The newcomer talks her Nigerian heritage, and what she wants people to take away from her music.
If there is one thing for sure it’s that 2020 has been the year of R&B. From lush singles from the likes of Summer Walker and the return of SZA, the R&B scene took over the year. But there is one artist of note that is breaking into the scene with her distinctive alt-R&B sound: newcomer Serena Isioma. Seamlessly combining hip-hop sensibilities with lo-fi sounds, the singer delivers soul-moving music that has is reminiscent of late 90s culture. Filled with rambunctious energy, the singer-songwriter dropped her new project “The Leo Sun Sets earlier this month and we’ve been moved by the singer’s unplaceable sound and expansive production ability.
Speaking on the project, the singer revealed, “Everything about this project touches on incredibly personal things that were happening in my life at the time of making this project. I’m glad I was able to tell my story in a way that resonates with others. “
With millions of streams tucked firmly under her belt from the last years, we caught up with the singer talking her Nigerian heritage, her ever-changing sound, and what she wants people to take away from her music.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Serena – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
I’ve been a fucking mess dude. It’s beautiful though because the transition to this new phase of life has inspired some of my best songs lyrically and sonically. It’s cool to see my progression from Sensitive to my most recent project The Leo Sun Sets.
How did growing up in Chicago influence you sonically? Who were your musical heroes growing up?
Chicago has a track record of setting trends for the future. Chief Keef comes to mind. That man sparked a fire in the world and I want to have that same influence but on my own wave.
How would you describe your genre?
I make bad bitch music.
Congratulations on your new EP “The Leo Sun Sets” – why the name?
Well, I’m a Leo. I know, it’s shocking. Anyways, this EP is all about me coming to terms with my identity and learning to love myself.
What ties all the tracks together as a body of work?
Everything about this project touches on incredibly personal things that were happening in my life at the time of making this project. I’m glad I was able to tell my story in a way that resonates with others.
Do you have a favourite lyric that you hope will resonate with your fans?
“What the fuck,” because that’s a thought that I think has been running though a lot of people’s minds now more than ever.
How important is it for you to pay homage to your Nigerian heritage in your music?
It’s incredibly important. I need these kids in Nigeria to understand that they can really do anything they want.
And how do you think your sounds has progressed since your debut EP “Sensitive”?
I have super talented friends who help me out a lot with executing my visions. Quick shoutout to Saint Lewis and Frankie Scoca y’all are amazing.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
I want them to know that they can be free with themselves. Even if they don’t know who they are, they are valid.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I’m trying to go crazy next year. I’m looking forward to being everywhere in 2021.