Majesty Lyn walks into Art Café Lagos in a slinky black catsuit and a dark denim jacket for the cold rainy season weather. The beads in her blonde braids sway along with her commanding gait, bright pink sunglasses placed perfectly on her head. With three E.Ps under her belt, she struts in like the seasoned studio artist she is, with that indescribable Port-Harcourt edge that is very hard to miss. Heads turn while she walks toward me, and I arrange myself, getting ready for the formal pleasantries that start any artist conversation. She greets me with a wide smile and a hug. I was taken aback and even more so when she utters her first words. The warmth and tone of her voice remind me of sweet things like gold confetti and candy cones.
The singer, songwriter, and rapper has been in the Lagos music scene since 2018, and also working with the likes of P.Prime, Napji, Type A, and Tuzi. She stepped in front of the digital audience in 2019 by posting covers of popular Nigerian songs which garnered the attention of Don Jazzy, Adekunle Gold, Peruzzi, Falz, and many other music industry big wigs. Since then she has put out track after track, telling stories of hustle and heart with a dash of bad-bitch energy, coupled with a sprinkle of playfulness.
She orders her drink and we start gisting. A good twenty minutes was spent talking about the current season of Stranger Things which segued into her love of digital art, and then arrived at her artistry and her music.
How did you choose the stage name “Majesty Lyn”? Tell us more about the name and what it means.
The “Lyn” part of my stage name was taken from my first name, Charleslyn. The “Majesty” part is just a self-proclaimed title of royalty. I initially went by the name “Lyn” but decided to add the “Majesty” after I realized there was already a “LYN” in Asia that was still active musically.
When did you know you wanted to go into music?
I knew I wanted to go into music in 2017 after a rap battle I did on the basketball court in my school. I observed everyones’ reactions as I flowed and just fed on that energy. I was actually the winner of that rap battle. As I walked back to my hostel that day with the prize I had won, I just kept telling myself “you have to do this for real, this is what you were made for.” I found my purpose in music that day and never stopped.
Who/What are your major musical influences?
Lately, I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from a couple of different people. Burna Boy because…I mean…he’s the African Giant (laughs). Doja Cat because she is so whimsical and weird, and she owns all of that. She can sing and is a nasty lyricist. I love her energy on stage and in her music. Gunna, Rema, Justin Bieber, Tems, Buju, Victony, Blaq(Bonez), CKay, Dua Saleh, Cardi B, Melanie Martinez, and Tierra Whack.
What performers did you look to growing up?
I looked up to, and still look up to Nicki Minaj, Burna boy, Wizkid, 2face, Jcole, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Westlife, the entire Mo’ Hits Crew, and Adele. Those are a lot of names (laughs), but I really enjoyed watching each one of them on stage. Nicki and Rihanna brought this Pop, exaggerated, colorful energy that I absolutely love. Burna, Wizkid, and Mo’Hits brought Afrobeats to life when they stepped on stage. They made it an experience…a party, and watching them made me realize that Afrobeats is bigger than just Nigeria, it is a global sound. Jcole and Kendrick Lamar are rap geniuses and when they are on stage, the lyricism is so captivating. Westlife and Adele brings the vocals and intentionality! And who doesn’t love that?
How would you describe the genre/style of music you do?
I would describe my music style as Afro-Fusion under the umbrella of Afrobeats. Although, I think even that is a bit limiting. I love experimenting with textures, pitches, and harmonies, so I’d say my sound has a more experimental, progressive feel…I’ll call it Afro-Progressive in many ways. It lets me express myself without feeling like I’m stuck in a box. With Afro-Fusion, or rather with the Afro-Progressive genre, I can flex my versatility by hopping on any genre I find myself drawn to at any point in time while showcasing the African in me.
Why did you decide to move from PH to Lagos? Is the PH music scene not as robust as Lagos and what do you think the music industry could do to expand into other major cities?
I made the conscious decision to move to Lagos because as far as entertainment in Nigeria is concerned, Lagos is the center of it all. So, while the music scene in PH is slowly expanding, I didn’t want to wait until that happened before actively chasing my dreams. I wanted to be where it was happening. In Lagos, I stood a better chance of being discovered and grabbing more opportunities. I feel like the industry can expand into other major cities by creating more platforms for the musicians that are over there. Like in America, there are multiple music hubs like Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and so many others. Because really it’s the platforms that make us decide to leave our homes to chase or dreams in other cities. So if those platforms are around us and as active as they are in Lagos, we won’t exactly need to switch locations to follow our dreams.
What is the story behind the single “Notice”?
“Notice” is a song of self-affirmation, it’s basically my own way of saying I’ve been working so hard and it’s about time I get my flowers, I deserve it. It’s that moment when you feel like you’re so close to seeing results and this is just the calm before the storm. Yes, because it’s gonna be heavy when the blessings start to rain down on me. So regardless of what pessimistic people have to say, it doesn’t matter to me because I’m already here. There’s no stopping me now.
Do you have an upcoming project? What is the title and are there any details on it that you would like to share?
