At only 26 years old, Selah Sue is Belgium’s resident queen of soul. With a debut album that took her all over the world, Sanne Putseys — still her writing name — got a running start, acoustic guitar in hand and trademark beehive firmly in place. Her second and more mature follow-up, Reason, released last year, allowed the Leuven born singer-songwriter to claim the Belgian music scene once again in spectacular fashion.
If you want to get a taste of early Selah Sue, ‘Raggamuffin’ is the perfect song with which to start. The number that first got her some international recognition is a good representation of her early style — a groovy mix of reggae, jazz and soul.
One of her quieter songs, ‘Summertime’ catches that sensation of feeling blue without knowing exactly why. The singer has been open-hearted about her struggles with depression since puberty, as she advocates for abolishing the taboos surrounding mental illness.
The one song with a refrain of mighty 007 allure on her debut album, ‘This World’ hints at things to come.
‘I want to fade out with you,’ Selah Sue sings while meteorites tumble towards the earth in the music video to ‘Fear Nothing.’ Still, for the full impact of its goose bumps-inducing grandiosity, you’ll want to experience this one live.
With ‘Reason,’ the titular track to her second album, Selah Sue again lets us peer into the deepest corners of her unsure world as she continues to write off her demons by turning them into lyrics — ‘she feels lost in her darkness.’
Urban soul with a groove you can’t ignore, ‘Alone’ is one of those Selah Sue songs you’ll start dancing to whether you want to or not.
‘I will sing for you what is in my heart,’ Selah Sue promises in the lyrics to ‘I Won’t Go For More.’ It’s a promise she’s kept time and again, even on songs like this one that explores her new found affection for big band in the best way.