Shulammite Daniel Emeghara popularly known as Shuleydee is a fast rising upcoming artiste and CEO, Forever Records. With her latest single, Ayama currently making waves, she speaks with DOYIN ADEOYE on her career among other things.
Foray into music
Music has always been something I wanted to do, because I’ve always had the passion for it. As a child, I remember I would listen with so much admiration whenever my sisters played songs by Westlife, or whenever my uncle listen to any of his records. I would listen to the music and put lyrics together in my head. So I’ve always loved music.
And it was not just circular music for me. As at then, I loved mature music like fuji and highlife. I loved the likes of King Sunny Ade even as a child. So with time, I decided to follow my dreams and take it up as a career. And making good music is my passion.
Style of music
I don’t like to box myself. If I say Afro Pop, then people will be expecting something like that from me all the time. So I keep it open. I am a musician, I sing, I play some instruments. So that’s just it. But if I’m to stick with a style, then I’d say contemporary highlife.
Inspiration behind Ayanma
Ayanma was recorded and produced within three hours. I was with my manager around 10 p.m. one day in Abuja when I started feeling really uncomfortable. I couldn’t explain why everything around me was making me really angry. So I just told him I wanted to go the studio. He was shocked because we didn’t plan that. But I just wanted to go. Fortunately Mekoyo, who is like family to me, was in town.
So we went to the studio that night because I like working best at night from about 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. So we were at the studio; I didn’t even have a song in mind. I was just so angry, but despite my anger, I was humming a tune. So Mekoyo gave me the beat and within three hours, we were done. And the song became a hit.
Running my own label
Yes, Forever Records is my baby. I’m the lead singer and the CEO. Well, for now, I’m not signing any artiste, as I’ll like to get my feet strong first, but maybe over time, I’ll like to sign more artistes.
Competitions with other female artistes
I do not compete with anyone, ‘everyone is on their lane.’ My style of music is different, so there is no competition.
Challenges for female artistes in a male dominated industry
It is really not easy for female artistes, but if there were room for more investors to come in, then things will be better. I believe there are so many female artistes out there and even right now, females are currently topping the charts. The likes of Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Cynthia Morgan are really doing very well, and more female artistes including myself are coming up as well. So I believe that if there is more fund, then female artistes will thrive more.
Growing up for me was tough and tragic as I lost both parents when I was around five. They both died in a crash the same day. So it wasn’t a good experience, but I thank God that we pulled through that and we are here now. It brought a lot of setbacks, but God took care of us.
There are six of us, three boys and three girls and I am the last born. Although I’ve outgrown it, the experience still gets to me when I see families happy together especially during the festive period. But we are grownups now and we are happy God has brought us this far.