VIDEO PREMIERE: SEINABO SEY – THE STORY BEHIND “BREATHE”
photos / Märta Thisner
story / Koko Ntuen
Seinabo Sey is an artist whose voice swells in your heartstrings like a bold Merlot in a crystal goblet. With her latest track “Breathe” she presents us with a preview of what to expect on her upcoming sophomore album. The song is a full-bodied pop wonder anthem that makes a compelling place for itself in the musicverse.
Today we premiere the sophisticated growth of an artist who enters into a new era in her life and takes us with her. “Breathe” lends an empowering ease and reflection to life that is needed in this day in age. It is dedicated to feeling like you can breathe, knowing that you can love yourself, accepting yourself and feeling beautiful. She adopted the phrase she grew up hearing from her dad, “Forward ever, backward never”, a saying by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Ghana’s first president, and created a medicinal track for the soul.
She recalls of writing the song, “I always have moments where I feel different because I am different. I wrote it when I was in Dakkar. I was just sitting there alone, I went by myself. I was a bit scared, to be honest, but it was one of those things if you don’t just go you won’t ever go. Regardless of all of that, being in a town where I can speak Wolof but can’t really speak French, and they speak a lot of French. And I was just thinking ‘WHY ARE YOU HERE, WHY DID YOU COME HERE’” She laughs, “I wrote all this down on a piece of paper, my simplest thoughts. After that, I really stopped questioning if I was supposed to live there.”
“Breathe” was shot in Seinabo’s father’s home country of Gambia and features a rich cast of blue skies, all the tulle you can imagine and Seinabo with a few dear childhood friends and their daughters. Her best friend since she was 15 is among one of the beautiful ladies in her squad. Seinabo giggles when she recalls the shoot,
“She’s always been by my side but I never asked her to be on video because she is camera shy. I’m just really glad she said yes. That is one of my favorites things about making videos having a document of US in time.”
On her next album, she is older. ” I just know much more. I think I’m a bit clearer, more direct and know myself better. I don’t know it that will make my music better or worse but I feel like I am more confident and that is always a nice feeling.”
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