Seinabo Sey Interview: ‘Pretend’ and the triumph of the Genuine

SOMETIMES YOU STUMBLE UPON PEOPLE THAT LEAVES A WARM FEELING IN YOUR SPIRIT JUST BY TALKING. THIS BECOMES EVEN BETTER IF THEY CAN SING AS WELL AND THAT WELL; AND SEINABO SEY IS THIS KIND OF GENUINE PEOPLE. WE HAD A REALLY CLOSE INTERVIEW WITH HER AND SHARED OUR THRILL ABOUT THE RELEASE OF HER NEW ALBUM, ‘PRETEND’. KEEP READING 🙂

We absolutely fell in love with Seinabo, and you’re about to as well. After her triumph over the audiences with ‘Younger’, her debut album ‘Pretend’ is finally about to be released and a bunch of singles were dropped to let us enjoy in bites what we’re expecting will be one of the highlight albums of 2015. Her personal and powerful voice, her unclassifiable style and a beautiful inner spirit almost easy to feel from afar, Seinabo Sey is maybe one of the most interesting voices we got to meet this year.

You’ll find the interview right below. Oh! And if you don’t know her yet, just listen. [hr]

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  • Tomorrow is your debut album release so… do you think you’ll be able to sleep tonight?

I’m a bit nervous, I think I’m gonna put my mobile phone on ‘flight’ mode tomorrow and just try to make me check everything on Monday, because otherwise I start reading the reviews, then I’m done like… I can’t focus in anything else. So I’m just going to try to relax and maybe kind of turn off my phone a little bit and calm down.

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  • We read about you having your doubts about becoming a musician until you were sixteen or so…

Yeah absolutely, I thought I’d be a lawyer or an art historian or something like that. I guess I’ve grown up with parents that work really free spirited; my father was a musician and I really felt like I wanted financial stability in my life and some structure, so that’s why I guess.

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  • What made you change your mind about that?

It basically changed because I love music and I realized I’m a lot better at singing then at studying so.. haha! I don’t love studying

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  • ‘Younger’ was produced by that time or so…?

I’ve decided to become a singer far before ‘Younger’, way before that, when I was fourteen/fifteen.

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  • And did you have that EDM taste right then or was it new for you when you mixed it with ‘Kygo’.

Nah, I still don’t have the EDM taste for music, I don’t like EDM that much at all actually. I’ve always listened to soul music, I come from reggae and hip hop, you know? I love pop music and instrumental pop and indie music like that. EDM and I haven’t really… heh, it was just something that happened.

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  • Both of your EP’s names to date are dedicated to your parents. We’re curious now about the upcoming debut album named ‘Pretend’. What is it exactly about?

I feel like… If there’s something that destroy my life the most is pretending. You know ‘you fake it until you make it’ kind of thing, I’m done with that a lot in my life. I’ve also pretended not to care or pretended to like things that I don’t. I pretended to be people that I’m not, so.. that is the other part of it. I guess ‘Pretend’ is everything that rises a question. I’ve never really been that good at playing that games in my life.

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  • About your debut album, what songs do you think were the most challenging to create?

Ahm.. that’s a good question. (she stops for ten seconds) The song called ‘Still’ was probably the hardest one to create, ‘cause I couldn’t really decide on what direction to go and there are lots of different productions. The core wasn’t so clear from the beginning, so ‘Still’ was probably the hardest one.

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  • Is it your favourite one as well?

Yeah! I think so because the challenge! Is definitely one of my top three favourites.
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  • We’ve found so many media comparing your songs to ‘James Bond’ theme songs. We personally catch this essence in your new song ‘Sorry’ better. We wanted to know your opinion about Sam Smith’s version.

I have to be honest, I haven’t listened to it yet! haha! I know it was one named ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, because I love that ‘Destiny’s Child’ album haha! But I haven’t listened to it yet, sorry.

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  • If you had the chance to sing for a franchise or saga, which one would it be?

