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Catch up with Sékou

Catch up with Sékou

 


Nominated as the youngest BRIT Awards nominee in the Rising Star category and with a calendar full of new music, rescueThe year 2024 is off to a flying start. The Leicester-born musician has been on our radar for a while, and we caught him just before the release of his latest single, Let Go Of Me Slowly, an emotional tale of heartbreak told in the musician's signature ballad , reflecting an earlier sound heard on his debut EP Out of mind.

Naturally, with such a powerful, distinct sound and an ability to fuse soul, pop, and R&B sounds with creative mastery beyond his years, Sekou has garnered support from some of the biggest in the business, including ANdersson .Paak, Cleo Soul, Fred againAnd Kamal, who supported him online. He has worked on fashion show soundtracks and can be seen front row at some of the season's hottest shows, including KidSuper and Valentino, which has brought him even closer to the people he admires.

Freshly returned from touring with Renne Rap, we sat down with Sekou to talk letting go, fashion, and pre-show rituals. See what we did below.

Tell me about your new single, Let Me Go Slowly. What inspires you about this one?

The song is literally about having to let go of something, throwing everything off your shoulders and getting out of a situation which I think is important for everyone to do. In terms of my inspiration, I was going through a situation and I didn't really understand how to express my feelings about it. I needed to be honest with myself about this, and I happened to see old posts that brought back all the feelings. That's what really inspired this single: the memories and emotions surrounding it.

You recently toured with Renee Rapp. How was this experience? Did René give you any advice that has stuck with you?

Advice, honestly she gave me more shares. Just watching her and talking to her and seeing how she communicates with her fans is incredible. She behaves authentically and stays true to herself. She is an incredible artist who creates music because she truly loves it and she loves every single person who attends her concerts every night. Filming with her was an incredible experience; the reception I received after each show was overwhelming and I am very grateful. It’s been an incredible journey and I’ve loved every moment – ​​his fans are amazing and really made me feel at home on stage.

You always dance on stage. Where do your movements come from?

I mostly watch my favorite artists on YouTube and watch how they move. But it's definitely in my genes, I would say – I always danced and moved when I was younger, and I feel like I've always had a natural sense of rhythm. But I think with practice I got better and more confident.

Do you have a ritual before the performance? How to enter the zone?

About 15 minutes before I go on stage, I need to be alone. No matter where. I walk away and take a break because I'm getting really nervous. Then I go in, do my vocal warm-ups (listening to my vocal coach's recordings and doing her exercises), then listen to calming music to clear my mind. However, I mostly like to do this routine alone when I can – taking a moment is really important to me to not be surrounded by noise.

Alistair McVeigh

During the last Paris Men's Fashion Week, you were on the soundtrack of the KidSuper show. How is the approach different between creating music for shows and making music for yourself?

I think when you're making show music, obviously it may or may not contain vocals or written lyrics. And for this one, it wasn't lyric-based, it was me providing improvisations on the track, and they were supposed to be Arabic-inspired, and use those kinds of sounds, which was fun to do. to do – I had never made a sound. like this before. When I heard the music and heard everyone's parts, I kind of knew where I needed to place my voice and I also knew what I wanted to do with it. I kind of got lost in the music and kind of created harmonies and athletes in all different places. And I think that's how it happened. I didn't do too much or too little. I think everyone liked what I did.

You're usually on the go during Fashion Week. What has been your favorite Fashion Week experience to date?

After sitting front row at the Valentino men's show in Milan last June and then meeting Jacob Elordi after the show and having a 10 minute conversation with him is definitely a memorable memory – I think he's great. What I love so much about Fashion Week is being surrounded by people who truly love their fashion and aren't afraid to express it. Plus, by connecting with people at trade shows who may be in a completely different industry than you, it's just nice to get to know new people. It's great to have this experience as an artist who loves fashion and sees it as an extension of my art.

When you run out of creative inspiration, where do you go?

Honestly, I usually forget about trying to do something creative and I'll go eat some food or something. [laughs]. I'll listen to calming music, try to write things down or journal just to get everything out of my head and onto paper. I think when you're in a creative block, that's the best thing to do: just get everything out and start fresh, and the creativity will come back to you. I think the world is so busy that it's important to try and take time to relax and unwind. Sometimes the battery drains and you need to restart and recharge it. So relaxing, journaling and a big problem is trying not to be on my mobile!

Based on your Instagram, you constantly interact with celebrities you admire. What is your dream collaboration and who is the favorite person you have worked with?

My dream collaboration should of course be Beyonce. I would like to collaborate with her in all aspects, either having a writing credit or giving her new songs. However, a duet would be my ultimate dream. Regarding favorite person I've worked with so far, I have to say Underwave. We connected and got along so well before we even started working together musically. He is incredibly talented and motivating. It's wonderful to work with people at this career level and for them to be so welcoming.

What was it like to be nominated for your first BRIT Award this year for Rising Star?

In fact, it didn't seem real for a while. I remember watching the BRITs as a kid, and then one day you're nominated, and you're the youngest nominee in your category, and you're also sitting in a room full of incredible artists. I was really grateful for this nomination, and it was a great starting point for me – in a year or two I would love to be nominated for a category like Best New ArtistOr Song of the year – it gives me something to work on and it feels good. I also think that being 19 and being recognized by the BRITs was really mind-blowing, and yes, a really amazing feeling.

Finally, what’s happening to you this year that you can tease?

There will also be many shows and new music. I really want this to be the year where I perform more and connect with my listeners. Last month I was on a trail with Payer Potter. My visuals were on his track Longevity, which was cool. I just want to collaborate more with others in the industry and keep creating.

“Let Go Of Me Slowly” is available to stream now.

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