Billion Dollar Baby

Seyi Vibez

Billion Dollar Baby

For his third project, Nigerian singer Seyi Vibez places his ambitions front and center, and the album’s 11 tracks serve as a prophetic manifestation of his next big goal. “It’s telling the world I’m living a dream,” he tells Apple Music. “I don’t have the billion dollars yet in my account, but I think talking all these things into existence will surely make it real. Because there was this time I wished to drive fast cars. I wanted actually to live in the most expensive part of Lagos—and I’m already there. So, I just feel like the next thing I’m going to do is make a billion. I want to be a billionaire musician. Any time I possess something that I want to do, I just put it out, and later, I see that it [becomes] real. So, me saying, ‘Billion dollar,’ I’m speaking it into existence—from my kind of sound and my way of putting it out.” Along with representing his homeland, the Ikorodu-bred artist incorporates cross-continental sounds throughout Billion Dollar Baby. “I’m from Lagos, but South Africa’s sound has had some influence on me,” he explains. “A lot of songs on the album have a mixture of some amapiano, pop, and Afrobeats. So, it’s Afro-soul.” Below, Seyi Vibez (Balogun Afolabi Oluwaloseyi) talks through the project, track by track. “BD Baby” “The track is like the calling to the album. It’s like a street motive, I would say that. It’s like a street motive, like whenever the street listen, it’ll be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s it.’” “Darling” (feat. Simi) “I just had to send ‘Darling’ to Simi. I needed a female voice on it. It’s a love song.” “Ife” “‘Ife’ means ‘love.’ Ife is like an ancient love mixed with some hustler feeling—like a hustler trying to succeed and [taking care of] his family and his wife, his kids. It’s a heavenly love song.” “Saro” “This is majorly for the street. [With] ‘Darling’ and ‘Ife,’ I’m singing it for the ladies. But ‘Saro,’ I’m really singing for the motive of the trench, of the ghetto. ‘Saro’ means ‘troubles.’ Like, ‘Let’s go. Never lose your faith. You have to just keep moving.’” “Chance (Na Ham)” “I recorded this song at 2 am. I was uneasy that day. I just woke up, then I got my guys to follow me to the studio. The vibe came easy ’cause I was in a different state of mind at that period. The beat just came, and I used it to console myself. Hearing the beat first made me relaxed and not worry myself with what I was facing at that time. It’s a playful street-motive sound and a very relatable and meaningful dancehall song. I have quite a versatile music taste. Dibs produced. It was our first time meeting, and it was a straight hit.” “Billion Dollar” “The song inspiration came with [the sample of “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth]. [The producer] TBM was playing some samples, and mistakenly he just played that: ‘This generation rules the nation.’ I love that because Nigeria as a whole is harsh on the youth, and the only way we could speak up is through our songs. So, if you actually up there, like you’re famous and people can actually listen to your song, that’s the only way you can actually bring up things. I can remember when the #EndSARS thing came up—Wizkid and other artists came up with the idea. So, [these movements] actually come from the artists because we are the only ones [who] can actually speak for the youth. [The chorus translates to] ‘It’s been written that I’ll actually be successful, and nothing will actually take that away from me. And I’m working every day. Give me the kind of money, like billion dollar money.’” “Bullion Van” “This has some money motives also. I was playing with melodies and some amapiano log drum. Everyone is using TikTok in Nigeria. [In one video], this woman was on [the courtroom reality TV series] Justice Court, and she was so sad. Her husband had, like, 10 to 15 women in the house, and she caught him. They were trying to settle the case, and she was telling the judge what happened. She was like, ‘I’m emotionally stressed. I’m emotionally downcast. I’m so confused.’ The video went viral on TikTok, so people started using the sound. The day I heard the sound was the day I was actually recording ‘Bullion Van.’ So, I’m like, ‘What? I love that.’ And we used it to open the song.” “Gangsta” “Gangsta sounds gangsta, but it’s like a love song for the ladies. It’s gangster love. It calms the heart.” “+234” “Yeah, that’s my amapiano dance song. I love the song. I love the energy. Whenever I go to concert, like the club or anywhere. 234 is the country code to Nigeria, so it talks about the environment and what’s happening in society—what the boys are doing, what the girls are doing.” “Ten” (feat. Mayorkun) “It’s the oldest song in the album. One year ago, I recorded a song with Mayor. And then, later, he called me that, ‘OK, Seyi, I would like you to drop the song because, yeah, I would like to drop it.’ It has this kind of poppy feeling, a club feeling—every feeling. There’s also a message of gratefulness. You have to keep thanking God in every situation you’re at.” “Bank of America” “It’s a playful song. It’s a playful song, and at the same time, I’m trying to speak in my kind of Seyi way. I’m talking about the angels. I would say that, perhaps, 80 percent of the Nigerian youth want to go to America—they just want to go out of the country. I wouldn’t say for artists because we are used to the lifestyle. But I’m talking about normal citizens. Because [Nigeria] is in a hard condition. There’s this understanding in the song—it’s not just based on America; that’s just the way I want to [elevate] in my heart. I use my birth name [in the lyrics]—Oluwaloseyi, which means ‘God did.’ So, I’m using ‘Bank of America’ to round up the album, and I love the feeling it’s always given to me.”

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