“When you hear yourself on the radio and people are talking about you, it’s really interesting, but you can’t get too caught up in it.”
At just 17-years-old, the future certainly looks bright for singer-songwriter Sekou Sylla, who hails from Ashby in Leicestershire.
In fact, at the time of writing, the talented teen is currently in a recording studio over in sunny LA, putting his powerful vocals to work on his original songs, which are saturated with soul and deep emotion.
Despite his young age, Sekou’s influences are ‘old school,’ and his songs have a maturity way beyond his years. He sings about love and heartbreak, and cites musicians such as Whitney Houston, Miles Davis and Otis Redding among his personal heroes.
“I just don’t feel much emotion nowadays in music. I think there’s a lot of emotion and rawness and realness in songs back then,” he told Pukaar. “I think authenticity is a big thing and I think you need that these days. With my music I just want to bring across that emotion, and make people feel something,” he added.
“A lot of music these days doesn’t have much grit, and I think if you have grit and emotion and rawness, then it’s good to show people what you can do.”
Last year, Sekou was contacted by four record labels, including Warner and Sony, after a video of him singing went viral, attracting over 3 million views on TikTok.
However, he decided to sign with an independent label called ‘Good Soldier Records,’ which represents successful artists including Freya Ridings, Biffy Clyro and The 1975.
This year, the teenager was named as one of the artists to watch in 2022 by BBC Radio 2, and he was invited to attend the Brit Awards back in February, a stage which he is determined to perform on in the future. He would also love to headline Glastonbury and perform at the Super Bowl, he revealed.
“Another goal I have is to sing on a John Lewis advert. That would be amazing,” he added.
“There’s a lot of feeling in my bones when I sing.”
However, despite his sky high ambitions, staying humble is important to Sekou, who has been blessed with an impressive 2-3 octive range, and is self taught on the piano.
“When you hear yourself on the radio and people are talking about you, it’s really interesting but you can’t get too caught up in it. It’s really exciting but you can’t let it get to your head,” he said.
“I’m just getting started really and my voice will get bigger. I still have a lot to learn.”
To listen to Sekou, visit: www.soundcloud.com/sekousylla
By Louise Steel