Selah Sue, Do Your Own Thing!

Selah Sue 

Sometimes if you ask any young child what they want to be when they grow up, they will give you a variety of answers. Children may never start out doing what they will eventually choose as a career in adulthood. Parents do well not to push children into a particular career path but encouragement may not be bad at all. I remember growing up I would often tell my father I was ready to start playing the trumpet. He knew it was another whim and a couple of days later I was moving on toward something else. It was not until my early teen years that I finally got serious about music and finally I was on my way. A few weeks ago, I learned about a young Belgium singer/songwriter named Selah Sue, who is taking Europe by storm. Why do I speak of her now? The reason is that Selah was not serious about a music career early in life.  “I grew up in a really little town in Belgium, and none of my family was into music,” said Selah Sue.  “As a kid, I wanted to be a ballerina. I danced from the age of six to twelve”.  How did she get from the ballet to writing songs? “I had all these worries and depressions that I wrote down, it was a way of structuring my thoughts”.  She sang in local clubs, recorded at friends’ homes and published drafts of her songs on MySpace. Oh yes, her chosen genre would be reggae, soul and funk music. As I listened to her music, I thought about the importance of artists’ performing around the world. There are a couple of generations of musicians worldwide performing reggae music thanks to Bob Marley and others making reggae accessible everywhere. Selah Sue also lists Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu as inspirations with their music also reaching the corners of the world.  What I found very interesting is that Selah Sue, without a thought of making a career in music, has attracted a large fan base and music executives and eventually secured a recording contract. This type of story is far from typical in today’s world of entertainment. Nevertheless, Selah Sue is on her way to much more success.  This all started because she just wanted to create music for people to enjoy without regard of commercial music business. Yes, success has found Selah Sue. The next big jump will be her release to US audiences. I truly feel many American fans will be drawn to her music much like her fans in Europe. One word of advice for the young singer/songwriter: whatever music you sing or write in the future, keep doing your own thing!

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