Photos by Camille Grdn – Allgrss
” I am worthy of taking up space, worthy of being here. To have experiences and to show and receive love, bump my head, and figure it out. To enjoy this journey and feel that I deserve all the good things that happen.”
Berlin, it’s a manifest city… Sedric Perry says after I ask the obvious question of meeting another Black American who has found their way to Europe, and specifically landed in Berlin. “A little bit of work and a little bit of love,” Perry laughs.
Sedric Perry graced the stage at the 2022 Berlin Music video awards wearing a black design by @iamflorianschulze paired with a drape Perry sensually swung revealing the towering Soft pink platform heels. Topped off with a crown that heightens the artist’s petite frame. His silhouette is accentuated by panels of blue lighting and seductively hidden by a cloud of smoke coming from stage right. “Unbreakable Habits,” he sang in a falsetto and then commanded the crowd once to call and respond after him. Then the lights went dark. The audience roared in cheers for the singer-songwriter, and as quick as Perry entered the stage, he left soon after, thanking people and announcing his forthcoming EP in the works.
Unable to catch the singer post-performance. I slid in his dm. Perry agreed to chat with little ole me! I as a fan and also a fellow Black Berliner was excited to learn more about who he is as an artist, creative, and, most importantly, as a person.
Perry, a Philadelphia native and New School Alumni made his way to Europe on more loose terms. He was coming to visit a few friends and collaborate with other musicians. The second time around, that wasn’t the case. When Perry returned to Berlin, he had more of a real reason to stay: a little love, friends, and musical collaborators. The cherry was a publishing deal with Sony; under the guidelines, he’d reside here for the next three years.
Rnb music. In Berlin… exists?… yes. While the community is small, it makes a gem like Perry favorably shine through. “My music falls under the “soul” umbrella, although I like genre-bending a lot. Some of it is dance, and some are slower R&B with saucy chords. I’d describe it as personal because it always is for me. I like to be honest in my music, and I think people relate.”
Berlin holds spaces for other genres to be given a stage, shared, and even created heaven for the DIY artist. While Perry has a publishing deal, he makes it clear that – he is still 100% independent.
I’m not a Major Label artist,” Perry clarifies,” I am my everything. The singer gladly wears many titles proudly, ones that many know as singer-songwriter and performer. Yet ones that many may not know, like the roles of creative director and or community organizer. Sedric has a hand in all the moving parts of his creative work; he prides himself on being intentional and is thankful that he has the opportunity to share his artistic voice through all of these mediums in which it could reside. When you see his work, you know it is a piece of his soul as he has poured himself into these pieces for the world to enjoy.
All Roads Lead Back To Berlin
I came here and started making music; there were a lot of things that were important to me: my career, my love life, feeling seen, and having fun – all of these things I wanted but wasn’t getting a whole lot of in my life for some reason. It all started to hit at once, and I thought, maybe I should just come back and check it out and see what it was all about. Letting his curiosity guide him, he leaped to this fresh start and a host of new opportunities that awaited him in Berlin, which led to an extensive amount of collaboration, an expansion of his musical family, friends, journeys, and lessons for Perry.
One of those lessons is the balance needed to pour into others’ creative projects, and Perry reevaluated the importance of giving them the same amount of effort for his work. So he needed to realign himself. It was time that Perry poured into his musical discography. “I’ve spent the last six months working on an EP. I took my time with it and worked with people worldwide to give a bit of everything I got. The first song drops on the 22nd of July. It’s a love song, but more just an overall appreciation for life and the little things around me. I filmed a crazy video in Senegal last month. I’m super excited about it.”
Trusting The Creative Process
As Perry needs to work on his music – he explains that collaboration fuels much of his creative process. “I love to collaborate. I find the song ultimately sounds more like a conversation and, therefore, more relatable. I can stay at the studio for hours writing and recording. However, some of my favorite songs come from just being alone in my room and suddenly feeling inspired by a phrase or melody. I usually follow it until it feels like a full song.”
