The Belgian singer-songwriter is a creative and sensitive musician who likes to explore different contemporary styles and loves to mix a lot of influences such as Jazz, Soul and Dub to her music. We had an intimate interview in her tour bus just before the soundcheck last week at Tunnel Club.
Ciao Selah, welcome to Milan! Excited to be back?
Of yes, i am very much looking forward to play tonight!
Listen, how is your way of writing music?
Well, it comes from everywhere.
Sometimes i take my guitar, i write some songs; sometimes – for example with this second record – i invited my band for few weeks to stay in my house: we jammed the whole day and songs came out naturally from there; sometimes i receive some beats from producers from all over the world and i sing on top of it and it’s finished; other times i sit together with a writer or producer and work on a track; so my music really comes from everywhere and it’s good because this help me to keep me fresh and up to date.
You are a guitar girl. What means this instrument for you?
Honestly i have to say that the relationship is not that strong. I am a better singer then guitar player. I use the guitar to find nice melodies. Sometimes i perform solo, so just me and my guitar and in that moment i become very close to the instrument; i feel very safe when i play it. I like the extreme. I love to go very intimate, only my guitar and my voice.
A muse that inspires you, both in music and in your lifestyle
Well, in music i have of course some artists that i really respect what they do; i am not that kind of person that admire someone – unless you are someone that is making the world a better place -. If i have to mention one i would say Angelina Jolie because i think she is a good mother; i don’t know why but she gives me this sensation. And she does a lot of things around the world for people less fortunate. And this is something that i do admire. Coming back to music, i am a big fan of Lauryn Hill, i think that what she did in terms of singing, rapping, lyrics, she did it all and this is something i rally respect.
A record you have been listening in the last months
Yes, FKA Twigs. It’s like soul-electronic, a bit underground and i really like it. I’ve been listening to the album over and over but i haven’t seen her live yet and i am curious.
When a song… is a good song?
Uh, that’s hard. It’s very subjective. For some people a song it’s very beautiful and for some people not, so it’s not mathematic music, it’s an art. But a good song for me it’s when i really feel it, when it comes inside me. I don’t need the perfect structure for it, it’s just really when i feel it.
Something you do before you go on stage
I definitely need to warm up my voice; i really need to take care of my voice because it’s so important. I need to sleep enough, i need to eat healthy, i cannot drink too much.
The nice thing is that right before going on stage we make a cuddle with the whole team and we say ‘come on, let’s go for it!’.
One last question, Selah. Your relationship with fashion?
I know exactly what i like, i know what i think is beautiful and what not, but i don’t know anything about hip designers or what’s cool. I like to feel comfortable, to look good and i know what makes me feel beautiful. Sometimes i love to make up or to wear high heels, just sometimes (she laughs). I always style myself, i don’t have anyone helping me on this because i have a precise picture of my kind of style and attitude.
Special thanks to Vivo Concerti.