It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. I sign into zoom and wait for Séssi’s arrival. A few minutes later, she arrives, in all her warm and exciting energy. You can almost feel her energy exuding through the screen. She sits on her bed with a grey hoodie with the words “MIAMI BEACH” written across. Her beautiful golden brown curls are tied up in a bun, and she has a smile that could light up the whole room. She has pretty, white dangly lights hanging up on her ceiling and her curtains. Sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no make-up on, Séssi is the definition of effortless beauty.
Monika: How have you been dealing with the pandemic and how has the pandemic affected your life/lifestyle?
Séssi: The pandemic, honestly, has made me slow down a lot, like mentally. I’ve always been a hustler, I’ve always been on the grind, motivated every day, but this kind of put me in a transition to put my focus onto 1 or 2 things, as opposed to having 30 things that I’d like to do. So, what it did was center me spiritually, and it made me appreciate and value all the little things that I have in my life. Although we have lost some family friends from the pandemic, it’s not a positive thing, but I think it’s shifted a lot, just mentally, spiritually, and it’s helped me stay focused physically, too. So I’d say the positive is the mental and the spiritual focus, and the negative is all the things we’re going through. But I’m more aware – I haven’t really been going out, I’ve been mindful, and just spending time with family/appreciating the small things.
Monika: 100% and I like what you said about how it kind of forced you to slow down. I’m the same way, I like to be busy and stay busy, but I feel like this pandemic, you know staying home, not going out, and focusing on yourself, it really just helps you re-focus and remember what’s important to you.
Séssi: Yeah, exactly, and it hasn’t been great for our world, but it’s making everyone appreciate where they’re at in life and re-shifting. I mean, some people have lost their jobs and gained better ones, and never in a million years would they have ever quit. So, it’s crazy, y’know.
Monika: Tell me how you first got started in music, making music, and how old you were when you got started, why you got started, and also what made you decide to pursue music as a career?
Séssi: I was 5 years old when I started singing, my dad put the microphone in my hand, and my dad was also a producer for the music business, he was an executive, he distributed a lot of records, and I grew up with a lot of Latin influences. I grew up as a young old soul from music, and my aunt’s a singer, my grandmother’s a singer, and my dad can’t hold a tune, BUT he taught me how to write songs, how to be creative with music, and express myself. The first song I performed was “Dreaming of You” by Selena – I sang it in a talent show, and from there on out, I was in pageants and talent shows. My mom used to dress me in these crazy outfits I couldn’t stand, and then from there, it kind of stuck with me throughout my whole entire life. I always had a passion for it, I love to dance, I love to entertain, I love to perform, and I carried it on and moved to LA. That’s when I really got into the whole art scene, and the music scene, and the songwriting, and honestly, it’s a passion that I’ve always had since I was a kid. I’ve been very much learning on my own, collaborating with a lot of different producers – I first started off singing dance music, but I’ve always written for Latin artists. But I’m extremely versatile. My influences are from RnB, dance, Spanish, so everything kind of came full circle when I was like “you know what, I’m done with school, and I’m still doing music at the same time, this is what I wanna do – I wanna be an artist.” And I never gave up, I continued my passion till this day, y’know.
Monika: And where were you living before you moved to LA? I know you’re living in Miami now, but what’s your chronology?
Séssi: I’m from the Bronx, born and raised in the Bronx, I performed all over the Bronx, in festivals, in Puerto Rican Day parades, Dominican Day parades. I was part of the community a lot because of my mom – she used to do festivals for the community, toy giveaways, like give out turkeys. She was very involved in the community, and I was always in the forefront singing Rihanna songs, and just loving and living in that space, by sharing my art with the community. My dad was like the producer and the outgoing music guy, and my mom was the one who would promote me and like, put me out there. She’d be like, “no, you’re singing right now, and that’s it!” I didn’t have any choice, my mom was like, the boss of every single place I was at. So yeah, essentially I grew up there, then I moved to LA to pursue music, I lived there for a couple of years. I also lived in Atlanta, I lived in Miami too, and now I’m here. So yeah, I’ve definitely traveled, and I’ve lived in a lot of important places for music.
