Seeva is a burgeoning creative and talented queer Asian man who has left his mark in the London queer music scene. He is a pop queer superstar and he makes an unforgettable entry with his gripping debut album We Need to Talk, exploring love, heartbreak, breakup, sexuality, mental health and queer expression.
Marked by hard-hitting singles like the ethereal synth-pop of “Clouds”, the bouncy, effervescent “Young” and atmospheric electronic guitar sounds of “Princess” where Seeva explores fetishization in the queer community, We Need to Talk hears the budding artist dive into love, loss and heartbreak across eleven sharply crafted pop bops; his moving vocals and intricate, thoughtful and deeply personal songwriting at the heart of every song.
Speaking about We Need to Talk, Seeva shared: “Listening to this album really is like reading my diary – my mantra during the whole writing process was for it to be ‘open and honest’. It’s super personal and frank, and it was important to me to be at the helm of this project in terms of writing and production alongside the tight-nit team of people who made the record possible. I wanted to prove to myself that I could dive in deep and be honest with myself about mental health, heartbreak, sexuality and just growing up in our society, and finishing the album during lockdown allowed me time to reflect and write even more intensely. There’s nothing and everything to lose with a debut album – you only get one shot at making it – but writing it completely independently allowed me to be as authentic and raw with my feelings as possible. There were lots of tears, but there’s a beat behind the emotion.”
Already achieving critical tastemaker support for his electropop creations from Beats 1 Radio, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 6, Soho Radio and Hoxton Radio plus a coveted spot on Spotify’s New Music Friday UK playlist, the multi-talented artist has also built a reputation by working diligently behind the scenes with the likes of Lily Moore and Matt Taylor alongside continued vital support from established British producers behind the likes of Dua Lipa, Tom Walker and Mabel.
Crafting original scores for Andy Warhol’s 100th birthday anniversary at the Tate Modern, and ‘Butterfly’ at The Vaults Festival, Seeva has further developed his growing profile through festival placements at Brighton Pride, Liverpool Sound City and The Great Escape street performances.
Who is Seeva and how do you identify?
I’m a creative first and foremost – a singer, songwriter, music producer and composer, and I dabble in some other creative fields too. Identity is something I put into my work a lot as a queer South Asian man (he/him pronouns), so thanks for asking!
How do you describe your music?
I like to think of my music a slightly left-of-centre electro-pop, but on my album, there are some R&B influences and a couple of trap beats too. Genre is becoming so much more boundaryless and I’m here for it.
Who are the queer artists that have influenced you?
There are some INCREDIBLE queer artists who I have on repeat and look up to a lot. People like Frank Ocean, Christine, MNEK, Years & Years and Troye Sivan have definitely inspired my music.
What is the message behind your album?
For me, this album was like a long ol’ therapy session, and it’s been amazing to see people relate to a lot of the more vulnerable lyrics on the record. This project for me was really about inspiring people to express themselves, to feel like there is always space for them to talk and be open whatever their outlet, as this album has been for me.
Why did you decide to open up and explore queer fetishization through your music?
Quite honestly, I didn’t think that writing about some very personal experiences with being fetishized or stereotyped, specifically because of race, would relate to so many people of colour in the queer community. I wanted to untangle the racism that can occur in the dating world, but also push to the more nuanced versions of that that can show themselves.
When did you decide to get involved in the music industry?
Probably from inside the womb? I was one of those kids who sang all the time and I just knew that it was something I wanted to do for life. When I was about twelve-years-old I started writing music and I started producing not too long after that. The short answer to the question – always.
Is there enough LGBTQ+ in the music industry nowadays?
Definitely not. It’s not that there aren’t lots of incredible queer artists out there, because there are so many. It’s that, so often, we’re boxed in as a ‘gay artist’ or a ‘queer artist’ and not included so much in more mainstream conversations. We shouldn’t be limited to LGBTQ+ streaming playlists and gay clubs!
How has the pandemic affected your career and your life?
At first, it completely changed everything. I had a taster EP for the album come out a couple of weeks before the lockdown was announced in my home city London, so all of the gigs and festivals that I had booked to support the EP and later the album was cancelled. But I was so lucky to be able to finish my album from home with my writing partner and connect with so many people through social media who I might not have otherwise.
How do you see the future of the music industry?
Honest answer is I have no idea. Things are so up in the air right now. Gigs will definitely come back and when they do, it’ll be in a big way. But things do seem to be becoming more digital, at least when navigating the pandemic.
What are your future plans?
I still have some exciting things coming from this project including a couple of videos next year, but otherwise, it’s nice to be able to relax a little and get back into the creative process. Watch this space!
*all images are courtesy of Seeva
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