Yes! I have an upcoming project to be released soon, it’s titled “THINGS ON THINGS” but I prefer to address it as “TNT” just like the bomb. I can’t give too many details about the project yet but let’s just keep an eye out for this one because it’s definitely a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Boom!
What is the biggest realization you’ve had while working on your upcoming project?
My biggest realization is that the music business is just as important as the music itself, so while we as upcoming artists are so engrossed in the beauty of the art we have to be very conscious and cautious about the business side of it as well. Just to be on the safe side. I realized that it’s okay to let go sometimes and just let the people you trust do their jobs too. Because sometimes we hold on to the control so much it becomes overwhelming. When you have the right people around you, it’s okay to let it go and just trust the process.
We saw on your social media that you had a writing camp. What exactly is a writing camp and how important was this writing camp for your upcoming project?
Yes, I did have a writing camp. Basically, a writing camp is a normal routine in the music business. Everyone needs a little boost in their vibe every now and then because we as creatives spend most of our days creating and when we hit a block, we need other creatives to give us that motivation to keep going. For example, anytime Beyonce has created an album she has literally booked a house and invited writers and producers like Pharrell, The Dream, Sia, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Jay-Z, etc. to create with her. My camp was mainly made up of my friends who are brilliant writers and producers in the industry because I wanted the vibe and energy to be right. By being around people I love…whose energy and company I enjoy, we were able to create amazing songs together. At some point, it did get really overwhelming for me because I started to realize that I had a lot of voices, opinions, ideas, and emotions coming at me at the same time, which made it very hard for my brain to process what was happening all at once. At that point, I had to slow down and take it one step at a time. But in retrospect, it was what I needed then, and we created an amazing project in the end.
Last year, you got signed to Freeme Music after being independent for so long. Take us through your music career. Were you signed before? Is being signed to a label better than being completely independent?
I wasn’t independent for too long… I was independent for less than a year before I signed with FreeMe Music. I won’t sugarcoat it, as much as every artist needs a label for the funding and organization of their careers, I enjoyed every single bit of being an independent artist. I was able to achieve so much on my own…things that I had no idea I could achieve. Those moments of just thinking of an idea and bringing it to life without waiting on approval from someone else were golden to me, to say the least. I was signed by another label initially but I can’t talk about it. Being a signed artist can be a blessing (with the right label) and in most cases a necessity but I can’t say for sure if it’s better than being completely independent. Both are experiences I wish for every upcoming artist out there.
Who is on your dream list to work with?
Tems, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Rihanna, Gunna, SAINt JHN, Black Pink, Rema, Omah Lay, Asa. I don’t even need to explain this list (laughs). They are all phenomenal artists.
We haven’t seen you yet on a big stage. Are there any plans to perform a big concert someday, perhaps open for one of the big 3?
There are no plans on ground yet but I’m hoping to someday find myself on one of the big stages soon, and even have a big stage of my own. That’s why I’m working so hard.
How important has social media been in pushing your career?
Social media is an important part of the music industry today. With the world already in the middle of the digital age where everyone is glued to their phones, social media has been a tool that has taken me this far. I wouldn’t have come this far without social media. The beginning of my career was when I went viral on social media in 2018 and since then I’ve used it to my advantage. And I know that it will continue to be a huge driving force, connecting people all over the world with my music and my message.
You’ve showcased your style (hair/makeup/fashion) throughout your career. Do you plan on doing more with that?
Yes! I intend to showcase more of my love for fashion on my journey. I even hope to own a fashion brand someday soon. When I step into a room, I wanna be the center of attention because of my fashion sense. I have a saying “I like to be simple but EXTRA”. My makeup will be on point, and I will slay regardless of the hairstyle.
If you had to describe yourself with three songs, what would they be?
It would be Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, Nicki Minaj’s “Moment 4 Life” and Majesty Lyn’s “You Bitches Can’t Cope.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I just started, someone told me, just don’t fuck it up. It’s gonna be hard but just keep going and pushing and proving people that said you couldn’t do it, wrong.” It’s stuck with me…that really stuck with me.
Name 3 things about yourself that people don’t know about you
Hmm…just three? (laughs). Okay, firstly I’m sapiosexual, so intelligence is extremely attractive to me. Secondly, I do believe in zodiac signs and reincarnation, I find it so fascinating, I’m a Scorpio, so to all my Scorpios reading this…I see you (laughs). Lastly, I’m obsessed with Sci-Fi and interdimensional existence. Ming blowing stuff! I can stay up for hours watching movies and shows in this genre.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and why?
Since I do believe in interdimensional space and time, this is the perfect question for me (laughs). I’ll go back to one time I sang in the kids’ choir in a church I attended for a while. I knew I was gonna fuck that song up because I started with a high pitch but I went through with it anyway. My voice broke halfway through and everyone laughed at me. It was so embarrassing and cringe. I wish I could go back and tell myself to start on a lower key.
What can we expect from Majesty Lyn?
Expect the very best from Majesty Lyn because I intend to come correct and take that crown from whoever is keeping it warm for me. It’s my time and I’m gonna make it worth the while.