Monika: Yeah, I feel like you’ve pretty much lived in all the major cities in the US, like New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Miami now. That’s really dope. And you know how you said with your mom, that she would always be the one to kind of like, push you. Was that something that bothered you, or was that something that was like, “Yeah she believes in me! I’m gonna go for it.”
Séssi: You know, my family, we’re your average/typical loud, Bronx, go-getter hustlers – like both my parents are hustlers, they make money in different avenues, like they are involved in like 30 different things. I can’t even begin to tell you – my mom has like 10 different job titles, you know, so it’s like, she always believed in me, always. Since day one, she saw that I had a voice, she would always tell my dad, “She’s gotta be a superstar! We’re gonna make her a superstar!” and my dad would be like, “No, she’s not ready yet.” You know, my dad was the hard critic and they would piggy back off of each other. I must say, my family was very supportive when it came to my career. As long as I was in school still doing my thing, you know, they were very focused and a big part of how I am today, and I thank them for that.
Monika: I know you said with your parents, they were really supportive, do you have any siblings? Any sisters or brothers?
Séssi: Yeah I have 2 brothers – I have an older brother, he’s 34, and I have a younger brother, he’s 20. So I’m the middle child, and I’m the only girl.
Monika: Haha oh wow, and what do they think of what you’re doing, and are you guys close? Do you have a good relationship?
Séssi: Yes, my little brother is like my twin, he looks exactly like me but the boy version, it’s funny. He’s just 10 times bigger. But, yeah my brothers are really supportive – my little brother, he loves music too, he’s into music, and loves different genres and stuff like that. We grew up in a very strong household, a lot of family, a lot of love, a lot of parties/birthday parties, all that good stuff. But my older brother is living the whole family life, he’s got 2 kids, I have 2 nieces – so our family is growing. But yeah, I have a really close family, thank God.
Monika: Aww I love that, and you know how there’s that thing called middle child syndrome? Whereas a middle child, you don’t really know who you fit in with, older sibling, younger sibling – do you have that with them? Or do you feel pretty secure in yourself?
Séssi: Oh yeah, no I get the wrath… I get the wrath. Like my little brother, I always tease him and say I’m the favorite, but really, my little brother like they’re attached because he’s the little boy, so my mom babies him. And me and my older brother, we’re real tough, we grew up more tough than my little brother, so it’s like – my older brother is always teasing me and I’m always teasing the smaller one. It’s funny, we all like crack on each other, you know what I mean. We support and we love each other, and they always tell me that I’m spoiled and I’m a brat and all that stuff, but I’m like, “I’m the girl – I get everything I want! That’s how it goes.” But yeah, that’s my crazy family.
Monika: Aw that’s so cute. And I know you said that you went to high school and you finished school before fully going for what you’re pursuing. What were you like in high school and what were your favorite subjects? What kind of person were you?
Séssi: So I actually had the best time of my life in high school. I feel like I was – how can I say… I was cool with everybody, everybody knew that I sang cause I would always do the talent shows. I had support from like everybody as well, they would always make me sing in class and during lunch and stuff. I always had cool friends, different diverse friends as well, like different cultures, you know. Really cool with the teachers, class clown, that was me! Always talked a lot, always got in trouble in class because I was talking, that was definitely me. Cool with my guidance counselor, always into sports as well – I played a little basketball, did a little cheerleading, dibble dabbled in everything, played some softball too, was never really good at it. But yeah, I was cool in high school, I’d say, like real cool. I was a little overweight too, so I went through a lot of things with my weight in high school and middle school. So for me, I was transitioning when I was in high school, getting more confident in my skin, and just being more open and being you, you know. Having a good personality.
Monika: It seemed like you were very much a social butterfly and you tried a lot of different things, like it just seemed like you were very cool.
Séssi: Yes! Super social butterfly.
Séssi: I would say I’m pretty versatile – I had a lot of influences growing up as a kid, and even now when I listen to music, I listen to all facets of music. So I feel like my Latin project is very R&B, pop-based, melodic structures – a lot of my influence comes from Sia, Lady Gaga, like 80’s dance music – I’m very inspired by that too. I feel like a lot of my songs, especially the ones I released the last 2 singles, they have different styles. I can bring you to that pop, cool, catty space, I can bring you to that R&B zone where the melodies transition and the harmonies. I think my style is very versatile and I have my own genre because you never expect my next style.
