R&B newcomer Sekou has released his debut EP, Out of Mind, via NWS/Island Records/Republic Records.
The five-track offering is enriched with diaristic tunes centered around love, heartbreak and life’s complexities.
Opening with “Forgiving Myself,” produced by Sounwave and co-written by DIXSON, the English singer extends himself grace as he flees from a dwindling relationship that has become one-sided. As he expresses self-compassion, he keeps his spirits up with affirmative lyrics like “I need my me time / I need my peace of mind.”
“Better Man,” the lead single produced by Yakob, is without a doubt a standout on the project. It’s a quintessential piano ballad that transmutes anguish to redemption. On the confessional track, Sekou opens up about his strained relationship with his father, recognizing the shortcoming as an opportunity to be a better version of himself.
“Growing up, I had a really bad relationship with my dad, but I never knew I could write a song out of it,” Sekou explained. “I wanted to write half of it to myself, telling myself what not to do but then also telling my dad a message as well. It was so early [in the process of writing] that that was the only thing I could really relate to and be honest about.”
On the hip-hop soul-flavored “Be With You,” Sekou professes his feelings to a love interest, hoping their bond remains unbroken. “I just wanna be with you / Only thing that I wanna do / Is be with you,” he sings on the amorous tune.
“You and I” is another feel-good moment on Out of Mind, where Sekou sings about embarking on an exciting journey with his lover. “Take me to Paris / I heard it’s a lot to see / But there’s no better view then / When you look at me,” he sings over sunny acoustic instrumentation.
Closing with “Too Young,” another piano ballad, the 18-year-old navigates the intricacies of a youthful romance. “A heart ain’t too young to love / If it’s old enough to break,” he croons.
Out of Mind is a captivating introduction to Sekou’s artistry, showcasing his vocal prowess and his versatility beyond being solely a balladeer. With its concise 15-minute duration, Out of Mind will undoubtedly leave listeners yearning for more from this promising soul singer.
“I wanted to have creative freedom on this and do something different from what I’ve done before,” Sekou said about Out of Mind. “I loved having control over the kind of sound I wanted to make, the people I wanted to work with, and the tracks on the project – it was freeing and allowed me to be honest.”
He added, “I’m excited for people to listen to this EP and understand me more as an artist. While ‘Better Man’ showcased my vocal ability, this project shows my range, and what I’m truly capable of.”
Stream Sekou’s debut EP, Out of Mind, below.