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08:20 NYC

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Backstage with Seddy Hendrinx

"You gonna grow up listening to Sed music."

Nora Lee, Writer

Nora Lee

Writer

Updated

The pesky thing about most living things is that they require specific conditions in order to thrive. A botanist, for example, may agonize for weeks on end to replicate the perfect physical environment—fiddling with temperature, humidity, and soil composition—to coax a certain flower into blooming. A parallel can be drawn to many artists, who might require a certain tempo or specific drum pattern in order to create their best music. The thing about Seddy Hendrinx, though, is that he’ll flourish wherever he pleases. 

Though his roots run deep in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL, Seddy Hendrinx has cultivated a style that can thrive in any climate. As gritty as it is smooth, his vocal has a mesmerizing effect, like sand flowing through an hourglass. His sound is distinct yet fluid, suggesting an artist who is as self-possessed as he is free-spirited. Seddy collaborates seamlessly with artists near and far, from Lil Poppa to Goonew and everyone in between, without ever losing sight of himself in the process. 

Perhaps even more impressive is the two-fold nature of his versatility. As he ventures from one genre, one region, and one style to the next, he often brings the best out of those who reside there. It’s difficult to pin down exactly what it is about him that has this effect on others. All I can say is that there’s something truly special about Seddy Hendrinx—a certain quality to him that escapes description yet feels immediately tangible whenever you’re in his presence. He’d chalk this magnetism up to his “aura,” he told me matter-of-factly, “That’s why people take to me.” 

I spent a couple of hours with his team, but it took only a few minutes for me to recognize that Seddy lights a spark in those around him. A remarkably principled person in a remarkably unprincipled industry, it’s no surprise that so many younger artists have come to look up to him. At just 25 years old, Seddy wears many admirable titles: mentor, role model, and big brother, to name a few. He wears them graciously, and he wears them well. Infectiously enthusiastic but always intentional with his words, Seddy expresses genuine love and appreciation for others. Particularly when it comes to Jacksonville, he goes the extra mile to pour love back into his city, always eager to support artists and producers who share his hometown: “I gotta uplift my city. ‘Cause I know what I was doin’ in this city, and what I wanted rappers to do that had even a little bit of a voice.”

Seddy makes a point to remember not only where he came from, but also the work it took to get where he is today. The Duval County native’s first major break came at the close of 2015, when his single “REMEMBER,” a heartfelt remix of Bryson Tiller’s “Exchange,” started gaining traction on SoundCloud. From there, he began releasing mixtapes hosted by some of Jacksonville’s biggest radio DJs. Seddy soon joined forces with his uncle’s management company, Florida Boy Entertainment, which he now strives to build out into a full-fledged label. As his syrupy melodies stuck in the minds of listeners all over Jacksonville, Seddy’s local audience swelled, eventually landing him a coveted deal with DJ Drama’s imprint Generation Now in 2018.

Just as everything was coming together in his career, Seddy’s personal life seemed to fall apart. He was fresh on the other side of a bid, he was still recovering from being shot, he was struggling to make ends meet financially—and of course, all that charisma comes with its fair share of lady troubles. Shit hit the fan, so to speak. But if nothing else, Seddy has always been resilient. Like a dandelion sprouting up through a tiny crack in the sidewalk, he made something beautiful despite the unforgiving conditions of his day-to-day life. Turning to the studio as his confessional, he wove all those mixed emotions into soul-stirring melodies, creating Roots II (2019) in the process. This standout project ultimately served as a “show and tell” for him in more ways than one. At the time, his primary goal was to show Drama what he was capable of. Today, this 38-minute journey serves as the perfect entry point into the world of Seddy Hendrinx. His candid self-expression ultimately yielded his most popular song yet: the project’s lead single, “LOWKEY,” has since amassed nearly 14 million views on YouTube. 

