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Sheye Banks is using his music to advance Hype in Afrobeats

While the contributions of Hypemen in the rise of Afrobeats are yet to be highlighted, one man is taking it upon himself to tell the story of hype through music.

Sheye Banks is a man of many talents. From being a familiar voice on the Radio to A&Ring chart-topping records for superstars like Kizz Daniel and Joeboy, and his capacity to breathe life into an audience through his infectious energy.

It’s this desire to merge his talents and showcase that there’s more to being a Hype man than just punctuating DJ sessions that led Sheye Banks to craft a body of work that merges Afrobeats and Hype.

In this Pulse interview, Sheye Banks shares his journey to radio, his love for Hype, his efforts as an A&R, and his desire to showcase that like DJs even Hypemen can make music.

“I usually like to say Radio is my foundation, Hype is my growth, and A&Ring and being a music executive is my roof,” Sheye Banks says on being a man of many talents.

Like most artists, Sheye Banks grew up listening to a lot of music courtesy of his father who played a lot of music including Fela Kuti, Paul McCartney, Baba Fryo, Daddy Showkey, and WestLife. Aside from shaping his early love for music, Sheye’s father was also a publisher who spent two decades working for one of Nigeria’s famous printing companies. These early experiences came together to shape his early love for music and media.

Sheye’s first radio experience started in the UK where he spent some time and worked at HBUS which was a hospital radio before returning to Nigeria to continue his education at Unilag where he worked with the radio station for almost 6 years.

“I worked at Unilag FM for nearly 6 years before going to work at Kiss FM Abuja. I later transferred to Kiss FM Lagos where I spent 4 years before moving to Soundcity where I have been for 5 years,” Sheye Banks narrates his lengthy journey as an OAP.

It was during his time as an OAP that Sheye Banks began venturing into Hype as a means to make some money and join a growing community.

“I’m creative and God blessed me with a lot of talents so I decided to explore different parts of that talent and that’s how I started doing Hype,” Sheye says on his motivation to become a Hype man.

Since he started using his energy to define nightlife in Afrobeats, Sheye Banks has proven to be a special talent with his ability earning him the name “The Vibe King”. Inspired by American music producer, DJ, and Hypeman DJ Khalid, Sheye Banks believes it’s his energy that has attracted several artists to him and given him the chance to creatively guide several Afrobeats heavy hitters such as Kizz Daniel and Joeboy.

It’s also a bid to show his creative uniqueness that he decides to make music.

“I was compared to other Hype men that came before me just like most artists are compared with other artists that went before them. I decided to do something different to show that I’m not like everybody,” Sheye Banks says about his desire to start making music.

Afro-Hype, a blend of Afrobeats and Hype is what Sheye calls his music. He featured Dapo Tuburna on his first single in 2019 and since then, he has continued to push Afro-Hype to a larger audience.

Like DJs, who partner with artists to make music, Hypemen are beginning to partner with musicians to create a brand of music that infuses their identity and Sheye Banks is leading this charge.

“Shout out to Larry D, Special Spesh for starting what would become Hype in Nigeria. Unlike DJs who have their turntables, we (Hypemen) only have our voice to appeal to listeners’ minds and we didn’t get the selling point quite early,” Sheye says on why it took Hype men a long time to start putting out music.

Sheye believes that it’s the solid partnership between DJs and Hypemen that positioned Hypemen the opportunity to shine and for Hype to become a clear career path.

“I hope that my album ‘Statement of Account’ would further push Hype in Nigeria,” Sheye says on his new album.

He shares that he has been working on this album for the past 5 years and he’s giving listeners a refreshing hybrid of Afrobeats and Hype.

The album features guest appearances including L.A.X, Laycon, Bella Alubo, CKay, M.I Abaga, Falz, and Sheye intends to make an album that captures all the creative sides of him as an OAP, Hypeman, and A&R.

“We are late to the party but better late than never,” Sheye Banks says on the late entrance of Hype men in making music.

Night Clubs are primary drivers of Afrobeats and Shey Banks believes that it’s about time for the Hypemen who are the soul of these clubs to start getting their flowers.

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