He’s worked with Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith and The Noisettes, and has toured with Lana Del Ray and Emeli Sandé. The Guardian calls him ‘the mid-80s Peter Gabriel reborn’. Now it’s time for Seye to take centre stage himself (and before you start stumbling over your words, his name is pronounced ‘Cher’).
The Edge caught up with the Bromley singer over a quick curry between sets at LeeFest 2012.
So we’re at LeeFest right now – have you been before?
I’ve been to most of the Leefests, over the last three or four years but yesterday (Friday 29th June) was the first time I’ve actually played on my own – just me. It was really good – fantastic in fact! Personally the highlight of my summer, definitely.
What do you think of what Lee’s achieved with LeeFest over the last seven years?
It’s been brilliant to see the development of the whole thing, and rad seeing people who don’t know Lee personally or who aren’t at all local coming down especially for Leefest. I talked to someone earlier who had come all the way from Reading! Having a friend starting their own festival – that’s cool!
Who or what would you say your main influences are?
My music is very influenced by African culture and music. I’m half Nigerian and half Kenyan so it draws a lot on my heritage, with guitars and such added in! My music is basically like Paul Simon’s work – it’s what his records might sound like today with African influence! It’s very different to what’s in the charts at the moment which isn’t always such a bad thing. I don’t drive or own a radio so I’m not that bothered by what’s being played at the moment!
Whose music do you enjoy the most, then?
I’m a massive fan of 80’s MTV music; Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Sting (and The Police too) but also more recently artists like John Meyer. I’ve grown up in a lot of places; western music is what I know, but I’m influenced by my African family too who are quite musical.
Who are you looking forward to seeing here at LeeFest?
I love Man like Me. I came to LeeFest last year just as a punter and saw them for the first time and they absolutely blew me away. I love them. I can’t wait to see the Mystery Jets too.
What else do you have planned for this summer, and for the future?
Over the past four months I’ve played in London and over the summer I’m doing some festivals. I’ll be playing with The Very Best on their American tour, supporting them as well as playing with them with a song off of the new album. My latest single White Noise is online, and I’ll hopefully have another single out in September time. Looking to have my album out in early 2013 but hopefully it’ll be out at the end of this year instead!
Seye’s single ‘White Noise’ is out now.