I asked last week, who is writing the soundtrack to our activism? Today I suggest the immensely talented Swedish singer, Seinabo Sey. A departure from last week's blues and folk-rock based artist, Hozier, Seinabo Sey is writing anthems in her own right. I am having a hard time even defining a genre for Sey - she is soulful, electronic-based, pop inspired, and r&b influenced. Even those genres don't seem to be enough - she transcends placement and I love her for it.
I think her latest single, 'Hard Time' should be GT's anthem. It is repetitious and infectious. The lyrics are about overcoming adversities and regret to stand tall in the world. The last verse expresses the core of the song -
This time I will be louder than my words,
Walk with lessons that oh I have learnt.
Show the scars I have worn,
In the light of day.
Shadows will be found,
I will hunt them down!
I also want to talk about how awesome the video is. I love it! My first impression was that I really would love the be at this party. And then I went deeper. The party isn't for me, White American girl. And that's okay.
The video is very gothic and dark, yet positive despite the old house and industrial backgrounds. And it stars black women, being weird. I have always loved the weird, the strange, the out-there. And I know I am an outsider to the black diaspora, but one thing I have noticed is that weirdness in black music, and in relation to black women, is not usually tolerated in the media and in society at large (Notable exception - Rhianna?) I love that Sey embraced something we aren't usually allowed to see in her video. To me, it elevates her message and her achievements. She is championing herself.
Her previous single 'Younger' has just as much of an activist message in its discussion of time and youth. While the word 'younger' repeats as a meditation on time and how you spend it, the video is filled with blissful, youthful moments with friends. In my mind, 'Younger' is bittersweet - afraid of wasting youth but also in wasting the beautiful little moments of happiness life can bring.
I am looking forward to more music from Seinabo Sey. Right now she is doing very well in Sweden and in Europe, but her music does not seem to be widely available in the US. You can find her on Youtube and Soundcloud (and I hope soon on Spotify).
ETA: Sorry I am shit at writing titles. I can't seem to get it right! So I am going to repost. Don't hate me?