‘Perfect Timing’ is the latest output from Manchester based artist Le Sedi. An exemplar of sultry vocals and seamless instrumentation, the track is an introspective take on isolation and what it means to be alone.
Le Sedi layers haunting vocals over a beat brought to her by collaborator Feaz, during the first national lockdown last year. As such, ‘Perfect Timing’ is an interpretation of the stay at home message – the anxiety, the restlessness, and perhaps the relief of having some alone time.
Sonically, the track blends elements of soul and R&B tinged with electronica at points. A simple guitar riff carries the rhythm of the track, highlighted by deep percussion and soaring, artificial horns. ‘Perfect Timing’ is both mellow and groovy – a true slow jam.
We spoke to Le Sedi about making the track and what it means to her.
You wrote ‘Perfect Timing’ during the first lockdown – a year and two lockdowns later, do you feel as connected to the music you were working on back then?
I feel like ‘Perfect Timing’ was written by a completely different version of me. I don’t feel as connected to the song but I still love and appreciate the song for what it stands for and how it made me feel while writing and recording it.
Tell us about the journey of the track coming to fruition. What inspired the lyrics and how was the recording process – especially working with Feaz?
At the beginning of 2020 I had set myself a goal of doing as many open mics and performances as possible to develop my style and stage presence as an artist. I was still pretty new to the scene at the time. I was focused, had a bunch of small gigs lined up, and was ready to explore. And then lockdown happened. The world paused, businesses closed and we were told to stay home.
I was living with my parents at the time of writing the song – I remember feeling a little guilty for longing for some alone time. I knew friends and had family members who went through the first lockdown alone and for some of them that was a lonely experience. The introvert in me wanted some of that but without the loneliness.
A couple of weeks before I wrote the song, I was curious about Astrology and found some lectures recorded in 2017 by an astrologer called David Palmer (The Leo King). In the lectures, David used history and the positioning of the planets to predict the major themes of 2020 and the coming years. This is where I learned about the Age of Aquarius and how society would forever be changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All of these things inspired the lyrics to the song.
When it was time to record the song, I was very nervous. This was one of the most personal songs I had written at that point and I had never worked with Feaz. I had only met him once before, but he made me feel super comfortable.
The percussion in the song… is the offbeat deliberate, a play on ‘perfect timing’?
The lyrics were written way after the beat was made and I didn’t even notice the percussion was offbeat! I just remember being flooded with ideas for lyrics whenever I listened to the beat. Maybe my subconscious knew what was going on…
I asked Feaz to give more insight into the beat making process. Here’s what he said:
‘The offbeat is deliberate but it wasn’t crafted around the vocals. The backing track was one of the first ones I made for Sedi and it was drawn from inspiration of the artists, such as Bonobo and Lianne La Havas, that I was sent to encapsulate Sedi’s sound. I’m very happy that the themes entwined so well to match the sombre beat with the captivating vocals.’
What vision do you have for yourself as an artist?
My main reason for starting was so that I could make a musical journal full of meaningful songs that my future children can listen to when they are my age and get a better understanding of who I am. But now, I just want to write whatever feels right. Sometimes it’ll be a deep number but other times it may just be a catchy bop!
I see myself constantly evolving and finding new ways of storytelling through songwriting and video. I see myself taking over the world!
Finally, as the song’s theme centres around being alone – what does being alone mean to you?
Being alone to me means being free to explore, access, criticise and develop my own thoughts and way of life without external influence. Basically, being alone means getting to know myself.