May7ven emerged in 2007 with her unique, youthful and eccentric fashion, energetic style and new sound that combined hiphop beats , r&b, pop and Afro beats in a terms she called Afr&B.
Her first two singles ‘Hands Up & ‘Bo Aso La Ra Mi’ (Take off my clothes) were highly praised debuting on MTV Base UK’s TOP 10 Charts, including being listed in the top 100 MTV Best music videos of 2009. A rear feat that lead her to becoming the first Nigerian female in history to win ‘Best Music Video’ at the NMVA Awards in 2009 and first Nigerian female artist after 80’s pop singer Sade Adu to not only debut on MTV but only to chart on MTV Base UK & Europe – this revolutionised the music industry and pioneered a path for the following generation of African female artists in the UK. In 2009 May7ven toured Germany with R&B Singer Joe Thomas to perform and promote her hit single ‘Hands Up’. A visionary who lead the way and the newsound now classified as UK Afrobeats., May7ven also became the first independent artist to be Super A-Listed in the UK with her single ‘TEN TEN’ in 2012.
Yemisi May Odegbami better known by her stage name MAY7VEN a named derived from her birthday 7th May; is a UK Based singer, song-writer, dancer, director and record producer.
The eldest of 3 children, May7ven was born in Ibadan to mother Jumoke Odegbami a chartered accountant and university lecture and father Segun Odegbami one of Nigeria’s greatest football players in the 80’s. Much part of her early life was spent travelling and moving around with her parents – May7ven attended 9 different schools and resided in Ibadan, Lagos and Jos before relocating to the UK with her mother in 1987 along with her 2 siblings Funmi Odegbami & Junior Segun Odegbami.
May7ven started singing and playing drums in church at the age 8 and has lended her vocals to 90’s r&b singer Jamelia’s debut single ‘Money’ featuring Beenie Man and 4 other tracks album which peaked at no. 5 in the UK charts in 2000. May7ven has since supported and lended her signature soprano to tracks and concert tours with Blu Cantrell, Blackeyed peas, Jagged Edge, Black Street, Horace Brown, Akon and many more.
In 2007 May7ven started working on her album working with producer Ian Step that she wrote, he produced and recorded entirely in her living room. Following the release of the first two singles off the album, the data files for the album were unrecoverable from the producers hard-drive. May7ven then spent a few years attempting to reproduce some of the tracks and released snippets of tracks ‘breath’ ‘Make It happen’ ‘No More’ and ‘Cant do without you’ and mastered tracks ‘Number’ which she debuted at The Indigo2 in 2011 during her performance with J.Holiday and Genuine in 2011.
In 2011 she teamed up with Skata Records producer Antoine Stone to record and produce what became one of the biggest Afrobeats singles of 2012 ‘Ten Ten’ a song using word play of an old traditional school-playground game 10/10 in Nigeria and a quantifying depiction of self esteem paraphrasing a ten out of ten. The clever hip hip and afrobeats combination with broken English won over some of the biggest radio stations in the UK and was on every dance floor including coverage in a middle spread of Evening Standard newspaper. She later followed up with ‘Hey Mr’ another A-Listed radio favourite in 2013.
May7ven’s clever writing abilities on hip hop and Afrobeats tracks plays on themes of modern love, gender, globalism, revolution and female empowerment without force. She has worked with a wide-range of collaborations including producer Triple O, Wayne McNesh, Dotstars ‘Expensive’ with David O, Wizkid, MI, Iceprince, Dr Prince and Lynxx in 2012, U.S Rapper Chingy,and 2face on ‘Falling’ and Afrobeats Warehouse with Alex Burke on ‘Ooh La La’ in 2013 and a remix of Mr2kays ‘Bubugaga’ in 2014 which received 5 stars by The Daily Mirror and was playlisted across various mainstream platforms. She has also performed in major festivals and concerts across the world including Fryusheet, Sweden, Sound Factory in Germany, HMV Hammersmith Apollo, IndiGo2, Felabration, Summerset House, Ingunity Festival, USA, Idols Nigeria, Judged on Malta Guniess Street Dance, Headlined Jazz Café and performed for the President of Nigeria in 2009.
In 2014 May7ven established her record label M7 Music Group and signed producer Mictizzlebeats to executively produce and facilitated the making of a charity song to address the Nigerian Chibok situation of missing 203 girls with track ‘Sisters Unit’. May7ven gathered 12 African female artists on one song that eventually caught the attention of the BBC which appeared on the News both TV & Radio with extensive media coverage.
Following the release of Sistersunit movement, May7ven travelled to Nigeria for 6months in 2014 to pursue her efforts and political agenda aligning with local charities for girls. Her travel included a gruelling radio/tv schedule and barrage of interviews with the media about her agenda and focus to unite African women. She also headlined her own concert in Abeokuta entitled May7ven & friends which featured Nigerian stars Jimmy Jatt, Sound Sultan, Seyi Shay, Mr 2kay before an audience of politicians, dignitaries and hundreds of fans to raise money for the families of the missing children in Chibok.
In 2015 May7ven released singles ‘Werk’ and ‘What ur feeling’ online only. Werk was selected and featured on Capital Xtra’s Afrobeats Compilation listed as BBC’s top 5 African songs of 2015 and won May7ven her first Screen Nation Awards for Best music promo. What Ur Feeling will be released and will feature on May7vens forth coming album in 2016.
In 2016 January, May7ven released lyric video for MUMM (Made Up My Mind) a politically charged female empowering anthem that has received generous radio play. The bold and creative artwork work was the talking point which shows May7ven wearing an Hijab, addressing political views of oppression but again on a bangin hiphop beat with broken English and r&b.
It is easy to overlook how revolutionary and influential May7ven has been especially in the African music industry as often the pioneers are not always the beneficiary. Her uniqueness and endless creativity with her looks, brand and music explains why she stands out and is still the most popular Nigerian British artist in the UK touching the trajectory of music.
May7ven is bold, sexy, unapologetic and riveting whos on and off stage persona transformed and liberated the long line of Nigerian female Afrobeats performers that followed after her.
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