In the dimmed lights of the packed prestigious music hall, Malmö Live, and to the sound of Maya Angelou‘s soothingly strong voice in the speakers, Seinabo Sey took center stage last Sunday night.

I braved the Swedish February cold, fighting back a seasonal flu to see Seinabo Sey perform live – a birthday gift to my husband. It was the first time we’d seen her IRL and it will definitely not be our last.

Seinabo Sey’s presence was powerful and unforgiving.

Her voice has a depth to it that puts her right up there with the legend Nina Simone, whom she so beautifully covered that night. She was accompanied by a new band that created a lively pulsating vibe across the hall.

There is something so refreshingly feminist about Seinabo Sey’s voice, songs and presence. During the show, in which she did little talking, she explained how she had decided to be kind to herself as she toured by allowing herself to not be “perfect”. She also expressed her gratitude to the audience for making a little girl’s dream come true. This performance was as close to perfection as can be and I was uplifted by Seinabo Sey’s humility.

In her latest album, I’m A Dream, she explores love and being yourself unapologetically. In I Owe You Nothing, she sings about her independence and not needing to explain herself and sings these vigorous words “these aren’t tears, this is the ocean. These aren’t fears, this is devotion.”

The lyrics of Breathe is a strong statement of self acceptance, self love and the power of being ourselves and ultimately believing in our future.

“I love it here
‘Cause I don’t have to explain to them
Why I’m beautiful
‘Cause I am beautiful
And back home they’re scared
Oh so scared of me
But I became scared of me
I become scared of me”

Experiencing Seinabo Sey live was strengthening and invigorating. It was as if a beautiful intersectional feminist manifesto was blasted out to an audience of women and men – and we all loved it.

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