Seinabo Sey (photo by Patricia Reyes, courtesy of Universal, PR)
Over the past three years, Seinabo Sey has gradually stepped into the pop spotlight, creating mounting anticipation for her first album, Pretend. The Swedish singer had previously released a series of singles, like “Younger,” and two EPs, both named after her parents.
Born in Stockholm, Sey’s artistry pulls from both her Swedish and, on her father’s side, Gambian ancestry. The singer's father, Maudo Sey, who passed away in 2013, was an acclaimed West African musician and Pretend is dedicated in his memory. The academically minded Seinabo Sey, who attended several music schools, was bitten by the pop bug and drew inspiration from R&B and soul artists like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.
Sey sings with a strength and maturity that belies her age. When listening to “Younger,” the album’s opening song, it’s hard to believe that she created the song while in her early twenties. Her magnificent voice is mirrored by the confidence conveyed in her songs and both fluctuate from string-laden ballads (“Sorry”) and sorrowful elegies (“Burial”) to pounding dance beats (“Pretend”) and tribal rhythms (“Hard Time.”)
Sey brings a worldly dynamic to her unique brand of pop, soul and R&B. Pretend signals the arrival of this exciting, fresh and powerful new presence on the music landscape.