Seyi Shay, the R&B singer, has again defended her pattern of judging singers on the Nigerian Idols talent show.


Shay had made headlines after criticisms trailed her purportedly harsh verdicts on the music show.

Speaking during a conversation with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu on ‘Rubbin Minds‘, the singer said she is not a “counselor or psychiatrist” and noted that she was paid to dish out constructive criticism.

She explained: “I didn’t think that we as Nigerians weren’t that ready for the truth. I’m quite blunt, keep it real all of the time without beating around the bush. The first episode was such a shocker. At the end of the day, it’s TV.


“It will always be made to look more elaborate. Most contestants that auditioned were really good. But some were just really bad. I’m here to judge. Now, we’ve gone into live episodes, so it’s in Nigerians’ hands to call in and vote.

“You guys decide. Earlier, the onus was on us to kick people out or in. People that were really bad were really bad.

“I’m not going to lie. Some people were awful and were just telling us their family encouraged them to come. The show is reality. My reactions are real and honest. I’m paid to do a job. I’m not a counselor or psychiatrist.”


On being chosen as a judge, she said: “I got the call. I had no intention of being a part of the show or any TV show actually. I got the call and obviously, it was something I couldn’t turn down. It has been filming since February.

“And we’ll be filming till July. I’ve had a lot of fun and crucifixion. But I’m a tough cookie. I was not expecting the call. One of the producers just reached out saying they wanted me to be one of the judges on Idols.

“At the time, I didn’t know who my co-judges were going to be. I didn’t until the orientation of the first filming. When I saw Sose and Obi, I was happy. We’ve been friends in the industry and out.

“It was a shock. I was excited like, ‘Oh my God, this is like the biggest gig ever.’ And truly, it is the biggest gig.”



The singer disclosed that ‘Big Girl’, her second studio album, will be released in July 2021.

She also spoke on the need for more collaborative projects among female musicians in Nigeria.

“So this summer, July, I’m dropping an album called ‘Big Girl’. ‘Pempe‘ is not a song from the album. It was recorded last year during the pandemic. I felt like Yemi Alade was the perfect feature for the record,” she said.


“Because of the context of the song, talking about social media trolls, the division of women in the industry, just a number of things that affect women. I felt like Yemi Alade could relate, I felt like she could relate.

“It (collaborations) doesn’t happen enough in the industry. That’s why we did it. It should happen more and it will.

“The guys do it all the time, come together, and make so much money. They become more popular and get more fans. The chicks need to take a leaf from that book. And that’s what we’re doing now.”



Seyi Shay spoke of how she coped in 2020 after losing a huge deal due to the absence of shows amid the pandemic.

“It a disaster for everyone. Musicians were one of the worst-hit. No shows, concerts, socialising. A lot of people couldn’t even go to studios. I lost a huge deal at the beginning of 2020 when the lockdown began,” she noted.

“It really knocked me down badly. I was thinking, ‘for how long is this going to go on? How are we going to make money?’ What I did was to go back to the drawing board and rediscover; spend time praying, reading, meditating.

“I was expanding my capabilities. One thing I’m grateful for is I went back to the studio to rewrite my album. By the end of the year, I had two albums, one of which I’m ready to release by summer this year. It’s called ‘Big Girl’.

“I’d saved money, had some investments. I asked myself what was going to happen next. When I go the call to do Idols, I was like, ‘this is God’.”

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