Most recently, Seddy underscored his gift for collaboration with Sayless (2020), a short and sweet seven-track testament to what Seddy does best: build authentic connections with those around him. Now, fresh off a nation-wide tour with Yung Bleu, Seddy still finds time to reflect on his craft and thoughtfully lay out a clear-eyed vision for his upcoming project, Well Sed. Just because he can collaborate with literally anyone, doesn’t mean that he has to. On this next album, Seddy’s set to go back to the basics, and he’ll be placing himself at the very center. After all, the thing about Seddy Hendrinx is that he’ll flourish wherever he pleases. 

Jacksonville, that’s where you grew up?

Nora

Yes ma’am, Jacksonville, Florida.

Seddy Hendrinx

What were you like as a kid?

Full of life, bad as hell. Nice, but I could be an asshole. Just the average. I feel like I was a good jit, bad jit, 50/50.

What was important to you when you were young?

Making it out. Making my momma happy. Making that lady proud, givin’ her everything she ever wanted.

What experiences from when you were young do you feel like have shaped you the most?

My struggle and my faith. If I ain’t have my faith—the faith I had that I was gonna be someone, even be anything in life… I don’t know where I’d be right now if I ain’t have that. That’s a trait I had about since a kid until now that has done nothing but grow and mold me. 

You mean your faith in yourself or your faith in God?

My faith in God, my faith in myself. My faith that I can do whatever I need to do. My faith to get over street shit, my faith to get over heartbreaks, my faith to get over pain, addictions, everything. I always have to have faith. 

You show a lot of really genuine love to people. 

Whether people wanna admit it or not… You can do all the gangsta shit in the world, you can have all the demons in the world, you can have all the negative shit around you. But at one point in time, it was love there. And it was happiness when that love was there. So if we can get back to that... I ain’t tryna sound corny or sound good for the interview. Man, at the end of the day, love is the only thing that’s gonna cure all this shit that’s goin’ on. So, I make sure I show that a lot. And I get it back in return from the genuines. The universe and the energy talk back to me. Give it to me, give me that real love, you know what I’m sayin’?

I feel like every time I find some new artist…

Yup!

I think I’m hip. Then I go to their Instagram…

Tsss!

 And I see you in the comments like 3 months ago, tossing out fire emojis and shit. 

Ahh that shit crazy ain’t it!

You have a good ear!

That’s what I be trying to tell people! A lot of people that’s even turnt now, I been on ‘em, I been peeped ‘em. I be on YouTube, I be on Instagram. I be on it! And I don’t look at is as dickriding or being in everybody comments. If you’re genuine, and I like your music, and I like the energy you showin’ and givin’, I’m finna comment. And if I like it, n**** I’m finna comment! If it’s flame, it’s flame. If it’s trash, I’m not commenting. It just is what it is. If it ain’t it, I’mma scroll past it, whether I follow you or not. I’m not finna show fake love. 

In a lot of your lyrics, you kinda have this… wariness. You know? You’ve seen it all, you’ve been fucked over, and you keep people at an arm’s length. 

All the time. I got to. People be telling me that a lot. They be like, “Man your songs, you talk about happiness, but when you get deep, you really distanced.” I’m an Aquarius. I can love you—like, all the love in the world—I can love you, but I can still say fuck you. One moment I’m there, I wanna show all the love and give all the love, then sometimes I just wanna fall back and conserve my energy, you know what I’m sayin? You ain’t finna drain me, and mothafuckers done drained me before. I done felt like I was stripped of my love and had to gain it back. I felt like I gave out too much loyalty and I gave out too much support. So once I got a real understanding on how to tame this love and how to really go about it, everything became a lot smoother. Still workin’ at it, but it’s a lot better than what it was.

I first found you through “Treacherous,” which is one of my favorite songs ever. I love OMB Peezy too. 

Fasho, shoutout Overkill!

Since I found that song, I started seeing you literally everywhere. I listen to a lot of music, too... I see you with OMB Peezy, I see you with Lil Poppa...

Mhm!

I see you with Goonew...

Mhm!

Ola Runt.

Mhm!

