On Friday (September 7), Swedish-Gambian singer-songwriter Seinabo Sey released her emotive new album I’m A Dream. Inspired by her experiences and stories, this album is her most personal offering yet and truly digs deep lyrically.
I’m A Dream opens with ‘I Love You’, a gorgeous ballad where Seinabo expresses her love for someone, to the point where she shows more adoration to them than she does herself. However, sometimes it just isn’t enough, and you’ve got to learn to let them go. “‘Cause if you love somebody, set them free / So here are your wings, my baby / I just want you to know if you leave / That I’m yours, yours, yours,” Seinabo sings over the chilled RnB beat.
‘Never Get Used To’ is a poignant tribute to Seinabo’s father, musician Maudo Sey, who passed away. “Calling for you is your daughter / I look for you ’round every corner / I need to hear your voice, it’s harder than ever before / ‘Cause see, I’ll never get used to not having you around me,” Seinabo croons over a throwback 80’s melody. Despite the sombre nature of the song lyrically, melodically the track is actually rather upbeat to the point where it’s danceable.
Taking a darker turn melodically, ‘I Owe You Nothing’ is an empowering anthem which was released earlier this year. Seinabo marks her territory here, proving that she is unapologetically herself and won’t be told what to do. “I don’t have to smile for you / I don’t have to move for you / I don’t have to dance, monkey dance, monkey dance, monkey dance for you,” she sings, before declaring “I owe you nothing / I be myself and I ain’t fronting”. ‘I Owe You Nothing’ showcases Seinabo’s velvet tones perfectly, and brings out the artist’s fierce side.
‘My Eye’, on the other hand, is a softer tune which embraces 60’s soul. The track also allows Seinabo to explore her vocal range as she questions “How do I make love rise in your eyes?”. ‘My Eye’ is unusually structured, as it is armed with a lengthy chorus and ends rather abruptly after an extended second verse. Considering the flow and melody of the song, you’d expect a smoother finish to the track but with Seinabo questioning “What you gonna do?”, it feels rather fitting that the track just comes to an end suddenly.
‘Truth’ opens with Seinabo quietly speaking “This shit ain’t a lie, you love or you die”, with the melody suggesting that the track will be in the same vein as ‘I Owe You Nothing’. However, it actually turns into a stunning piano ballad which reflects on Seinabo understanding her instincts. The gentle offering allows Seinabo’s vocals to take centre stage, whilst also showcasing her pure emotion. She is not afraid to bare her soul on this record, and ‘Truth’ is the perfect example of this.
‘Remember’ is the only collaboration on the album and it features fellow soul/RnB artist Jacob Banks. The track, which was released earlier this year, is a stunning offering which sees Jacob’s distinct vocals complement Seinabo’s dreamy tones perfectly. Lyrically, the song discusses wanting to be remembered for all the good things, with Seinabo singing: “So you say, all you wanna be is remembered / I’ll make you go down in history.”
Armed with strings, ‘Breathe’ is another empowering female anthem which deals with self-love and self-acceptance. The track celebrates being able to be yourself and love what you see, without having to face questions from others. “Now we moving forward ever, backwards never / Forward ever, backwards never / And when the going gets rough and life gets tough / Don’t forget to breathe,” Seinabo preaches in the anthemic chorus which is assisted by a gospel choir.
A nine second interlude titled ‘Hakim’ follows, with a spoken voice stating “Peace and love. Uh, is there any particular vibe you’re interested in?”. This leads into the album’s penultimate track, and Seinabo’s most recent single, ‘Good In You’. The track is a breezy, feel-good anthem which sees the songstress questioning “I see the good in you, do you see it too?”. ‘Good In You’ is one of the most upbeat offerings on the album and showcases a different side to the songstress which we’re truly enjoying.
Seinabo brings I’m A Dream to a close with ‘Hold Me As I Land’, an old-school style ballad which showcases the songstress’ falsetto. “Looking for someone, someone to hold my hand, hold me as I land,” she sings delicately, before being joined by a gospel choir for the latter half of the song. ‘Hold Me As I Land’ oozes emotion and soul, and rounds off the album perfectly.
I’m A Dream is a passionate 10-track offering from Seinabo Sey in which she bares her soul about topics which have affected her personally. From self-confidence to loss, relationships to female empowerment, Seinabo has tackled these subjects with positivity, grace and strength, allowing listeners to be a part of her journey. I’m A Dream showcases Seinabo’s powerful lyricsm and vocal prowess in equal measure, resulting in a cohesive offering that everyone should explore.
Listen to I’m A Dream below.