Sedric takes a more holistic approach to his work; the energy of his own, as well as the energy of others and what they bring to a session, is essential, as he explains in the process of creating the album.
“The process for the album has been so fluid and loving. The people I’ve been working with, from the producers, the writers, the mixing engineers, the editors, are all like, I love this, I want to do this, you know, regardless of the money or the price. Like, that’s the energy I want to continue to work with. I don’t have much time for lukewarm energy—I need everybody on fire.”
Holding space for himself, his feelings, and his emotions, accepting them in the forms and the waves they may come. Sedric also emphasizes the importance of spaces, creating spaces, and occupying spaces as being someone who holds intersecting identities being Black and Queer. Sedric recognized early on that a considerable part of his journey towards growth was sitting with his inner child.
“As a child, I was very aware of being queer. And as I got older, I noticed that being was black wasn’t fully welcomed in a lot of spaces. A lot of my time has been spent creating those spaces, and now, I look around and see it. But you know, it wasn’t there. And I see that it’s so necessary that we connect to it. And I want to continue that.” Sedric affirms.
The work that Sedric had been doing in living authentically and cultivating spaces while doing this work because it’s what he felt like he needed to see more of – unknowingly inspired people around him. A heartfelt moment that happened a couple of years ago, Perry recounts. “Someone reached out to me and said, “I’m doing a high school project, about queer artists in music, and I wanted to interview you and ask you some questions” And I was just like “for me, that’s the point. Representation, being a channel. For me it’s much less about who I am as a person, sometimes, but what I represent and hope to see more of. Humans worthy of taking up space and being here. I’m here to have experiences and to show love and receive love and, you know, bump my head and figure it out. To enjoy this journey and feel that I deserve all the good things that happen.”
As an artist, it feels good to know that your work is helping fuel you but that others can create meaning of their own with your work. Sedric raves about his favorite thing, and the way supporters show their appreciation for his work.
“It means a lot when people reach out with messages about how a song inspired them somehow. This isn’t an easy industry to navigate by any means. Sometimes I feel I could be further if I played the game differently or made music in ways other people wanted me to. But I follow my instincts, even when people around me don’t believe in my actions. If I believe in it, I’m going for it. It means so much to me when the raw energy I put into my craft is received and felt. I love when people send me voice memos singing my songs, I think it’s the sweetest thing.”
What’s Next For You?
Whether it’s music, collaborating, or cultivating spaces for other Queer Black folks, Sedric believes that regardless of the space he is moving in and the art he is creating, he does so with the intention of love, light, and authenticity. Perry appreciates his journey and all the experiences, people, and stories that have come along with it. It’s a part of the journey, a part of his individual experience. As Sedric moves to this new era physically, spiritually, and creatively, he openly invites others along for the journey. The first single of his debut EP, ,”CMB,” Count My Blessings released on the 22nd of July. The single accompanied with a visual shot in Senegal which you can view below. There’s much more in the works for the artist; what’s next? You just have to join Perry for the ride to find out. “Here we go, above and Beyonce.”- Sedric Perry
If you would like to follow Sedric Along on his Journey connect below
Youtube: Sedric Perry
SoundCloud Sedric Perry
View – “CMB”, Official Video – HERE
While Ania Holland is an observant individual, she is a social butterfly at heart. Upon graduating from NYU, she relocated back to Berlin, Germany, working in music, on music, and with artists across mediums, including fashion, film, and dance. As she sweetly navigates superstardom in her new city, she is, as she puts it, in her “Donna Summer Era.” Creating no matter the medium, Ania has learned how to use her voice, connect, and question the world – her experiences and through her mediums, she explains things as well enough as they make sense to her. She is a musician, poet, avid journaler, master chef, and now founder of a creative agency – Moon Trine Mars. With the intent of helping artists, creatives, and individuals expand – nurture and explore their identities and create narratives through literary, digital, and multimedia channels. A self-proclaimed “word oracle,” she believes writing has helped her find autonomy and freedom. She believes she can help others do the same by amplifying others’ and artists’ voices.. @Ania_Holland
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