Not a lot of people can do that, I think—work with everybody, walk on any beat. What do you think gives you that ability?

It sounds genuine, too. It don’t sound like it’s forced, right. It sounds like this is him, it fits.

Exactly!

Because I’m a real person. I’m really me. I’m not getting in this booth, and then when I hop out this booth and me and you conversate, you like, “Hold on bruh, you ain’t that n**** that just said all that in the songs, you a whole other person.” That’s why I’m able to walk on all these beats. Because I’m not gettin’ on no song unless it’s connecting. I just can’t, you feel me? It’s gonna connect to me in some way, shape, or form. I’m gettin’ in the booth and walkin’ on every beat if it’s genuine, if everything is there. So that’s how I’m able to work with Goonew, that’s how I’m able to work with Ola... and then leave and go work with a country artist, or leave and go work with a pop artist. And everything fits because it’s genuine music. It’s real. 

You’ve got a new tape coming up this year?

Mhm, I'ma release a tape before the end of this year. I got one feature on there, too—Grammy-award winning, you know what I’m sayin’? Legend.

Secret?

Just know, it’s the only feature on my tape. You know, my last tape, I dropped a tape full of features because people was like, “Sed, work with this person, work with that person.” I had already been with them. I already had these relationships with these people. So now this tape, Well Sed, I’m kinda goin’ back in that bubble with my people who was with me from Scratch Off, Roots, Death B4 Dishonor: Loyalty Over Everything, Roots II. I’m talking to them.. And I’m talking to the newcomers, you know what I’m sayin’? Gotta keep the balance. Life is about balance. Gotta keep everybody balanced. 

I feel like I always go back to Roots II. What was going on with you at that time?

Roots II was like a show and tell for me. I was fresh out of jail, I got signed, right before that I had got shot, I’m goin’ broke. But at the same time, I’m blowing up—everything’s goin’ up on the internet. But in my life? Shit was crazy, shit was wicked. I’m back and forth from Jacksonville to Atlanta. I’m tryna figure this shit out and keep everybody happy. 

Roots II was just a time where I was like, “Damn, I get an opportunity to change shit.” You feel me? Drama was like, “Yo, c’mon. This is the opportunity right now for me to sign you. Lemme hear what you got.” And I had to give it all I got. I was goin’ through lessons, at the same time I was gettin’ clean as hell everyday. That’s how you get “Exclusive Drip” and “Lessons” with Poppa. I was in a ending a relationship and getting into a relationship. That’s how you get “Lowkey” and “Klosure.” 

So Roots II is just… It was so much mixed emotions, man, and so many ups and downs. That’s why I had to call it Roots II, because the first Roots wasn’t nothin’ but the same thing in my life. I was just goin’ through everything on a smaller scale in Jacksonville. I was blowing up in my city, I just got one of the biggest DJs at the time in Florida to host my tape, I’m goin’ crazy, I’m getting the recognition I deserve now in my city. So, it was the roots, I had to just stick to it. It was a lot of mixed emotions making that, man. 

It’s kinda like everything falls apart before it….

Gets great. Gets greater later. [Hits blunt] Smile. 

When people listen to your music, what do you want them to take away from it?

I wanna be able to let you know.. I can turn you up, I can drop some drawers on you, I can make you feel good, I can probably make you feel—not even bad, but make you take account... I can make you take account. You gonna grow up listening to Sed music.

Okay, I like that!

You gonna gain some maturity listening to my music. You gonna learn something listening to my music. You gon’ wanna to get high as hell, you gon’ wanna get geeked up, you gon’ wanna get clean as fuck, you gon’ wanna go out. But sometimes, you gon’ wanna slide to the mountains, you gon’ wanna dip off, you gon’ wanna back up, you gon’ wanna just duck off. I’m all around with it man, I’m like yin and yang with this shit. 

Always there. 

Yeah, I’m always there. I’m always there for y’all. Just be there for me, you know what I’m talkin’ bout?


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