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'I Was A Studio Rat' — Sean Tizzle
He is popularly called Sean Tizzle but his real name is Morinhafen Oluwaseun. He rose from oblivion into commercial success with his hit track, Shole. In this interview, the award-winning act talks about his career and other issues
Who is Sean Tizzle?
My real name is Morinhafen Oluwaseun. I am from Ilaje, Ondo State. I was born into a family of five and I enjoyed being the last child before another child joined me. I was born in Ikeja, Lagos in 1989, but my family relocated to Ikorodu. Growing up was fun but we had a lot of restrictions because our parents were strict disciplinarians. They are very good Christians too. I attended the Command Secondary School, Ibadan, and I was in a boarding house.  I studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan.
Beyond Sean Tizzle, who is Seun?
I am calm, cool-headed, down-to-earth and straightforward. I am also very prayerful and playful.
When did you start your music career?
Professionally, I have been doing music for five years. My uncle was a gospel rap artiste and he introduced me into music. I started with a group called the ‘3-way band’.  Initially, I was a rap artiste but I left.  My first record was released in 2009 by my producer, D’tunes.  Then in 2013, we unleashed the Sean Tizzle brand.
Do you think your fame came too late or too soon?
I’d been working on myself over the years and expecting this to happen. Everything has its own time.  I have been a studio rat for most of my career life.  I stayed in the studio, listened to songs and beats from established musicians, learnt how to harmonise tunes and a lot of other skills.  My background is in the church and I would not say my fame came too early. I would rather say it came too late. But then, I also think it came at a time appointed by God.
This year must have been a good one for your career, isn’t it?
It has been great and I thank God. I have been travelling and working on more recordings. My new single, ‘Take It,’ is another instant crowd anthem. Life has been good.  I hope to keep on working in this competitive industry.
Are you facing challenges? The challenges are just the basic ones people have to face in order to make it.  Challenges are normal in any business that must thrive.
Have you heard your fans say you look like Davido?
Yes.  Some people still call me Davido.  Davido has the same experience; people sometimes mistake him for me.
How do you feel when they keep doing that?
He is a friend of mine. It shows we are doing something right. Nobody knew that I look like Davido two years ago. It shows that God has brought me out and people have taken notice.
Is he somebody you look up to?
Yes. I love good music and I can look up to anybody who is making good music.
What inspired the song, ‘Shole’?
It was just a good beat from my label boss, D’tunes.
What is the meaning?
Shole simply means, ‘don’t prove hard to get.’  If you prove so, the next girl (kole) is not hard to get, so why make yours such a big deal?  The song is directed at proud ladies, people who do what we call ‘forming.’ But I still love and respect them.
Is it based on a personal experience?
Not really. You know music is supposed to speak to people. If what I am saying has happened to anybody, the music would communicate to the person.
Do you envisage any of your songs having the same impact as Shole?
To me, all my songs are hits. Whenever I am in the studio recording, the song is already a hit on my mind. I always pray for God’s help and guidance before starting work on my songs.  Besides, I keep reinventing myself by working all the time.  The mind is like cutlass, when you don’t use it for a long time, it will become blunt.
How far has your music taken you?
It has taken me very far.   I have won three awards so far.  I was in the United States for Emmy Awards and I was also in London for a festival.  I was on BBC radio and television. That is big.  I have been travelling and performing outside the country since.
What happens when the successes don’t keep coming?
It will not happen. God will not let it come to that.
How is your love life?
I am single for now. I am just focused on my career.
How do you react to attention from female fans?
They are my friends. I love and respect them. I don’t have any crush on anybody, my only crush is music. When I have made enough money, then I will develop crush for ladies. You have to make money because someday, you will have to raise a home and have children. My family members are all professionals and I don’t want to be seen as a lazy person.
Has a lady broken your heart before?
Everybody has been heartbroken before. It is part of what we have to experience in life. You know ladies ‘form’ all the time.
How do you rate yourself among other Nigerian artistes?
I am just there. My fans are the ones who will decide. For me, I just want to keep doing my work. I leave it to the streets because the fans on the street determine how good we are. If they say you are good, then you are.
Who influences your music?
God is number one.  I admire the music of D’banj, Femi Kuti and Wande Coal.  I have different sounds, ranging from Fuji to hip hop and afro.
Have you ever had disappointments?
Yes. But we are strong and we keep pushing until we get there. It is not only in music alone, it is in everything we do. What brings about the evil also inspires the good and what brings about darkness causes people to think of light.
What is your assessment of the Nigerian music industry?
It is a good one. It is growing. Now, we have Europeans listening to our music.
What does style mean to you?
Style means everything to me because it is showbiz and it is about perception. I remember there was a time I was going on singlet, now I am looking formal. That means one has to move from a stage to the other.
What would you never wear?
Anything that does not suit me.
What is the next phase for you?
I have shows lined up. I am also dropping my album next year April. I have a soundtrack for Tunde Kelani’s movie, Dazzling mirage.

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