SEINABO SEY

Singer & songwriter




WORDS BY: CAROLINE HAINER | PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH LÖNN



“I have actually not listened to soul as much as people think I have. I listened to one Diana Washington record, it was during a vacation in Greece. I have listened to Aretha Franklin but never a full-length record. People say I sound like Nina Simone, which is a huge compliment. But I am not too familiar with her songs, I have only heard a few. Music to me is about survival. I need it to get by. God, if I had not enrolled in a high school of music and arts I never would have graduated. Or probably even gone to school at all. The fact that music was on the schedule was what made me show up to class. Then I heard Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, a friend of my father gave it to me, and I thought ‘yeah, this resonates with me’. I have also had the great privilege of never having doubting about what I want to do in life. My parents were great supporters of me growing up, they told me you can do whatever you want. When it was clear to me that I wanted to devote my life to singing they did not raise an eyebrow or tell me to think it through one more time. They just knew I needed to do this.”