She went from being a born and bred professional basketball player to a boundary-pushing babe.
Welcome to the wonderfully weird world of Sevdaliza. Her graceful and enigmatic aura drips in each and every one of her salacious songs. Each piece of music she has released since her fire debut album The Suspended Kid at the beginning of 2015 has added to a fuller and more vivid description of her own identity. This is perhaps most important to her as an artist, given that she went through a monumental life change over the past ten years.
Before becoming a mysterious electronic seductress, Sevdaliza had a career as a professional basketball player. She was born in Iran before relocating to her now-native Netherlands with her family as a young girl. She continued on to pursue a basketball scholarship, forcing her to dedicate all of her waking energy to the sport and leave home at the early age of sixteen. Continuing with this tireless lifestyle, she joined the Dutch national team where she concluded that professional athletics was not right for her.
Sevdaliza describes her time as a pro athlete as closely linked to the natural instincts of survival. “My world revolved around surviving,” she says, “When you play sports on a high level it takes a lot of discipline, and because I wasn’t around my parents, it taught me how to survive.” This concept comes through strongly in her first album. The Suspended Kid is all about searching for meaning and navigating your way through life as a human being, unapologetically yourself. The album oozes soft intrigue in a metallic clatter of melancholic melodies, hinting at the hidden world created by Sevdaliza.
Her following album, Children of Silk, is a resonant declaration of her voice as an artist in a more melancholic turn. Each track off this four-piece EP feels like melting into emotion. Particularly “Marilyn Monroe” is a poignant statement of her finite nature and yearning for recognition in the eyes of a lover. The Lana Del Rey levels of melancholy achieved in this song embody the pain in unrequited love and the confusion of self-doubt. There is something therapeutic about this song in particular and the album as a whole. “Do not rename it when it can’t be pronunciated,” she says in conjunction with the album, “Do not despise it when it is undressed. Do not abuse it when it is vulnerable. Do not only honor it in buildings with marble vestments. Do not stone it when beyond comprehension. Do not kill it with gloves of silk for they will only soothe it.”
Her latest wonderfully ominous single, “Human,” released this past November, hopefully harkens a new album in 2017. We can only hope that it will contain all the feels of her previous material, and continue to build the dark and powerfully vulnerable persona that we know to be Sevdaliza. Keep your eyes and ears open for more from this odd and beautiful human.