Following the recent release of her album 'Loc’d In Consciousness', we speak with British Soultress S.E.L.
Over the years S.E.L has built up a formidable career in music. From discovering her passion in music from a young age, she wrote herself into the musical story of soul music around the world. She’s worked with a vast collection of artists, one of the most notable being UK legend Jazzie B and the movement that is Soul II Soul.
Following her works with Soul II Soul she signed with Cubit Records where she released her debut single 'Necessary'. The record exploded around the world as S.E.L announced herself to the world. Since then she has continued to climb up the ranks with a string of incredible releases, and show-stopping performances.
These days her name is mentioned in the same vain as her contemporaries as she moves into her role as the sweet heard of the UK soul scene. Bringing soul back to its roots and maintaining a positive and bright energy it’s little wonder why. She has recently reached a new career milestone with the release of her debut album, 'Loc’d In Conciousness'. Following its release we caught up with her to find out more.
What’s got you motivated right now?
A love and passion for making the best out of life that we can.
As an artists you’ve just got bigger and bigger over the years. Your debut album is out now and it’s first single sat comfortably at Number 1 on the UK soul charts. Congratulations! How has the last 12 months been for you?
It’s been okay! I mean, at times it was tough just due to the lock down restrictions and, as I am sure most creatives will say, inspiration for song writing has been hard. However, I have just been trying to remain positive and keep the positivity flowing.
What is going through your mind running up to the album’s release?
That people love it as much as I loved writing and creating it.
Is there a track on there which you’re particularly proud of? What makes it stand out for you?
All of them really but 'My Point Of View' is very raw and very real. I was debating whether to put it on the album as it’s quite an emotional one but very happy that it has touched so many people.
After the album’s release you’ve got some big shows on the horizon, any dates you’re particularly excited for?
Yes! Sunday 25th July I’m playing live for UK Ladies of Soul at Boisdale in Canary Wharf with the Mi-Soul radio DJs. I am also going to be performing at the Margate Soul Festival on the Sunset Stage Sunday August 8th.
You’ve worked with so many artists over the years. One artist you’ve worked with is Jazzie B, which you’ve described as ‘An immense education’. What lessons did you learn from this UK legend?
To never send music to people that you have to make excuses for! lol, like, ‘It’s just a demo’ ‘my voice was a bit sore’, ‘Don’t worry about the sound’.
To Nurture and perfect your craft.
To not be in a rush for any stage of a music project, things will naturally fall into place.
To always be on top of your business.
To know as many areas of the business as possible so you know what members of your team are supposed to be doing.
To stand by your word.
To hold onto as many of your creative rights as possible, especially in this current climate.
Jazzie B is but one artist you’ve worked with, the list goes on and on, is there another artist who was particularly inspiring to work with?
DJ Spen! I love his work ethic, his immense talent and his heart. He is a genuinely good person. Furthermore, one of the most talented producers and DJs that I know. Also Michele Chiavrarini. His meticulous attention to detail is why the tracks that we did together was of such an impeccable standard.
You already had a huge amount of inspiration for music from a young age, picking up the violin and piano at the age of 6! What gravitated you towards music at such a young age?
I actually think it was watching Vanessa Mae on TV initially. She was so different from the conventional popstars I was seeing, she held a violin and was still so contemporary. She stood out to me, I wanted to stand out like she did. Hence the violin being my first instrument.
Your love for music has blossomed into a hugely successful career, with a global fan base. What do you think makes your music stand out and resonate with so many people across the world?
I try to always write with intent. I want people to be able to get something from my music. That’s it really. I just try to always do what I do from the heart.
When you first started moving into the music industry what was one of the biggest challenges you had to overcome?
Self confidence and general insecurities. I had to learn to not compare myself to other people. To be happy and secure with the god-given voice that I had.Know that I am unique and special and focus on just doing me!
You’re from London, which has a vibrant music scene. In what ways has the city helped shape your sound?
We are a fusion of so many cultures and creatives. I think that comes through in my music.
What does soul music mean to you?
Music that comes from the Soul. The genre is a direct evolution of Spirituals and Gospel music. Singing soul means to sing from the depths of emotion. Whether it be oppression, pain, love or happiness.
What are your favourite spaces to see music in the city?
I love the Southbank, Covent Garden and Camden. I could spend days upon days in these three places.
What’s a little known fact about you?
I make Soap!
What could the world use a little more of right now?
What’s your life motto?
Do what your soul can live with.
If you could perform anywhere in the world where would that be and why?
Probably Japan. I know they have a great love for Soul music. I did a show there as part of the Soul II Soul collective and absolutely loved it. The people, the vibe, the food. I would love to perform there as myself.
S.E.L’s debut album 'Loc’d In Conciousness' is out now - Buy/stream
You can catch S.E.L at Mi-Soulful Sundays, UK Ladies of Soul at Biosdale, Canary Whalf on Sunday 25th July and the Margate Soul Festival
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