Photo by Roger Richardson
Before technology took over the music-making process, it was very important for an upcoming musician to work on his/her musical chops. There was no auto-tune or quantization to help make the musician sound better. You either had it or you kept working until you did. It is no secret that "having chops" is something that most upcoming musicians tend to overlook these days. However, there are still artists today that have the passion to be well-rounded in their craft. Meet Sedeah, an upcoming R&B singer from the Hudson Valley and two-time winner of Amateur Night at the Apollo.
Photo by Roger Richardson
Where is your hometown?
I grew up in the lower Eastside. I currently live in Orange County, NY.
What made you make the move from the city?
My folks felt that it was time for a change of scenery and it would be a better place to raise their children; thus the move to upstate.
Do you consider yourself a city girl or is the small-town life more suitable for you?
I am a versatile individual. I know how to move when in the city, but I do appreciate the tranquility of living the "small-town" life.
Being able to survive and thrive in both environments is definitely a unique and great quality to have. Who would you say is your biggest influence in regards to your music?
Absolutely. I definitely agree. I would say that my biggest influences, in regards to my music, could be attributed to the greats who came before me. It's hard to narrow it down to one or two. But to name a few: Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, and Amy Winehouse. I am tuned in to the soulful sounds of Motown and pull inspiration from all that surrounds me.
I can definitely hear that sweet, soulful sound of Lauryn Hill in your music. It's very soothing.
Thank you. I appreciate that.
No problem! How long have you been singing for?
I started singing at the mere age of eight. So let me do some math here... That's 21 years. [laughs]
That's a nice chunk of your life there!
Sure is. [laughs] No formal training though. This is all raw talent.
That's super impressive! No coaching or anything?
I have never had any professional vocal lessons. When I was younger, someone asked my mom if she would put me in vocal coaching. But she didn't want to for fear that it would ruin my voice if placed in the wrong hands.
Interesting. Do your parents have a musical background?
My father has been DJ-ing ever since I can remember. There are pictures of me as an infant slung across his shoulder, headphones on, and in front of the turntables. So it's safe to say that i've been surrounded by music my whole life. And he played everything. Thanks to him I have a wide music palette.
I figured as much. That seems like a big bonus; having someone who could show you so much great music at such a young age!
Yes it is. I am very grateful.
Do you play any other instruments?
I mess around a little on the keys and guitar. I play by ear. It's really whatever sounds good to me. I haven't heard any complaints yet. [laughs]
That's the best way to go in my honest opinion! I've always been a big advocate of playing by ear. Who else works with you in the process of creating your music?
When it comes time to create, I have been blessed to work with the dopest producer I know, Lehkz. He is responsible for the production on my EP 'Diary of a Dreamer', has co-written on some of the songs, and even sang on some tracks. I have a small knit team of friends who also sing and we bounce ideas off of one another.
How'd you meet Lehkz and the rest of your team?
I met Lehkz at 'The Cave' (#producedbythevamp) out in Brooklyn. I was asked to do some work on a project for another artist and he was running the studio session that day. We have mutual friends that I went to high school with and we knew of each other for two years before we actually met. June 27, 2015 was a memorable day; history in the making and I didn't even know it. (laughs) I met the rest of the team through him.
That's so dope! You know something special is happening when moments like that come together.
Without a doubt. A match made in Heaven is how we like to call it.
Do you have any new projects in the works or are you planning any kind of tours?
I recently released a song on my birthday entitled 'Good Morning' (Available for download via SoundCloud). I am always working on cooking up something new. August 12th I will be performing at Six Flags Great Adventures and August 16th I will be performing on the legendary Apollo stage for the fourth time.
Both of those sound like a sensational time!
I am looking forward to it along with the other local gigs in between.
The better question is when will we get a performance while riding the roller coaster, 'Kingda Ka'?
[laughs] Let's make that happen August 12th. It's a 50 sec ride so I guess the performance will be brief [laughs]. Wait, did you mean sing while riding the coaster?
Ohhhh. I'll see if I can finagle something.
What did you think I meant?
[laughs] I thought you meant if there was a stage of some sorts set up in front where people can ride and listen. Oh nvm [laughs]. (Never mind) For the seasoned folk who may be reading this.
Photo by Roger Richardson
[laughs] Either way, we can definitely try to make something happen!
And I'm sure the "seasoned folk" will certainly appreciate you being so considerate [laughs]
I hope so. I am anticipating many reading the articles that PAZ Magazine will generate. You guys are doing a great job!
We're only doing a great job because artist like you are giving us great stuff to talk about!
Aww shucks (starts to blush) We try! [laughs]
[laughs] Well I think we got some great stuff for the article! PAZ Magazine and I really do appreciate you as an artist and want to thank you for working with us for the magazine!
You are most welcome and thank you! I certainly enjoyed the interview. You all are on the right track. Keep going strong. Blessings.
And likewise to you!! Thanks bunches Sedeah!
No problem! Take care.
All photos for this article were taken by Roger Richardson.