Monika: That’s awesome, and I think as an artist, it’s important not to box yourself in or try to follow one genre and try to make yourself fit, especially you know, being an up and coming artist, and you’re exploring your sound, and you’re exploring what you can do. I feel like it’s really good that you’re not boxing yourself in and you’re exploring yourself.
Séssi: Yeah exactly – it’s Latin pop, popular music – every song has a story, I really like to tell stories with my songs. I’m a real big fan of film, and I’m into storytelling and expression. Every song and video has a story behind it, so I feel like a lot of my music, especially the ones that are coming out soon, it’s another story. You’re just getting into Séssi’s world. It’s a different space, it’s about energy, lifting you up, you know.
Monika: Aww I love that, and I know you’ve worked with Jhay Cortez in your last single, and I’m sure there are people you want to work with. Who are the artists that you most want to work with? Or people you want to collaborate with?
Séssi: I’d say in a crazy, crazy world, I’d say J. Balvin, he’s somebody that I would love to work with. Bad Bunny too, I really love the way he transitions and incorporates rock and different styles – I’m all for that. On the women’s side, honestly, I have so many influences I want to collaborate with, like Shakira, I’m obsessed with her. She’s incredible – I love how funky and weird she is. I gravitate to that. I think my number one American artist in the world is Lady Gaga – I will kiss her toes. She’s incredible. I have a lot of cool influences for the women and the bold men, you know.
Monika: Yeah totally, and I know you’ve already mentioned people who are influential to you, but to you, who are people you look up to, or respect and appreciate in terms of their work ethic and just them as an artist? Who are those people for you?
Séssi: I’d say Gaga. I had a cool run in New York just recently, I had my own local tour that I put together with 4 shows a month. I was a very big part in the LGBTQ community, and I always idolized how she was able to be herself, and still gravitate to normal people and also the LGBTQ. And like, I see her structure and her hard work and how much she puts into her art, and that inspires me. Showtime for me is everything, I look at her show time and I’m just like, oh my God. She’s like the queen of the queens, I love her so much, I’d say she’s somebody that I idolize and respect. I love her story, I love the things that she’s gone through. I feel like I have a lot of struggles as an artist too, like just as a woman, and I feel like I can relate to her when it comes to mental health, and diving in a room and really just making men respect you for who you are, and your art. With Gaga, it’s all or nothing. I mean, she nearly went bankrupt to save her fans. So that’s who I look up to for sure, she’s my girl.
Monika: For sure exactly, and obviously her voice is spectacular. She’s just so good. And just talking about Gaga real quick – obviously, her style has calmed down since her earlier days. Did you like her better when she was doing those crazy outfits, like the meat dress and stuff? Or do you like her better now that she’s calmed down? Sometimes I see her in pictures, and she’s just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and I’m like “oh.” I’m so used to her before. So which version do you like better?
Séssi: I’m all for the weirdness, but I feel like I gravitate towards both styles. It depends. Like for me, I respect who she’s become, and as an artist, you have that growth and there’s a growth where you have to also be relatable. If you have meat on your head, you’re not that relatable – you’re just weird, you know? But she showed that side to her, where she came out and it was like, wow nobody could do that! You can’t top that off. And now she’s living in her space, but she’s free, and that’s what I respect about her.
Monika: No totally, and just to add on – I know we’re talking about Gaga a lot, but I really like how much you appreciate her. I think a lot of it, too, back when she was just coming out, and no one was really doing it like her – I think a lot of it was shock value as well.
Séssi: Exactly, and that brings me to a real big love for Tove Lo because she’s like, ruthless. I mean she takes pictures in her underwear and uses it as a cover, you know. She did a short film with her hands in her crotch, like she’s ruthless. She’s like your freaky, European chick. She don’t care. I’ve always gravitated towards European culture because I’m from the Bronx and I grew up with that rowdiness, I’ve always had that style to me too. That’s why I feel like my style is real versatile where I can relate to any type of crowd. You know, like you could put me anywhere and I would tear up the crowd. I was raised in the crazy energy, and I’ve also hung out with some cool weird people in LA. So it’s like, you gotta be versatile if you wanna be a superstar, you know?
