He’s arguably, Africa’s youngest music producer. His name is Abdulwahab Ayoola, popularly known as Shayne and he is 17 years old. He is also a song writer and rapper. He has a ska-infused rhythm, which he is exporting to Brazil next month, mixed with Yoruba and pop culture. He has a mature approach to music. Born on October 16, 1995, the young superstar on the rise cut his teeth in the art of music at the age of 12 when he teamed up with other youngsters to start the gospel music group “Dreamstarz”. Ever since, Shayne has followed his dream of becoming a world class music maker with a passion and determination rarely characteristic of a boy of his age. Born and raised in Magodo, Lagos State where he currently lives with his family, the Kogi State born talent is the first and only son of a family of two children.
On Monday, 1st August, 2011, Shayne’s self-produced debut hit single,”Problems Away” hit the airwaves. The song which features Lindsey – a one-time Project Fame hopeful, showcases two unique sides ofShayne – Shayne the Music Producer and Shayne the Rapper. The song is one of several hit singles scheduled for release off his forthcoming debut album – “B11nary.” Now at the age of 17, Shayne has released a new song, I Will Rise, which features Brymo and Vina.
Without doubt, Shayne’s unique combination of music production, rapping, singing and song-writing at this age has set him on the pathway of early stardom. We caught up with him and discussed a few things.
I am very age conscious. How old are you?
Without vagueness, I’m 17 years old.
What have you been doing with your life?
Trust me, it’s been very challenging I must say, but with determination and hard work I’ve been making good music since I was 11 years old and trying to bring out the best in me.
It is very interesting how passionate you are about music and you are becoming well known in Africa! How did you get to where you are today? What is the voodoo?
With self determination, hard work and focus. Also, with the help of my parents, my record label, my management team and most importantly God. Honestly, there’s no voodoo, it’s God working.
Recently, you recorded a song with Brymo and Vina. Tell us about it. I mean, if you can give us details.
The song I recorded with Brymo and Vina is called “I Will Rise”. In life we all face challenges. The song basically reflects on challenges in life and it relates with any age group. It also has a moral lesson which teaches us that “no matter the hardship we face in life, all the windows of good opportunities will always open.”
Many young people in Nigeria know nothing about what they want in life. I mean, how do you think they can discover themselves?
Hmmmn, I believe whatever will be will always find it’s way. I think the reason why they know nothing about what they want in life is because they haven’t tried to look deep. A wise man would say “You cannot make bricks without straw” I know through hard work and courage they’ll get there.
For some time now, I thought that university education elevates man to the highest order. I mean, I still find it appalling that many graduates haven’t even invented themselves and have nothing to do. What is your take on this?
Youths of this generation should try to engage in various vocational activities as it will help them discover their talents and empower them, not depending on just what they learn in their classrooms because it will give them an edge over other. Thereby discovering their various talents.
Are you an emotional person?
Haha, last time I checked, No! But then it depends on the scenario that has taken place in my immediate environment.
Nigerian music has a long way to go. The market is not that healthy as we find more people in the entertainment industry. How do you make yourself unique as a music producer, rapper and songwriter?
As a music producer, rapper and songwriter, I don’t believe in giving people what they want. I believe in giving them what they need. As time goes on, I’m hoping to make more impact in the music industry.
I may need to get personal with you. Are you in a relationship? If not, why? If yes, is it distracting?
I’m not in any relationship because it’s not really a priority now.
I hate to ask people this, because it is very cliché. What advice do you have for young people who want to be like you?
My advice for young people who want to be like me is “Gather ye rose buds while ye may.”
What is your take on the political system of Nigeria?
Right now, it is very devastating but we’re all hoping for a brighter future.
Do you see yourself as a youth activist? Just like others?
Yeah I do.
You’ve met quite interesting people. Do you agree that Nigerians should co-exist in one nation?
Yes! With the kind of people I’ve met and even worked with, everybody can come together and work together and be happy together. Nigeria can co-exist peacefully as a nation.
Who is your favourite Nigerian musician?
I don’t have a favorite Nigerian musician but I listen to Fela, Asa, Bez, Tuface and M.I. They make music that inspires me.
How do you unwind?
I listen to cool music or watch movies.