PERSONA - The latin word used to describe the variety of masks that were worn on stage back then. Today, the word mainly evokes the idea of public image and the multi-fa- cetted, and at times paradoxical, personalities of each and every one. Selah Sue’s choice of title for her third album is nothing random but rather carefully thought out. Sifting through all the personalities that she’s adop- ted over the course of her life (the lover, the hedonist, the anxious soul...), the Belgian singer is on a quest to better understand herself through songs that are both sincere and enlightening, thereby making a triumphant return after a break of a few years. And to do so, she has enrolled the help of a prestigious cast including the ever-sharp rapper Damso.
If Selah Sue felt the need to take a time out, unwind and get fresh ideas, it has much to do with how her career got off to a flying start, with the overwhelming whirlwind of emotions that comes with it: a first self-titled album in 2011 (certified double-platinum in France), never-ending tours and festivals, headline collabora- tions (with the likes of Diplo, Childish Gambino, Cee Lo Green, J. Cole...), all leading to sales of over a million albums. Despite the popular and critical acclaim, including many awards and distinctions, the young woman would often share how she was battling with depression and be vocal about it, even supporting campaigns that shed light on the issue.
It seems that taking a step back did her the world of good. Selah Sue returned both appeased and stimu- lated by the road she had just travelled, ready to share all the experiences she had made along the way since the release of her sophomore album Reason in 2015. In that space of time, alongside her quest to understand herself better, the endearing artist, now in her thirties, became a mother to two children. These intimate disrup- tions fed her creativity, in the same way that all of the recent events we have all experienced have done, from climate change to the global pandemic.