Monika: So moving on, if you didn’t pursue music, what do you think you would have done instead? What else would you have enjoyed?
Séssi: Ok, so I have two, I can never pick one. I have a hard time making one decision. For me, I’d be an interior decorator, I’m obsessed with decorating. I love to decorate. On my dad’s side, they’re really big decorators, they’re into antiques and pieces, and I feel like I would be a killer interior decorator. So, that’s one. The other one would be a motivational speaker. I’m really good at talking and making people feel good, when I help somebody else. It’s always something that’s come naturally to me, which is why I’m the person that’s always had friends, and always was the friend to call for advice. So I feel like I would be a really good motivational speaker, I’d write a killer freakin’ book, and be an interior decorator at the same time!
Monika: I love that. I love when people have multiple things about them and they’re not just doing one thing in life. Like when you talked about your parents and how they have a bunch of side hustles and all these things that they’re doing and you can’t put one label on it – to me, that’s really cool and I really appreciate that.
Séssi: Yes, definitely, I grew up with a lot of hustle, with a lot of like, “Don’t stop! You can do it, get up, pick yourself up.” My family is like that, like if I’m crying, they’re like, “Why are you crying? What’s wrong with you?” No sensitivity over here. Even my boyfriend always says to me, “You’re so tough, you’re like a man.” And I’m like BECAUSE, you know, you can’t be broken. You gotta speak yourself up, get yourself up again. That’s just me.
Monika: No, for sure. And just going back to the decorator thing – your room, I don’t know where you are, but your room looks really nice. I love the lighting and the high ceiling – it’s beautiful.
Séssi: Yeahh, thank you! I love it. I love to decorate, I love to paint, I love to get old things and transform them. I love all that stuff.
Monika: Are you working on anything currently? Whatever you want to share, like what upcoming projects do you have?
Séssi: Yeah, right now “En Tu Piel” is doing really good. (“En Tu Piel” is her latest single that she released in December 2020) We just got picked up by two more editorial playlists on Spotify organically. People are really sharing the record. Latin Billboard gave us a cool post too. I’m getting a lot of support from people, from fans all over the place. Mexico is giving us good support too. The Jhay record, I’m also getting a lot of his fans supporting that too. I have a whole project already done, but we’re releasing singles. I have another song coming out really soon, probably within the next two months, it’ll be out. These next two records that are coming out, have like a Caribbean style to it, so I think it’s a little different from the last two songs I released, but they’re all parts of me, you know. So, I think giving people all the different sides of Séssi is what’s going to make me have a cool fanbase and people can relate in any circle. So I’ve got sessions set up too. I don’t have any names just yet, but I got some magic happening, and hopefully, within the next three to six months, we’ll have some more songs out, and a full album probably by the end of the year.
Monika: Wow, that’s so exciting! And in terms of your writing process, or how you go about making songs/writing lyrics, where do you get your inspiration? Does it take you days or weeks to write songs? Or does it just come to you? How does the writing process happen for you?
Séssi: For me, when I’m collaborating with Gabe, Gabe is my producer, super talented, he’s like a major pianist, super brilliant – we’re all about melodies, we lay down melodies first. Anything that comes to our heads, like I’ll go in the booth and start singing – usually the magic happens when it instantly comes. If it doesn’t instantly come, I move on. Like I don’t spend a lot of time on creating melodies. I feel like that’s my strongest strength, and the melodies, if they’re not hitting, I’ll just move on to another beat. Sometimes I’ll be walking and I’ll think about a word, and I’ll think, “that word is super dope for a song title.” From there, I’ll start writing about it, or thinking about my past experiences with somebody. I’ve had really shitty relationships, so I think that a lot of those shitty relationships have helped me talk about my music and be relatable for every girl. And I think that obviously, love comes in different shapes and forms, so I’d like to write about how great love is and how shitty it is as well, but the good things you get out of it. A lot of my writing structure comes from past experiences, how I’m feeling in the current moment, and usually, the melodies and the vocals is my strongest. If I need to, I’ll spend 3 or 4 days on just the melody just to get it right. But when it comes instantly, like the recording process for me too, ’cause I practiced a lot, and I trained my ear a lot, and I’m always doing vocal lessons, and I like to go to the studio, knock it out quick, and then boom! Onto the next one. I’m a quick worker. But sometimes the magic doesn’t always come, and you gotta get that song done. So I let It rock for a little and I leave it to the end, but I’ll never incomplete a song. I always complete a song.
