I was once stranded without transport fare –Sean Tizzle
Singer, Oluwaseun Oluwabamidele, aka Sean Tizzle, speaks with TOFARATI IGEabout his career and the challenges he has faced along the way
What was your first experience with music?
My uncle, Seth, was the first person who believed in me. He owned a record label called, Sethra Inc back then, and we worked together. He believed so much in the dream.
How did you get into the music industry professionally?
I had been working underground for a long time, trying to play at a couple of shows, and link up with bigger artistes such as Sound Sultan, Ruggedman, among others. This continued until 2013, when Sho’le dropped and everything changed for me.
Do you agree that working with D’Tunes was the right formula you needed to hit it big?
It was just about the right timing, and the right team. As an artiste, you are going to make music with lots of different people. When it is the right time, and you are working with the right set of people, with the right mindset, and a very good song, then God’s blessing will surely follow you.
Why don’t you two work together again?
I didn’t say that we don’t work together again.
How would you describe your experience as a record label boss?
It’s a new experience, and we put in the work. It is a different ball game entirely, having to make record deals, and make sure the company is running right. It involves more work to make everything run smoothly as an artiste and as a chief executive officer.
Your debut album, The Journey, did quite well; how would you describe the acceptance, especially outside Nigeria?
I am grateful to God, and I thank all the people that have been supporting me from day one. The album was just about putting together good music in one disc, and people showed love.
In which other African country do you have the most fans?
I really don’t know. There are fans everywhere. I’m usually surprised when I visit some places where I don’t expect to meet my fans, yet they turn out to be many there. Basically, it’s always a good time hanging out with the people who love and support me. I just keep doing what I know how to do and expanding my fan base.
What character traits have helped you to become this successful in the music industry?
You have to put in work; there’s no alternative to that. I am always working on my sound, and I’m particular about whatever comes out of my mouth and how I get to attack any beat that comes my way by regularly exercising my vocal cords. Even my looks; as an entertainer, I have to be flexible to try any style. Some people can sing well but they’re not fine, and vice versa. If God gives you both qualities, wouldn’t you thank him?
How would you define your sound?
I don’t have a genre; I just do good music. I don’t want to be placed in a category; I just want to be able to make any kind of music. I am out of that box; I just make good music basically.
Which do you consider your biggest song?
I don’t know too; you might be surprised. I get to some places, and they mention the most unexpected of my songs as their biggest hits. It’s a personal thing. However, it might be my next song, Wasted, which would be released very soon. The song is crazy and dope. I usually have a lot of fun whenever I am working, and it’s almost the same way for every song I have ever recorded. We really had fun recording Wasted and shooting the video.
Looking back, is there anything you wish you had done differently in your career?
There’s nothing I would be able to change, because I didn’t know it would work out this way. I believe it was just meant to happen and I don’t want to go back and change anything.
What memorable experiences from your childhood do you still reminisce on?
There was a time I went for a job interview at the Ikeja High Court, Lagos. It was an oral interview and I was asked to sing. I thought I was going to be asked some crazy questions. But they asked me to sing, as if they knew that I was a singer. At that time, I had just left secondary school, and I didn’t want to be sitting at home doing nothing.
What job were you applying for before you were asked to sing?
It was the job of a clerk.
Can you recall some of the times you spent hustling before fortune finally smiled upon you?
The memories are just too much, and I don’t even know where to start from. I am practically lost in thought right now. I remember the first time I met D’Tunes. He had asked me to come to his studio to record a new song he wanted to use as a mixtape. My house was quite a long distance from where he stayed, and I didn’t have enough money on me. Halfway through the trip, I became stranded. I had to call him, even as I begged some people on the street to help me. However, D’tunes told me not to worry, but that I should board a bike and he would pay when I got to his studio. I think he got the money the paid with that day from his dad.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt in the course of your career?
We learn every day, and I am still learning. But it is very important to respect everybody, because nobody knows tomorrow, and everybody is somebody. It’s just a matter of time. Be as loyal as you can be and live your life.
Who are the people you consider as role models, or people that you admire?
I admire anyone who makes good music. It doesn’t matter if you are old or new, so long as you’re making sweet sounding music.
What role exactly did Sound Sultan play in your career?
I learnt a lot from him. I like his writing skills and the exposure I got when I had the opportunity of standing on the same stage with him.
What challenges do you currently face in your career?
I just want to keep pleasing my fans with every song that I release. It’s all about them; that’s what keeps me going harder.
You went silent after your debut album for a brief period, what were you doing then?
I was working.
It seems you wanted to infuse Latin flavour into your music sometime ago, didn’t it work out?
Just like I said before, I am all about making good music; whether in Latin or any other tongue or dialect.
There was a time you featured Tory Lanez in your song, what other influences do you borrow in your music?
It’s all about doing good music, and I’m at liberty to try different styles; music is limitless.
You recently welcomed your first child, what was the first thought that rang through your mind as a father?
That’s my joy. Little Tizzle; she is my property.
What would you be changing in your lifestyle for your daughter’s sake?
I will do whatever I have to do. I will do what’s right for her. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with my lifestyle. I will know when to carry out my duties as a father, and when to have my own fun too. When I have to be Sean Tizzle; hang out with my friends and have a good time, I’ll do that. And when I need to be with my daughter, I will.
What do you consider your unique selling point?
I just make good music because that’s all my fans want to listen to.
How do you spend your typical day?
I watch television.
Do you have other silks and interests that are not known?
I read when I can; but I mostly like to play video games. I just love to have fun. When I watch movies, I learn from them too. Sometimes I could just take out time to watch other people.
Do you prefer being with a Nigerian or a foreign woman?
Love is all that matters; it doesn’t matter where you found it. We are only trying to practice what is in the Holy books.
Some people have accused you of being arrogant…
Oh really? I have never heard about that.
How do you deal with critics?
It is their opinion and I respect it.
What are your likes and dislikes?
I don’t know; until it happens then I will address the issues.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I just like to look fly. I love to look good, no matter what it is I ‘m wearing. I like making good combinations, and anything nice.
What is your favourite fashion accessories?
I love my earrings.
Right now, we have people like Davido, Wizkid and Olamide making waves; do you think you can compete with them?
It is not about competition for me. I just concentrate on making good music and getting better at what I do.