I think probably if they would have made a soundtrack for the Lord Of The Rings, I would have love to be there… Or Harry Potter! They’re both so original and breathtaking! I wished I was on the ‘Jungle Book’ soundtrack.. it would be dope!

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  • ‘Ruin’ in the other hand seems to have a retro touch, like a stroke of the great divas from the 60s – 70s. What are your music woman references from the past?

To be honest with you, not that much. I mean, I remember going in the studio and the producer had an idea that he wanted to do something that sounded like ‘Nancy Sinatra’. That was basically it. I’m not like a music nerd in that things, heh! I don’t really have references that much. I just feel like… what I listen to organically and I left that kind of.. blend in, in whatever comes out. That’s how I work.

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  • What’s the best mood or atmosphere in which you feel comfortable to write a song and get everything flowing?

It’s probably easier to write a song when you’re happy. When you’re content and everything is allright. I like walking around and most of the time the things may come easy when I take walks, but I don’t take that many walks anymore haha! It’s harder now than before, but I remember being one of my favourite things.

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  • Seems like the colour Red is a constant in your design of your debut album! is there any reason for that?

I’m just drawn to that colour and I really love the way it symbolizes love, death, passion..  It also kind of symbolizes revolution. And it’s a colour that people are pretty scared of, so I though to just take that one and see if I can carry it.

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  • Which three artists of nowadays music panorama would you love to perform with?

I’d love to sing with CeeLo Green, that would be wonderful! I would love to perform with Erykah Badu and Antony and the Johnsons.

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  • Your songs are clearly influenced by different genres, and your debut album explores a mix of them, it’s kind of difficult to sort you only in soul pop. Anyway, what genre would you NEVER use for your work?

EDM. haha!

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  • You also performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert last year. How did you feel in that scenario?

That was one of my absolutely favourite performances, probably the best one that I’ve had. And I didn’t really realized when I was there ‘cause I had flu and my voice was messing up but that was one of my best experiences because there’s not so many times in life as a musician when you’re somewhere and is not about you, is not about what you’re doing or what you’re performing, you’re there for a greater purpose. You’re trying to pay tribute to people that change the world for real.. Plus I got to meet Queen LaTifa which was dope! It was such a nice atmosphere and that was definitely one of my top favourite things that I’ve done in my musical career so far.

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  • What do you think about streaming services? Do you follow any playlist in Spotify?

Actually I’ve been pretty bad at listening to music for the last two years but I’m starting again now and started to subscribe to every one there is so! I use Beats, Tidal and Spotify which is pretty crazy but I love it! And I love it they make it so easy and accessible and I actually really really really love the playlists. I subscribe to a lot of playlists on Beats for example. Spotify has good ones as well where you can find new music so.. I’m definitely kind of diving into that world more.

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  • There are loads of interviews so… Is there any question they haven’t asked you yet?

That’s a brilliant question and.. The initial thing that pops into my head is that I’d wish people would ask me more about my writing, and I’d wish that people would listen more to the lyrics. That’s really what I feel as my craft, that I’m trying to become better at. But I understand though, heh!

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  • And our last question! Who will you be calling first tomorrow morning?

Tomorrow morning I’m gonna have to rehearse haha, but I’m probably gonna call my big sister and just ask her to be with her and start reading reviews! haha.

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  • Just to say goodbye, we’re working with artists that are not that well-known, what can you say to encourage them to keep working and get better?

I definitely feel like is very very very important to always make sure that it feels good in your gut, to follow what really feels like your instinct is, because I can assure you and I feel like this is the truth that it’s better to succeed on your own terms ‘cause otherwise you won’t be happy anyways. If you compromise your integrity you won’t be happy, no matter the amount of money or fame or success. So follow your heart.

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Thank you very much and best of lucks on your debut release!

Don’t forget to check her work in Spotify, send her love and stay with us to know more about Seinabo Sey 🙂 Peace!

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PRETEND – SEINABO SEY

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