Monika: Yeah for sure, and do you have a book where you write down all your lyrics? Or is it just improv in the studio?
Séssi: Well, studio is always voice note. I have a phone that I use specifically for my voice notes and my writing. Oh my God, I have thousands of voice notes. There’s times where I’ll be in the shower singing, and I’ll have that voice note going on. Cause it’s so easy to forget what you just thought about, or what you said, you know? So I always gotta keep that voice note on. I always record whenever I’m in a session, with the voice note, and I’ll go in and record.
Monika: So I know, obviously you’re a singer, you’re a songwriter, you’re an artist, but are there any other fields or avenues that you’d like to venture into? Like photography, or acting or fashion? Or anything else that you’d like to get into?
Séssi: Yeah, I would love to get into acting and film. I think that, naturally, I have a very crazy personality. I think that a lot of producers for movies or shows would gravitate to that. I’m really good with improv, so I feel like that’s the best thing that I’d like to do. Fashion – always trying to make a statement, always willing to collaborate. So I feel like the fashion will come, because of the different styles and different ideas that I have, and when we create our videos. So many things go into the creative process, and I’d like to eventually have my own fitness line, and my own beauty line. You know, I’m more of like, a natural girl. I love the whole makeup thing, I’m just getting into it, but I like the whole facials and the lipgloss, like that’s more me. And like workout clothes, I wear all day, every day. I’ve worked so hard to be in this body, and I feel like a lot of women would appreciate my story, and once they get to know, they would see that all of this wasn’t made in a day, you know. It took time.
Monika: Do you work out a lot? Or do you have a regular fitness routine that you follow, or a diet?
Séssi: Yeah, I do! I’m a pescatarian, I only eat fish, but I do work out, like 6, 7 times a week. I’m very into fitness, I’m into skin – just owning who you are and owning your body.
Monika: Very nice, very nice. Ok, now to get a bit more personal – when’s your birthday, what’s your zodiac sign, and do you believe in astrology? What do you think of all that?
Séssi: I am a Taurus, my birthday is May 9th. I’m very into spirituality, I’m very into signs – I know every single sign, what their personality is like, every time I meet somebody – I’m actually surprised I didn’t ask you what your sign was. You look like a Pisces.
Monika: Wow that’s impressive as shit. I’m an Aries actually, but my birthday is March 21st, so that’s technically on the cusp of Pisces and Aries.
Séssi: See, I’m really good! I told you, I was really good at this!
Monika: Wait, why do you say I’m a Pisces or Aries? Do I have certain qualities?
Séssi: Yes, you come off as a Pisces – you come off as, how do I say? I don’t know how to say, I just know these things. Like, Aries is cute, shy, a little timid, but outgoing, right? That’s what Aries is. Pisces has the same things, but you’re very sweet, a lot of Pisces, they’re very sweet girls. They’re like soft-spoken, you’re very soft-spoken too, you’re not like BLAHHHH. You’re soft-spoken and pretty and cute, you know, so yeah I thought you were a Pisces. You give me Pisces vibes. Patient, too. Like Pisces are very patient, and the way that you’re asking the questions too, you’re very intuitive, and a lot of Pisces, they love information, you know? Like the more information that you give them, the more that you wanna get to know them completely. So you gave me those vibes.
Monika: Wow that’s so cool, thank you!! And I know you said for yourself, cause I know you said you’re a Taurus, May 9th. So what qualities do you relate to for Taurus?
