I am seeing a lot of journalists getting excited…
over Sera EKE right now! She has introduced the title-track from her debut E.P., Coup! Coup! Coup! The E.P. is out tomorrow and showcases a skilled and unique songwriter whose multi-genre attack will remain in the mind for weeks. I ask the songwriter about her new material and how it came together; how she manages to fuse so many sounds together; the artists that have guided and moulded her – what it was like working with Leo Abrahams on the E.P.
She reveals the three albums that have impacted her hardest; what she would say to new artists coming through; what gigs are on the horizon - letting us into her entrancing and alluring world!
Hi, Sera EKE. How are you? How has your week been?
Been really busy!
Rehearsing, editing the video; making beats, dance class; yoga, Buddhism meeting; craft workshop - seeing my friends etc.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am a solo artist who self-produces, pretty much, everything - including music, video; photos, artwork; performance etc.
Coup! Coup! Coup! is your new track. Can you tell me about its origins and background?
About two years ago, I saw this YouTube video when Krept & Konan collaborated with an orchestra at the BBC Proms.
As soon as I heard the contrabassoon on the intro, I just opened a new project on my computer and started to make the rest of the beat…
Your song mixes so many genres and sounds together. Was it hard getting it together and making the track sound natural, yet varied?
To be honest; I really don't know much about genres.
I’ve never ever tried to produce music thinking about what the genre is. If there’s a catchy melody or some memorable lyrics – or, perhaps, a good guitar riff - it’s just Pop to me! Somebody actually told me that Coup!' sounded like Grime and Garage - so I thought it was just that.
Didn’t know there were elements of Dancehall, Reggae; Ska, Hip-Hop; indie, K-Pop - whatever. The first I knew of it was when I saw a review of my track recently.
The video for Coup! Coup! Coup! looks pretty fun and odd! Whose concept was it – and what was it like filming it?
When I wrote the lyrics; I was thinking about pigeons as you might have gathered. We always see them on the streets. One day, I thought, maybe they are saying ‘Coup’- not ‘Coo’ (I will write, in more detail, about the story behind it on my website soon). Anyway...that was the basis for the song and the video itself. I wanted to mix it up with social issues but I didn’t want to ignore the humour in it all.
Luckily James Williams, the director of the video, came along and, after I explained the general meaning of the song, he came up with this idea of me and the pigeon chasing around.
It was fun to shoot, let me tell you…
The song was mixed be Leo Abrahams. What was it like working with him and what did it bring to the song, would you say?
We mixed quite a few more tracks together as well - including the other E.P. tracks and the first single, The Space Between Us. What was so good about the process was that he tried to change as little as possible from my original rough mixes - as he wanted to retain the energy and rawness of the originals. I really appreciated that. So; we focused mostly on the balances of those tracks we mixed.
As you will be able to hear at a later stage; each track has a different style but we always held up the Coup! Coup! Coup! mix as the example for all the other tracks.
Coup! Coup! Coup! is also the name of your upcoming E.P. Can you reveal the types of themes and songs we can expect to hear from it?
Every track reflects society...
I hope people can relate easily - especially to the other two tracks called I Wanna Forget and The Others. The Others, I wanted to release now, because we often feel lonely and down when we get close to the end of the year.
I sort of wanted to make this song as an end-of-year present.
Can you tell me how you got into music and what the decision behind that was?
About four years ago; I sold my soul to The Devil (just kidding).
Really; I just started to develop my sound. I didn’t know I could do it and I didn’t really know what I was doing - I, basically, didn’t know I had the ability to make music like this. I thought I was limited to making up some melodies on top of some other guys’ beats.
But, well…here I am.
Who were the artists you followed and adored growing up?
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
Yaeji - I saw her video on this Facebook page called 88rising and I thought she was a (very) unique artist.
Not sure if she’s particularly new - but she was very new to me.
IN THIS PHOTO: Yaeji/PHOTO CREDIT: Lydo Le
Are there any tour dates coming up? Where can we see you play?
I’m having my E.P. launch-show in an exciting venue called DIY Space for London - in South Bermondsey - this coming Saturday. I will have another London show next January - which is due to be announced officially very shortly.
For more information, always check my website - or the various social media platforms.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
I’d definitely say Eminem’s Curtain Call; Elliott Smith’s From a Basement on the Hill; Tokyo Jihen’s Adult.
Those are my kindred spirits.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
If you want to say something and express yourself to the world - there are so many ways to do it...through music, painting; dance, spoken-word, poetry; tweeting (like Trump) etc. It doesn’t matter how you do it: what matters is what you’re saying. To me; it is really difficult as I have many, many questions that I’m trying to figure out. My constant dilemma is that I don’t want to say anything unless I know something. If I say stuff too quickly; I feel ashamed of my ignorance...
So, today’s questions are: "What is Art?", "Why are we doing this?" - and "Am I right to be called an artist?".
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I haven’t decided yet, but I really want to volunteer on the day - or have a chilled girl’s night in with my friend (or do both). I will be off to France around that time to retreat and shoot a video….
Are there any plans for next year? What goals do you hope to fulfil in the coming year?
I will focus on producing more tracks, developing my show; releasing another E.P. early next year. I will do what Sera EKE should be doing when me and my fans think back on this moment in ten years’ time.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Pretty Mary K (Other Version) - Elliott Smith
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