Why did his buzz die? Why did one of the hottest artists become musically spent in less than two years?
Too much can be read into an artists’ rise to fame. The stars perfectly align for that chosen individual who begin the meteoric journey to stardom and success.
In 2013, Sean Tizzle was that artiste in Nigeria. After departing the mentorship of Sound Sultan and Naija Ninjas, he was armed with a number of hit songs, and enough talent to wow the industry and run home with the biggest share of the market.
He teamed up with D’Tunes, partnered perfectly with the talented producer who had earlier birthed Iyanya’s form and music brilliance, and let go. ‘Sho lee’, his debut single under the new structure was a fire record. It became a hit almost instantly.
“Sho lee, Sho lee”, the chorus of the song could be heard across the country, from the dance circuits of Lagos nightclubs, down to riverine areas of the South, and the arid lands that the North is situated in. Sean Tizzle was a new star, and he rose to the challenge admirably.
Where “Sho lee” came from, a number of other pop singles which achieved similar results rolled out too. They were beautiful new pieces of music from the company, fresh and hot from the conveyor belt, begging to be listened and danced to.
Nigerians obliged. Sean Tizzle was the flavour of the year, and he went ahead to release one of the greatest pop albums ever recorded in the history of Nigeria – “The Journey”. His singles won him the Next Rated Award at The Headies 2013 over Burna Boy, and the album also earned him the Best Pop Album award in 2014. D’Tunes was voted the Best Producer of 2013, due to the magic of ‘Sho lee’.
But after the release of the album in 2014, things slowly unravelled for Sean Tizzle. His relationship with D’Tunes strained and they both fell out, Sean Tizzle lost the music influence of his key creator of music, and spent most of his time in the US where he has tried to build a partnership with Black Jerzee.
“D’Tunes has been my friend before business, we’ve been working a long long time, way back 2008 that’s when I met him” Tizzle said, when I recently interviewed him. “Basically, the contract is over, and that’s why I had to move on to create my own thing, and try to build other people too.”
That partnership with Black Jerzee, so far has failed to yield any hit. For the next two years, Sean Tizzle battled against his falling profile, and struggled to recreate his best moments. None of that worked. Instead, he became a plaything for social media, where allegations of bleaching and misguided comments were his new claims to fame.
The music was gone.
“I’ve been dropping content since the first album,” Sean Tizzle said. “I was away for a while, because I wanted some space. For Black Jerzee, it’s crazy how we make music…It’s not a lot, but we appreciate it. We try to make something out of every time we get to spend together, with every little bit of money that we have on us.”
The money too is no longer as it was during the height of his fame.
“Sometimes when I go to the studio, maybe I don’t have more than like 30-50k on me. I can’t go back without making something, a song of two. We have to create something. And sometimes when it’s kind of hard to create something, I’ll be like ‘Nobody go happy oh.”
In 2016, Sean Tizzle’s time in the US gave birth to something musical. He partnered with California’s DJ ASAP, and together they collaborated on a record with Canadian singer Tory Lanez on the record titled ‘Hit and Run’.
And although the promotion for the song was heavy, it still failed to catch on. Why did his buzz die? Why did one of the hottest artists become musically spent in less than two years? Why are his songs not getting the same attention just like his “The Journey” album?
“It’s because my people be like ‘Sean we know you can do this,” he said. “They want to see something exceptional, because with the first album, it was definitely outstanding like you said.”
In 2017, the singer is pushing with renewed vigour. He has plans to drop two EPs, and an album. The first of the three projects, titled “Moving Forward” Vol. 1, features a collaboration with Davido. It will be released on February 2, 2017. But it’s more than just music for Sean Tizzle now.
He appears ready to pivot his brand to fashion and humanitarian concerns.
“I’ve been working on this EP for about a year or more now.” Tizzle reveals. “Some songs were recorded in 2015, some in 2016. The full plan is to take the brand to another level. It’s not even about me. It’s about the team, the label. Everybody is trying to grow.
“I’ve got my clothing line coming out pretty soon and it’s a lot. I’m going back to my state. We’re trying to give back to society, a couple of schools, and a couple of communities. Give water, and desks, and chairs too. Make life better for people.
“So it’s way beyond the music for Sean Tizzle, and Tizzle Nation.”