After his sold-out London show this week, Sekou talks his first musical loves and why he’d rather hone his music than experiment.

On Monday, friends and fans alike crammed into a sold-out The Lower Third in Soho for Sekou’s headline gig. Aged just 18, having a several-hundred-strong crowd reciting his songs back to him verbatim, it was clear that this is just the beginning of something great. 


It’s been a month since the release of his debut EP, ‘Out of Mind’: a highly anticipated offering his 100K+ following across Instagram and TikTok had been pining for since the success of “Better Man”, his first track which now opens the EP. Across the offering, Sekou drapes his captivating vocals and soulful melodies over elevated pop cuts and spirited piano-led songs. While his ballads are where it all began, his voice shines too on the poppier tracks in ‘Out of Mind’, with the lively “Forgiving Myself” welcoming listeners into a lighter, more optimistic space. Marking a new era of sound for the young musician, this introductory body of work showcases his honest storytelling, musical prowess, and flawless vocals all within the space of the five tracks.


Akin to many other rising musicians today, Sekou found his fanbase online – which stands at an impressive 100,000 across Instagram and TikTok alone. He first found industry attention aged 16, when a video of himself singing in a car park was picked up by music label NWS Music Group – who rushed to sign him. From Leicester, now London-based and recording in LA, he’s quickly making his way through the ranks. And, with fans in the likes of Sam Smith, Anderson .Paak, and Leon Bridges, we thought it time to catch up with Sekou, talking all from the perks of youth, his first musical loves, and why he’d rather hone his music than experiment.

Let’s start with your IG bio…  ’18 years old London kid’. How important are both of these things to your identity – being a young person reaching adulthood in 2023, and doing that in London?

It’s very important, especially with me highlighting my age because I like people knowing that I’m young – it surprises them, but also means I can be very free, do my own thing, experiment musically and still have time to learn. Also, I’m originally from Ashby in Leicester, and only moved to London a year and a bit ago, but London was important to include as this is where I live right now. I feel very connected to London musically and personally, but Ashby is home.

How important are both of those things to the music you make, and who you are as an artist?

All these things influence my music – the youth and the energy of it, but my upbringing, the artists I grew up listening to, and the music I loved are all the things that really make me who I am as an artist. I think I can never go wrong if I’m just being honest, and true to the music I want to make.

When did you decide to pursue music? Was there a moment when you decided to give it everything you’ve got, or has it been bubbling away your whole life?

I always wanted to do music, from a very young age, and I was always obsessed with it. My love for it started in church and being influenced by the artists I love like Whitney Houston, Prince, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan – so that’s how I started.

You’ve achieved so much off your own back this year – most importantly, a really genuine fan base who resonate with both you and the music. How does it feel to be getting so much love from people who relate to what you’re doing?

It’s amazing and really humbling, but I still believe that there’s so much to do and I’m still very early in my career. But it’s so great to see people supporting so early on – I appreciate it all.

You’ve got a live show this week – how does that love translate in real life? Is that where you feel the most connected to your audience?

Yes, it’s real people! These are the people paying money and going out of their way to come and watch you perform. I’m really grateful to be building a following, but the people that are going to buy tickets are the real people I get to connect with.

Do you have any pre-show rituals? How do you get prepped and hyped?

I like to be by myself, disconnect, and just take a breather.

Other than the live shows, which part of being a musician do you love the most? What have you found the most challenging?

The part of being able to call myself a musician that I love the most is travelling to new places and seeing the world, meeting new creatives to collaborate with, and being free to create the art you love in a cool way.


The thing I’ve found the most challenging is that everything is a process, from the music creation to working out who you are as an artist and setting yourself apart. But it’s all been such a useful learning experience.

Your debut EP, ‘Out Of Mind’, came out last month – how have you find the reaction to it?

Really great! It was lovely to see so many new people discovering my music.

Looking back on the project, how did you grow artistically whilst making it?

I learnt a lot about the process of being in the studio, and meeting and collaborating with new creatives. I’ve always loved writing my own music, but I would say I learnt to write in new ways, and tap into myself more for sure.

Are you heading straight into more writing and releasing? What’s inspiring you right now?

Yes! I’ve just come back from a few weeks in New York and LA, which was amazing and really productive music-wise. In terms of creativity, I like to be in a bubble when I’m creating, so I’ll go back and listen to what I’ve done and see what can be changed and what worked well – I like to reflect and rework the music a lot.

Are there any new sounds or genres you’re looking to explore in your next project?

I’m still playing with both up-tempo tracks and ballads, but I don’t want to be an artist that doesn’t know what they want to do, so just tries everything to see what sticks with listeners – that’s not my aim. I want to really hone-in on my craft, and perfect that first.

As you build your own world as an artist, where are you looking to for inspiration for the visual side of things?

I love to watch movies to feel inspired visually. I also look at other artists for creative inspiration, but I try not to compare myself to them, or directly emulate because everyone is so different. For example I love Frank Ocean’s aesthetic, and he’s someone who’s creative vision I admire.

Looking at where you and that world you’re creating might be in five years, what’s the dream?

To keep growing – but my ultimate dream is to be selling millions of records! I also hope that I always stay motivated and on track. I think that the one thing I’ve been learning a lot recently is to keep going and keep building, especially if you want longevity.

And what’s the message? What do you want to be remembered for?

I’d love to be remembered for being a legend [laughs], and that I worked hard to get to where I wanted to get to.

Stream 'Out Of Mind':


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