In collaboration with

For Amazon Music Breakthrough UK: Artists To Watch 2024 list, in collaboration with Notion, Sekou reflects on his artistic origins, star sign traits and the importance of being vulnerable.

Coming into 2024 off the back of his debut EP, Out Of Mind, Sekou has been making noise in his deep, brandy-like baritones for a few years now. Despite being just 19, the Ashby, Leicester, hailing artist gained recognition for his soulful renditions, receiving co-signs by Anderson. Paak, Dua Lipa and Cleo Soul along the way. 

 

Inspired by greats like Prince and Chaka Khan, in his music so far, you can hear a devotion to disrupting the tropes of modern pop music. ‘Forgiving Myself’ perhaps best encapsulates this, as the songwriter croons powerfully over an infectious synth-funk instrumental.  

 

Having already ticked off Glastonbury, and with an upcoming support slot for Reneé Rapp in Feb, who knows where the world will take Sekou next.  

Where does your artist name come from? 

I think Sekou means strong, independent, elegant, on his own. 

Where were you born? 

I was born in Leicester, a small hospital in Burton. I moved to Harlesden, and then I came here to London for music. 

What’s your star sign? 

I’m a hard Virgo, a proper sassy Virgo. Virgo all the way. 

What feeling do you want your music to emote?  

Being an artist and being vulnerable, it’s just about being honest and being yourself, especially when it comes to the songwriting world. It’s about being you and opening up and telling your story. What I’m really inspired by is everyone having their own relationship with a song – I just love that about music. Finding people who resonate with my music and tell me that is so special.   

What does it mean to help people with your music? 

Just happy and emotional. For my music to help people is really important, so if I’m just helping one person, that’s the best thing. I’d really love my music to get people’s emotional moments out, letting them be free and hearing their story in my music. That’s everything.

What’s your main source of inspiration? 

If we’re talking about artists, I’d have to say Whitney. Soul music, jazz, alternative and pop, and all the divas crew. That’s what I’m really inspired by. The gay community as well, and people who are really honest with themselves and want to do their best. Everyone’s there to have fun, everyone’s there to cry, everyone’s there to just be themselves. Also my family, my mum especially, and my friends. I think my age inspires me to keep pushing and keep changing stuff. I want to be this young and making many moments. But yeah, I think my family inspires me the most, doing everything I can for them.  

How do you feel being a teenager in the music industry?

Being a teenager is super cool, you can get away with so many things. And it’s nice because everyone may assume you’re like 25, but when you say you’re 18, 19, everyone’s gagged. It’s just really cool being this young. 

Do you have a pre-show ritual? 

Before a show, I’ll probably listen to Halo by Beyoncé like 50 times and Run The World like 30 times, get into that diva moment and get ready for what I’m about to do. 

What’s on your rider? 

I’d say the things on my radar would be alcoholI don’t drink too much, only if I’m feeling happy after a show – crisps, Doritos. I’m quite basic, so only three or four things. Honey and lemon, obviously, but that’d be it.

Which artist past or present would you choose for a collaboration? 

In the next 12 months, I’d love to get in with Cleo Sol. We’ve already been back and forth about stuff. I’d love to do something with Adele if she ever would. I love PinkPantheress. And I’d have to say Whitney, because she’s my idol.

Can you describe your sound?

I’d describe myself as honest, emotional, quite deep vocally and lyrically. Just free. I feel like you don’t know what to expect, because my speaking voice is completely different to my singing voice. I’d say honest and alternative.  

Do you have a message for your fans? What can they expect from you? 

I’m really enjoying getting to know them and more people come along every time and discovering me. But just keep being yourself and keep growing and being you. 

Listen to the Amazon Music Breakthrough 2024 playlist here:

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