The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is noted for unveiling the most popular new electronic devices to the world. This year the winner of the unveiling may not have been a new gadget, but it may be soulful Swedish singer Seinabo Sey.
LG showcased a brand new 8K television, virtual reality-ready devices were touted, and the human-carrying EHang 184 drone was paraded out. However, the power of a powerful voice resonating from Seinabo Sey introduced to CES by Vevo was as scintillating as all of the new gadgets.
Seinabo Sey spent her childhood traversing between Gambia in western Africa and Halmstad, Sweden. At the age of 15, Sey moved to Stockholm, Sweden, to pursue music by enrolling into a music school. Her father, Maudo Sey, is a famous west African music artist. In an interview with the British newspaper, the Independent, Seinabo Sey spoke of her admiration for her father and his music career as she reflected on life with him as a child in Gambia. She stated as follows.
“I’ve always been very impressed by him. He had a vibe and an aura and I remember thinking, ‘People listen to him’. He’s really funny. He’s definitely my biggest idol. I wanted to be like him.”
Seinabo Sey released her debut album, Pretend, in October of 2015. Spin Magazine rated it 8 of 10, and named it the album of the week upon its release. Sey was nominated for best newcomer at the 2014 Swedish Grammy Awards. People playing the internationally popular FIFA 16 video game can also hear Sey’s soulful voice singing her single, “Pretend.” Seinabo Sey was also selected to perform at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Her single, “Younger,” was remixed by multi-platinum Norwegian recording artist Kygo. It charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Vevo bringing her to CES 2016 to perform may be yet another sign that Sey’s brightest hours to shine on the world stage are luminously unfolding before our very eyes.
Noted technology news and media company, the Verge, featured an article written by Kwame Opam about Seinabo Sey’s performance at CES 2016, entitled, “An emotional introduction to Seinabo Sey, at CES of all places.” It was not just the title of an article, because experiencing Seinabo Sey sing live was truly an aesthetically emotional occasion for the author. Opam attempted to encapsulate Sey’s voice in words by saying as follows.
“And by the time she’d finished singing ‘Younger,’ I’d been swept away. Her voice washed over us like a wave, flooding the entire room with every powerful, sorrowful note, all before finally leaving tears in my eyes. By the show’s end, I found myself whispering, ‘Magnificent.’ “
Sey once described her songwriting process to Fader Magazine by articulating, “Most of the time, it’s just a feeling—maybe thoughts that you’ve accumulated and you have to get them out and write them down.” The emotional genius of her accumulation of thoughts fused together with vocals and musical bars left Opam captivated during a Las Vegas winter night at CES 2016, just as Sey has done to audiences around the world. It is authentic music from a real place—music from her heart.
In the aforementioned interview with Fader Magazine, Sey admitted that she sings to give herself strength because all of the changes she has experienced in life. Sey stated the following.
“… it’s mostly me trying to teach myself what I kind of wish somebody would have told me.”
Captivating the Verge, and each listening ear in the process, is a sure sign that Seinabo Sey may be the biggest winner of CES 2016 instead of the expected technological company with a flashy new innovation. Seinabo Sey may be on the verge of breaking through among U.S. audiences in 2016.
[Photo by Mikael Dahl/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0]