DJ: Ms. S.E.L, welcome to our Journal.
SEL: Thank you for having me.
1- For our readers who might get to know you for the first time, please tell us about yourself and what took you to the musical arena.
SEL: I am a soul artist, born and bred in London UK. Music has always been a part of my life. I remember seeing Vanessa Mae perform for the first time, on her white electric violin...I knew I wanted to play the violin. That was my first instrument, which I started at the age of 5 years old, I then started the classical piano at the age of 7. I studied music throughout school, then college, then University. I believe in following your passion, that has always been my music. When I left university, I was lucky enough to get a work placement in a established music events company, where I was asked to stand in at the last minute as a backing vocalist for one of their shows....I have never looked back! I decided to go further into education and get my teaching degree, as well as balancing my industry work, I was managing a music department in a busy inner city school. In Jan 2009, the juggling between the two industries got too much for me and I had to make a decision. I decided to take my industry career to the next level. I have been working on so many different projects for other established artists, worldwide. I decided it was time to focus on furthering my career. I signed my first production and recording contract in 2009 and released my first single, 'Necessary' in May 2010.
2 - You are a multitalented artist, a singer/songwriter, who strives to go for grassroots in Soul music. Going back to the essence is actually what our organisation also admires you for. Where this sense came from and why going to the grassroots are important?
SEL: I am still in love with the greats..Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, Soul2Soul. These were the soundtrack to my childhood, teenage years and life in general. Music that inspires, music that has a message. Music from people who want to make a difference. Other inspirations for me are, Jill scott, Billie Holiday, Goapele and Musiq. I believe that if you are writing a song, write a song with purpose. A song that has timeless ability. All of the artists i admire, have animpeccable skill to do this...I don't feel most artists of today find this of as much importance....This is why I feel it is important for me as an artist to keep this going.
3 - You have worked with several raising stars and professional artists including FugiRoc, how did you two meet and how was your experience working with him?
SEL: We met while working for Soul2Soul and have been great friends ever since. Our first collaboration was in 2012 with 'Say whats on your mind', Which I performed at lots of music festivals throughout the 2012 Olympic season. London was a buzzing place around the olympic time, I was so proud to be part of lots of music festivals that were put on as part of the festivities. Fugiroc is an amazing producer, songwriter, singer...not to mention bass player to the stars. He is a person who has nurtured and perfected his craft. He is the most ambitious person I know...besides myself! lol. It is a privilege to work with such a amazing person.
4 - You have not only a distinguished clear voice and a unique singing technique but also against the trends these days, you are well-presented and well mannered in your performances and music videos. It is clear that you are not one of those commercial artists that do anything for fame! What made you a responsible artist to portray S.E.L that we see today?
SEL: I take my art seriously. I believe that a true artist takes the time to educate themselves in their art, nurture it and perfect it. I have taken to time to explore and learn about all aspects of the music business to ensure I can manage all aspects of my career if need be. I am very proud of myself in every aspect of the artist I am....I don't believe in the fast track methods of getting a career in the industry, I don't believe that sustainability is achieved this way. Its never been about fame for me, its always been about respect.
5 - As a singer and songwriter, how do you assess the current quality of music industry? Do you encourage artists to collaborate internationally and unit their forces?
SEL: That's a difficult one. There are lots of amazing artists out there, I see them all the time. However, I don't think that in the current music industry, that in some incidences, the right artists are given the right level of respect. I don't think international collaboration happens enough, which is why I feel it of great importance to do this project with WAALM. It's all about supporting each other, in my opinion.
6- You recently got engaged in an international music production of "Magnificent Love", a duet featuring by FugiRoc, based in London, England, composed by Loghman Adhami based in USA, arranged by late Arconte Eric in France and Lyrics by Dr. Mosi Dorbayani from Canada, which is facilitated by our organisation, WAALM. How was your feeling and experience on this multinational collaboration?
SEL: Excited! Can't wait for you all to hear what myself and Fugiroc do with the song. We will be recording it next week, so stay tuned.
For those who wish to follow your activities, please tell us about your forthcoming projects and that how they can follow you.
SEL: I am currently working with Fugiroc on finishing my album and preparing for my third release, as well as working on getting Fugiroc's second single up and running. Lots of live dates coming up. Keep in touch at: www.s-e-lsoul.com
DJ: S.E.L, thank you for attending this interview and we wish your the best on your artistic career.
SEL: Thanks guys, looking forward to working with you.
- SEL's Official Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/selsoul
- SEL's Official Twitter: www.twitter.com/SELSOUL
- WAALM FB Page: www.facebook.com/waalmawards