Singer and song writer, Sean Tizzle talks about his journey into stardom,his failed relationship with DJ Cuppy, Femi Otedola’s daughter ,bleaching saga and more in an interview with The Nation.
Read excerpts below:
Who is Sean Tizzle?
I hail from Ondo State, Ilaje precisely. I’m from a family of five and I’m the second to the last;although I was the last born for a couple of years before my parents decided to have one more. So I kind of had all that special treatment even though I’m not from a rich home. I was born with a silver spoon but I don’t know how my dad used it so I didn’t grow with the silver spoon.
How did your journey into the music world start?
My late uncle who worked at the Ikeja High Court told me to come over for a job interview,which I did. Onthe day of interview, I wore my father’s suit and his shoe too which was obviously too big for me. I had to put tissue inside the shoe so it can size me. I did a written interview which I passed and then it was time for oral interview and it was my turn.The interviewer looked at me and asked me to sing for him instead of asking me to spell or do something from the book. I thought he was joking. So I sang my favourite R Kelly’s song, You Saved Me.The man was surprised. That was how I passed the interview and got the job. From that moment I said ‘this music thing, I’m going to give it all it takes.’
Will you say that experience motivated you to do more?
I won’t really say it did because even as at then it just happened. I got home and told my parents about it and they were like,’ok, cool.’ When I remember these things that happened then I will be like maybe I was just meant to do this though I couldn’t talk about it then because nothing happened. So talking about it then wouldn’t make sense to anyone but when the brand Sean Tizzle came out…
In what ways has school helped you?
I actually learnt a lot in school because where I grew up, it was very difficult to speak good English because it was a ghetto. I didn’t even know how to speak Pidgin English. I was in Ajegunle for a while with my cousin and we said,’come, we have to learn this pidgin first.’Then after we learnt pidgin, my cousin said we had to upgrade to speaking good English oh, because how do we talk to these girls if we can’t speak good English?So we had this evening routine we used to do then; we showered, look good and go for girls hunting. When we returned from our hunting and you tried to narrate to me about the girl you spoke with, you had to tell me in English.
So, basically you trained yourself on how to speak English?
Yes, that’s right.
Which means girls actually triggered your decision to learn how to speak English?
Yes o, because I was like I have to connect with these girls oh. I no fit dey lose fine girls like this o (laughs). So it was like a competition among us. We competed on who has most girls and speaks more good English so the dictionary was our friend because we were always searching for new words to use. Then I grew up watching foreign movies just because I wanted to learn how to speak English.I remember when I went to spend time with my elder sister who is late now and I used to buy foreign albums a lot then so I bought this Wyclef’s album and was playing it and my sister’s husband was like,’Seun, did you hear that?’ I said no. He was like ‘so, you don’t listen to this people you just dey buy their album.’ He then told me to start listening to the lyrics that it’s normal English they speak. That was how I started grabbing what they were saying in their songs. That is why I cannot avoid putting lyrics in my songs.
At what point did you meet D’tunes?
I met D’tunes about 2008 when I was in a group of three called 2B1. I left my father’s house to stay with my uncle who was also a gospel musician then and we were in a gospel group together too.That was when I met Wole Oni, Foster Zino, and George Nathanielat Clark Studio in Ikeja. Then Kcee and Presh just won this Star Talent hunt. I could remember Wole Oni chased us home one time and gave us a CD with vocal training inside that we should go and train with it.
We had to record a song before the guy who wanted to sign us returned, so we went to D’tunes even though we didn’t have the complete amount he charged us and he played different beats for us to freestyle on hoping to come back the next day to record. Then the third day I got a call from D’tunes saying he’s been trying to reach me for days now and I had this bad phone then that didn’t ring out, it was always on vibration so whenever it vibrates it goes off.
He said he wanted me to come over, that he has this beat he wanted me to jump on and I went. We did a song that day called Oh and a guy called Keem came in with his artiste while we were recording and he was like,’wow, this song is so cool’ because I was still young then and my voice was still tiny. Wande Coal was my role model back then. The guy told D’tunes I would like to work with this guy and that was how the whole signing thing started.
You were once accused of bleaching your skin…
The media just come out with a lot of unconfirmed reports. You don’t know me from anywhere and you just decide to criticise me. I never bleached my skin. Before the fame, I used to be this guy that likes editing pictures because I thought that it would make me look fresh which was the same mistake I made with the pictures I posted then. I posted a picture that I edited that same way as it was already a part of me to use filters on my pictures but unluckily for me it backfired and people assumed that I bleached my skin. Sebi na me you dey see so, I resemble person wey bleach? So now I just drop my pictures the way it is now, I don’t edit anymore.
Basketmouth also accused you of refusing to perform at his show…
That case I don’t even know anything about.He has my contact and he didn’t even try to buzz me direct. I know nothing about what he said. Life in this industry is so crazy.
How often do you club?
I club once in a while. Emi ti mo bi ile seri se ti awon obi mi barimi se won ni ma wo npe se omo nka ti onse bayi (I know where I am coming from, what if my parents see me popping, won’t they ask if I haven’t gone astray?)
Does that mean you’re scared of your parents?
No, it’s not a part of me because of the way I was raised.Clubbingwasn’t that much back then unlike now that you have clubs almost everywhere.
Why didn’t you renew your deal with MTN?
I don’t even know what happened but what I have to say is that I have to put in more work on myself.
Let’s talk about your soon to drop song with Tory Lanez..
That song will blow your mind, believe me, because it’s so different that when you listen, you won’t believe that’s Sean Tizzle singing. I did the song last year when I shot Abeg video. WhenI went to US this year for about two months, I had a tour that ended late February and I had to record with Tory Lanez in March.I thought I was going to release the song in April so that was why I stayed long in the States. But it’s coming out pretty soon. This new song and my coming album will definitely blow people’s mind. My album will be dropping this year. It’s one of the best things to come out of Africa at large. And we are shooting a video to the song very soon. Just watch out.
Do you think Nigerian artistes are getting close to grabbing Grammy award?
Yes, but to be sincere, we have to give them what they want which is good music. Truly, we’ve seen African artiste’s who have won Grammy award but they just give it to us in African category. What I hope for is for Nigerian artistes to be nominated in the same category. For example, having Sean Tizzle nominated with the likes of Adele, Kanye, and Tory Lanez in the same category. No African or American category separately.
It was rumoured that you were in a relationship with Dj Cuppy…
No, we were not dating. She’s just my friend and we are cool like that. People just took it wrong,although I like her for so many things.
Were you crushing on her?
Yes, I was.
Did you express it to her?
I told her before but she was in school then and she was trying to focus on her education. When the media put that out she didn’t take it too lightly and that kind of affected the relationship. But me I go go work that work to come tell her back say what’s up girl, can we do it again?