Essentials: “Issues” – Sensu

Electronic strings seem to open Swiss artist Sensu‘s “Issues,” featuring Ryck Jane. The third single from upcoming debut album, Embrace, “Issues” is a bold, catchy track that borrows from multiple genres while integrating these influences from classical to hip hop to form a new, danceable, vibrant number. 

In fact, while the notion of having “issues” may be universal—don’t we all?—the mix of sound and style on the track seem to be highly idiosyncratic and authentic representation of Sensu’s own journey as an artist. A classically trained pianist, the track is riddled with Asian-inspired chord progressions as well as flute and strings that harkens listeners back to classical images of China, Japan, and southeast Asia. This is juxtaposed with energetic percussion and and Ryck Jane’s verses, which pays a tribute to Sensu’s background origins in the hip hop space in Los Angeles. Sensu speaks to this, sharing that “in the middle of the album process I was very inspired by Asian music and instruments. Due to the fact that my roots are in hip-hop music, I wanted to create a rap song for my album. I just mixed Asian and electronic sounds with hip-hop elements and thought about adding a female MC to make this track complete.

On closer listen, the song takes on serious questions of depression and how to manage that experience. But style does not take away from content, here. Rather, it seems to be an acceptance of who we are, not matter how difficult that may be at times. In the age of fake news, it may seem easy to hide from real issues, but it’s a privilege to hear strong women like Sensu and Ryck Jane speak to something like the prevalence of depression in our society in a manner that feels real and relatable. 

“Issues” is out now while the album Embrace is set to release on Friday, September 6th.  

Follow Sensu on Spotify.

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