your low profile?
Things were just not working. I felt like my efforts were having the wrong effect and that I was approaching my career the wrong way. I took a break to re-evaluate a lot of the decisions I had made in the past. I’m glad I did because it paid off and things are going better than they have ever been. I keep striving to be better at my craft and my main focus this time round is to positively inspire.
What were you doing during the break?
I was doing a lot, but mostly, I was recording. It was all about self-reflection and self-rediscovery. I was rebuilding my brand and re-strategising.
You were said to have received death threats some time ago, how did you receive the news?
I’ll rather not talk about the death threat issue because it is such a sensitive topic and I have made peace with it. I’m in a very happy place now and would love to keep myself happy.
It is believed that you have not been given the necessary support that could have pushed your career beyond this level?
It wasn’t like I didn’t have any support. I did, especially from my family and some friends. But it wasn’t as much as I’d have loved for it to be. Then again, on the path to greatness, one might not have as much as they’d need to get and that is fine. It usually happens that way because people may not understand your vision at the early stage. That is where prayer, faith, hardwork, self belief, perseverance, consistency and the like come in.
Your recent photo shoot generated reactions from people.
I’m a creative person. I think differently. More importantly, I have a strong conviction about what I do because in everything I do, I understand there is a message to be sent, a life to be touched, change to be effected. I don’t expect everybody to love what I do. I did a themed shoot. It was tasteful. The essence of it was to take people through my rebirth process. I needed to be as vulnerable as possible to do that. I have come to understand that people will always judge whether or not one’s intentions are good. I had positive intentions. Some people might not have seen it that way, but that is how they perceived anything I do and that is okay. Above all, I feel we all need to understand that we are responsible for how we perceive and interpret things. We own our minds and the ability to exercise control over it.
Now that you are back, what is the new thing your fans should expect?
I am myself and I’m sure that it is the genuineness that is resonating. I’m thankful for the progress so far and for all my Morudans who rock with me. I have and focus on my core fan base. My duty is to them. I am now the boys’ chick. Saeon Moruda with the 87swags; I am confident and focused. Saeon has created her lane and found her comfort zone. I am here to inspire, effect positive change and to stay.
What is your general assessment of the Nigerian entertainment industry?
I think the industry is definitely on the map. It has developed faster than it ever did in the past. The international eyes are on us. I feel so honoured to be part of its process and development.
Your most valued bodily asset?
My natural hair; It’s wavy! Trust and believe. I want to appreciate my TeamNatural sisters for their support so far.
What should your fans expect from you now?
A dance viral by Awanjo dancers was released recently. The main video will be out in a couple of weeks, followed by a body of work I’ve been putting together which showcases Saeon as a singer as well as a rapper. I have launched the #87Swags. It features fun which will afford my fans the opportunity to see me from drawstring and tote bags to phone and laptop cases to t-shirts and hoodies to stickers.