She was quite young when Swedish-Gambian artist Seinabo Sey released her single “Younger” about eight years ago. The 32-year-old artist is still young, of course, but nearly a decade in the spotlight has made a musical powerhouse that is in many ways an anomaly among its Swedish peers in the industry no longer a laser, but one of balance. I changed it to a person who was taken. Focuses on pop stardom and pop stardom only. She achieved it, but discovered that her acclaim and popularity were not the main draws of her art-making. There was connectivity.
With the release of her single “Suzuki” last Friday, we hear Sey singing about someone (or the public) who doesn’t know her yet. To accompany V Magazine’s first photo shoot, shot by Arvida Byström, V spoke to the increasingly enlightened star about her new album and her life revelations.
V-Magazine: Last time we talked, you said you wanted to collaborate with a lot of people on this album. I also know you love Beyoncé. Beyoncé has collaborated with 23 other authors on her new single song from her album Alien Superstar. Do you think it’s not open to so many people?
Seinabo Sey: For the first time in my life, I wrote and produced with so many people on the same project. Arguably the hardest part is figuring out how that process should work so that you don’t feel like your idea isn’t worth it. It makes people feel like they are not Because, essentially, that’s what you have to do. With that many people, you have to get a million ideas that most people consider complete.
V: In a way it’s like learning business and team management. Keeping yourself happy and keeping everyone happy is not easy.
SS: absolutely. It’s like being a magazine editor. I have gone back and forth a million times where I have to check myself. Do I like the song, or do I like the situation and the person? To be honest with myself, it would have taken me less than four years had I known how to do that process myself. It probably took three solid years or so to figure out how to work with people, to understand people, to get to know them. I love Beyoncé documentaries. Because she can get a glimpse of what she does. She says her business and pleasure often don’t mix, she has to be willing to go back and forth. I think it’s important to find someone who questions yourself and your thoughts in the same way.Many people want to believe that the first or her second idea is the best idea. It’s from Maybe so, but often there is at least the urge to explore the possibilities and options further. I think most people who are good at writing songs do that. Then there are some songs that come to you. You could choose version 1, but you might have to create 10 versions to choose version 1. It’s a messy process.
V-Magazine: It was a year ago when we first talked about your new album, but I know the music has evolved a lot since then. Could you elaborate on that?
SS: I think it’s funny how many times I thought it was over. And the reason I chose to continue was really random.I started by making a million songs and then I went one summer and made an EP. I kept hanging out with the same people after that, but I never felt like I really believed the sound. I always thought maybe there was a song, and I had a feeling it had some vocal takes and harmonies that I liked, but I wasn’t sure about the sound. , you can get by with what you have. So I was like, okay, maybe I’m done. Seven months ago, I think the guy I thought was going to produce the whole album dropped out. In a very peaceful way, it really made me realize that I’m not on the same page as the music. At that time, I met the producer of “Simon on the Moon” that I had been working with for a long time. He’s from the west coast of Sweden, and funny enough, he’s from a small town right near where I live. He looked at me and said, “Maybe I should produce this album.” I was really happy. To be honest, it’s always been my dream. We sat down and talked about references and realized that we both love folk music, but we both love experimental music, hip hop, R&B, all kinds of new fresh hip hop and I love R&B, and some old stuff.
V: How was it when you started collaborating?
SS: I worked two weeks in the summer and one week in the fall, basically 24 hours a day. Every night I would fall asleep in front of the studio monitor and just listen and create. It’s been a really special two weeks. A lot of things have really crystallized and become really necessary. A lot of the old demos I’ve always felt had something to do with it, but I didn’t really understand what the main buttons to press were.
V: What was it like revisiting the cultural juxtapositions that really shaped you?
SS: It’s been quite a healing experience for me and I didn’t realize that I needed to get back to my roots. More than that, I didn’t quite understand that I needed to think about Gambia or what the previous album was about. I remember being young, so that was my exact thought. I wanted to put my mixed heritage at the center of Swedish culture and see what it looked like. Look?
V: When I was younger I wanted to expand and get bigger, but then it’s funny to realize that I need to get back to where I came from.
SS: yeah, exactly. More than 10 years ago, when I was younger, I don’t think my train of thought was clear as a 21-year-old. I just couldn’t watch it from far enough away to really understand what was going on naturally. I feel like I understand myself in ways I never thought possible. I like being older, man. I love getting older. This youth culture feels overhyped.
V: How has your relationship with yourself and even your career choices changed in the last few years?
SS: That’s a great question because it’s something I think about basically every day. I am by no means a goal oriented person. Not that I was very focused. I think the older you get, the more you open up. The better you get at something, the more you have to actively challenge yourself to learn things. I think I got the hang of it. I got the hang of many parts of my job. So, to be honest, you have to actively find new things to really get people interested in your craft as a musician. Being able to make an album in just four years is the greatest luxury of my life. I don’t think I fully understand it, but I do now. What a blessing! In order to work, you have to find something that interests you. Being famous didn’t do much for me, and I thought it would. At some point in my life, I hoped it would. As long as you feel like you have something or an idea you want to explore or someone you want to meet, there’s always a reason to keep making music. However, as a normal human being and a woman on earth, I feel certain that I have learned and missed life skill sets that I have missed because of the way I work.
What I’m trying to move forward is what I want. I know your goals will vary, but I’ll try to give you a little leeway. I might change my mind. It’s very interesting. I think motivation is completely routine and something you have to cultivate. Because there is a big difference between loving music and wanting to have a career in music.
V: What do you think you’re trying to say with this album? What’s the remote message you wanted to express?
SS: To be honest, I held back my emotional goals and worked on it. It was a very technical goal this time because I was tired. i was tired Half of this process I didn’t want to write for two years. I didn’t know what to write about. God knows I tried to write, but nothing was flowing out of me. Now I understand that I was probably depressed and probably the most burnt out I’ve ever been in my life. Things started piling up. I have been in chronic pain for 2 years. It stopped when I started taking better care of myself. The stress of that situation affected me more than I realized. So I was trying to get out of there. So I set a goal to learn to write songs that are less emotional and more descriptive. If you can’t write, learn how to talk to people and get them to write songs for you. I think my motivation is not the motivation itself, but the absolute fear of failure.
But as I piled this up and put the songs together, I think I realized that maybe this was a record about my relationships. The song is about a man who ruined my life in many ways. Really 90% songs about relationships and shit that happens in relationships. I also had my first long relationship during the making of this album, so there aren’t many songs about life anymore. I’ve also had some intense and crazy romances in ways I’ve never had before in my life. I wanted to represent all the dirt, honesty and darkness, but also the beautiful and simple beauty of being truly in love. It might be.
V: What have you learned about yourself over the years making this album?
SS: I understand that most things in life can be a glimpse of ecstasy just by having to do a lot of work. Really the reward is to have routine things that work. I wonder if I can be kinder to myself when I’m not. I’ve come to realize how much of my life I’ve spent making music is the greatest luxury I’ve ever had. It’s nothing but a miracle that I was able to sit down for four or five years and come up with melodies, songs, and production. People have a really tough life here. I mean it’s crazy. appreciate.
Credits: Styling: Emelie Eriksson Makeup: Ignacio Alonso Hair: Sainabou Chune Photo Assistant: Lamia Special Thanks: Niklas Torsell