How I handle my male fans —May Shua
Maryam Shuaibu is a Nigerian rapper and songwriter, who believes nothing is stronger than her determination to emerge as one of the most sought-after music stars in the country. Call her Nigeria’s best rapping shawteey, you may not be wrong as the graduate of Accounting from Lead City University is always ready to give her fans something to talk about anytime she mounts the stage. In this interview by SEGUN ADEBAYO, she speaks on her career and future in music.
Recently, you staged the May Shua Live in Concert and you seemed to have recorded success with it. Could you tell us the experience and how you felt?
To say I was extremely happy about the success of the event would be an understatement. It was one event that people would continue to talk about for a long time and I am impressed that things worked out. It was the talk of the town event, a thrilling one for that matter. I was happy to see both the young and the old people come out to have a time of their lives as myself and Klint Da Drunk took the crowd by storm on May 29.
You are a rapper, singer, songwriter and performer, how do you manage to juggle these things together?
I am glad I could do all these things without one clashing with another. I am a rapper, singer, songwriter and a performer amidst other talents. I have worked with a plethora of heavy weights in the music industry from Oritsefemi, DeeTunes, Koker, Fliptyce, Indomix, Samklef and Sagzy. I have quite a number of songs and catchy music videos and I believe May Shua’s fans the ‘aMAYzing MAYniacs’, are indeed in for an aMAYzing treat.
What was it like working with Oritsefemi?
Working with Oritsefemi was indeed an eye opener as I got first-hand experience of what it was like to record with a superstar. It was also full of energy.
Of all songs, why did you decide to do a cover of Tupac Shakur’s Hit Them Up?
Well, Tupac Amaru Shakur is too much of a spirited human not to listen to and the moment you give him a listen, you’re immediately drawn to him if you’re like-minded, thus my cover on his song Hit ‘Em Up.
The Nigerian music industry is male dominated, but has very strong female artistes. How do you intend to compete with that?
The word compete doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. Once you’ve got originality and the right attitude in your line of work, you’re bound to excel. The May Shua Live in Concert was a proof that with the right attitude, you can achieve anything. It doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female artistes.
Why did you go into music?
I don’t think I would be categorically right to claim that I went into music because music was in me. So, technically speaking, music went into me and I simply followed suit.
How did your parents react to your choice of career?
Music is embedded in my maternal side, so it wasn’t a shock for my mum at all as opposed to how startled my dad was with my unexpected choice of career. But thankfully my entire family has my backed now.
What was growing up like for you?
Growing up with a barrister/military man dad and a disciplinarian-journalist mother was actually one of the most wonderful memories I hold on to. Growing up was very balanced for me. It was an experience I would hold on to.
Which artistes do you hope to work with in the future?
I let the songs pick the people. So, I guess we’ll see.
What has been the craziest thing a fan has done to you on social media?
This happens to me every time and I think it’s a bit on the edge. Some fans go on my page and ask me to sign them and in my head, I ask myself “with what? A biro?”
How do you handle your male fans?
I happen to be an only daughter, so I know how to keep certain situations with the opposite sex respectful and casual if you know what I mean.
What’s your take on celebrities going under the knife to enhance their physical look?
Cosmetic surgery is not something I patronise and that’s simply a personal decision. I also don’t stick my nose where it doesn’t belong so it’s purely up to them.
Do you believe being talented is innate?
I certainly believe skill could be taught or adapted but pure talent is surely innate in my opinion.
How do you manage with your mother as your manager?
My mum managed me for the first five years of my music career and it’s been an exciting ride. She doesn’t manage me anymore but supervises everything about me.
In your opinion, what is the Nigerian music industry lacking?
The music industry is buzzing with all levels of energy and I believe if the right structures are put in place to maximise creative’s royalties and other resources, only then will we be in a better position to take off on some sky-rocketing speed.
Has love been fair to you?
I can’t say I’ve experienced love as we know it.
Who were your musical influences?
Honestly, role models, influences and the likes have never been a big part of the picture for me.
What genre of music do you do?
I do hip-hop and dancehall.
What songs have you done so far and which is your favourite?
Wow! I’ve got numerous songs and it’s beyond hard to pick a favorite.
What challenges have you faced so far?
To me, challenge is just another term for stepping stones. So difficult situations build me and help me build more.