Break My Silence
R&B | Neo-Soul | Alternative Soul
premiere: stir your soul with singer gabrielle sey’s black af record, dripping with african rhythms
August 6, 2018
“It is what it is… just feel it.”
This is Gabrielle Sey’s response when asked to describe the genre of music she “fits” in. The thing is, Sey’s sound doesn’t fit into a specific genre because she has managed to create tapestry of sound that reflects her roots, influences and individual flair. Her individuality shines through and delivers a layered debut EP, from the way voices come together to fill the sonic space or the way she finds ways to stretch and play with her voice to give each song its own emotional signature.
I was fed up of being placed in a box and conforming to an industry stereotype. People often assume that being black means I sing R&B and soul. However, I wanted my music to reflect my African heritage as well as the music I love and enjoy. As the sound of the EP developed I realised that what I was creating couldn’t be defined by a specific musical genre. So, I decided to sum it up with these words: “It is what it is… just feel it”
‘Break My Silence’ is the perfect introduction to the LP, opening up with layered voices that fill up the chest of the listener as Sey’s raspy-smooth voice guides the song through its journey from a harmony of voices to a guitar that emits the same undeniable energy you’d find in South African ‘Maskandi’ music. Sey’s African roots are ever-present and elegantly woven throughout the EP with each song toting an infectious rhythm that can be traced back to many parts of the continent.
Photo by Tayo Lee Nelson
Sey manages to deliver a balance between soulful R&B and irresistible African panache that truly places her in a league of her own. Her ability to bring raw acoustic energy and produced sound together under her vocal prowess is truly a masterclass.
Her EP is out now.
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