22 year old singer, songwriter and producer Léa Sen has today signed to Partisan Records and shared her debut single and video ‘Hyasynth’.
The London-based performer has established herself as one of the capital’s most in-demand talents, flitting between gossamer vocal features for Joy Orbison to solo work that references everything from Bon Iver’s electronic timbre and folk guitars to Sampha’s impressionistic lyricism.
‘Hyasynth’ received its worldwide premiere on Mary Anne Hobbs’ BBC Radio 6 Music show today as her Hit Reset track while the accompanying video by Denisha Anderson was subsequently premiered by The FADER. Léa Sen will also join fellow polymath Nilüfer Yanya on tour this year, supporting at her UK and EU shows, including at London’s Electric Brixton on 16 March.
Speaking about her new single, Léa Sen says:
“‘Hyasynth’ is about my journey from my home in Cergy in the outskirts of Paris to London. I had to accept all the past mistakes I’ve made back home that I couldn’t go back to. I had to accept and move on. In a way, I ran away from certain things. In another way I also made the first step into growing into the person I really wanted to be. Sometimes I feel like my past mistakes haunt me, that’s what I felt making this song. It’s about wanting to grow and handle life with more wisdom.”
Of the accompanying video, Léa Sen added:
“The Hyasynth video was directed by Denisha Anderson. She came up with that idea of the triptych to express the complexity of my disconnect from my loved ones when I decided to leave for London a few years back. I thought it was just a brilliant idea and it turned out even more gorgeous than I expected. I’m also grateful for my friends that came on set and had a dance with me, it was exactly what I needed!”
Singing from a young age as a natural means of self-expression, at 15 Sen learned the guitar and began to craft songs with an experimental, intuitive sensibility. Production and mixing skills soon followed out of a desire to entirely control her own creative destiny. In 2019 she moved to London from her home of Paris and caught the ears of drummer Kwake Bass and singer-songwriter Wu-Lu. A session with DJ and producer Joy Orbison produced the stand-out track “Better” from his 2021 mixtape, Still Slipping, Vol. 1, while Sen’s tender version of David Bowie’s 1976 track “Golden Years” is a highlight of the Modern Love compilation album, featuring the likes of Helado Negro, Khruangbin and Meshell Ndegeocello
Her musical catalogue presents the self-assured maturity of an artist twice her age, with Sen writing, producing, and mixing all tracks herself – still a rarity in a male-dominated industry. “People assume that if you’re a woman, you’re just a singer, whereas I do so much more,” she says. “I’m not going to make myself feel insecure though – I’m going to be comfortable expressing myself however I want.”
Here is the radical self-acceptance Sen also conveys in her songs – a healing and hope contained in vulnerable self-expression. With ‘Hyasynth’ now out on Partisan Records, it is hard not to feel like Sen is on the cusp of a colossal breakthrough. She is an artist stepping into the full force of her creativity, while letting us know that there is much more to come.
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.