Séssi: I’m very passionate, I’m very driven, I’m very stubborn when it comes to my art, and that’s like the number one thing for a Taurus. Stubborn. Like so stubborn, that sometimes we can get in our own way. But that’s why we’re bull-headed, it’s like, “go go go go go go!” You go right through it and you don’t even look back. That’s me. So I think for me, even in this music stuff and I have a great team, all of it is balance, so I’m learning that part. Balancing life. I’m usually the person doing everything, you know? When you have a team, you gotta work together and do all that great stuff. Trust. But for me, I like to manifest, so that’s definitely Taurus – we’re big manifesters. We like to learn, we’ll research anything, we’re all about the facts. So I’m not singing it, unless I’ve researched it and looked it up. I will not say anything, so like if I’m in a conversation with somebody and they say something and I’m answering them back, there’s truth to that. The other day I was looking at my Tarot, and the reading was saying like, “you guys are so about your facts! You don’t say it in a conversation unless it’s researched.” And I’m like, oh my God, that’s me! Like I would literally not say nothing unless I know something. So I find that funny. And I’m very debateful – I’ll go into a whole debate to prove a point, completely. And if you’re still not getting my point, I could be there for hours. I don’t care. I feel like I would have been the best lawyer, the best.
Monika: I feel like you could have too! And I like the whole thing about you don’t speak on it until you know facts. I feel like in this day and age, it’s so easy for people to talk about things. I hate when people talk about things without knowing the facts. I feel like with me, I’m that person where if I don’t know something, I’m that person who immediately just Googles it. I just Google everything, I search everything.
Séssi: That’s the Aries in you! We’re very much alike too, we like information. And you guys are like bookworms and little nerds, too. No, I love signs. Side note, I will go on dates with guys just to have a meal with them, just to have fun, right? I’ll be like, “what’s your sign?” And as soon as they tell me anything, I’ll be like, “Scorpio? EHHH no. Ok Aries? EHHH no. You don’t work, you’re too crazy for me. Virgo? ok, you got a soft side, but you sneaky!” So I would literally judge every freaking date that I would go on, and I would be like, “No, it aint happening. I aint texting him back and I aint going out on another date with his ass.”
Monika: So you would judge the compatibility of the person just based on the sign?
Séssi: Completely. I know it’s so judgmental, but completely. With men, you never know. You gotta judge them! You gotta judge them.
Monika: I think in a relationship, there has to be some level of mutually being obsessed with each other. There just has to.
Séssi: It’s the foundation! The foundation for me for relationships is love, then the other things come, like trust, but you gotta love first. There are people who are in relationships and they don’t even love each other, they’re like killing time. Like what are you doing, you know?
Monika: 100%. I love that. Ok, last stupid question. If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?
Séssi: Death row, last meal. Hmmmmmm. Ok, a triple-decker cheeseburger with pickles, onions, – this is triple-decker, we’re talkin’ about a big one – with some curly fries, ketchup and hot sauce. Yep, that’s my death row.
Monika: What about the drink? No drink? And dessert?
Séssi: Oh ok ok a drink, and dessert? I love dessert, ok so a super tall margarita mezcal and lime juice, with a splash of agave and some strawberries. Cause you know, if I’m gonna leave, then I’m gonna go with a double mezcal shot. And then for dessert, oh man, ok you know the big round chocolate chip cookies? Ok that, with a pint of cookie dough ice cream. I love cookie dough ice cream. Cut bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream on top.
Monika: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Séssi: Chocolate chip cookie dough for sure, that’s my favorite. That and strawberry. Totally opposite but I love that one too.
Monika: Very nice, very nice. The last official question I have for you: What does True Urban Culture mean to you?
Séssi: True Urban Culture! I’d say being true to wherever you came from, like any culture that you are, being true to your culture, who you are, expressing yourself. I’d say that that’s what it means – True Urban Culture. Being as real as it gets, staying true to your roots, you know?
Whether it’s astrology, family, Lady Gaga, fashion, film, music, or interior design, Séssi has a warm energy about her. No matter who you are, if you want to talk, she’ll most likely entertain you in conversation. And with a promising musical career ahead of her, she is not afraid to experiment with her sound, her look, and her overall style. Séssi’s latest single, “En Tu Piel” is available right now on all streaming platforms.