Swedish-Gambian vocalist and songwriter Seinabo Sey is a gold- and platinum-certified artist in her home country, whose music melds U.S.-influenced soulful R&B and electro-pop. Her slightly grainy contralto does offer an adept falsetto and rich lower register; it is forceful and extroverted while her lyrics often chart psychological and emotional states of interiority and vulnerability. Her original songs more often than not take themes associated with personal empowerment as their M.O. Her infectious, assertive single "Younger" charted in nine countries including the U.S., and was certified multi-platinum in three, while her universally acclaimed debut album, Pretend, charted at number four in Sweden and 14 in Norway, and was also certified multi-platinum.
Born in Stockholm in 1990, Sey was first exposed to music via her father Maudo Sey, an acclaimed West African musician. After moving with her family to Halmstad, Sey enrolled at the prestigious Östergårdsskolans school, where she studied music. Academically inclined, Sey initially thought to pursue a less creative career, but by age 16 had moved back to Stockholm and enrolled in music classes at the Fryshusets Center. Influenced by such artists as Lauryn Hill, Beyonce, and Alicia Keys, Sey developed a confident performance aesthetic while at Fryshusets. After graduating, Sey began collaborating with other artists, appearing with Oskar Linnros, Linda Pira, Stor, and others. In 2013, she lost her father and the impact of that event on her music cannot be overstated. She released the Magnus Lidehäll-produced single "Younger." The song caught the public's attention and gained even wider popularity with a 2014 remix by Kygo. Also in 2014, Sey released her debut EP, For Madeleine (that charted at 15 on the Heatseekers charts), and made several high-profile appearances including performances at the Swedish Grammy Awards and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. In 2016, Sey returned with her sophomore EP, For Maudo, featuring the single "Poetic." She spent much of 2017 touring Europe, though she did manage to release a Charming Horses remix of "Still." The following year, Sey and Lidehäll hit the studio hard and began to deliver singles ranging from "I Owe You Nothing" b/w "Remember" (feat. Jacob Banks), to "Breathe" and a digital release with versions of "Breathe" and "For You." After appearing on Banks' "Be Good to Me," she dropped her sophomore long player, I'm a Dream. ~ Matt Collar