Ever since breaking into the music industry with his impressive vocal ability, Sech has been working non-stop. He has launched an album each year since 2019: First, he dropped his fantastic debut, Sueños, which told the story of a choir singer from Panama’s township of Río Abajo living out his biggest dreams; then there was his eclectic follow-up 1 of 1, from 2020; and in 2021, he turned things up with 42, a proud, up-tempo celebration of Black achievements and his Panamanian roots.
As each album spun off hit after hit, sold-out shows and tours, and even documentaries, his career began moving at breakneck speeds — and Sech knew he needed to take some time off. Quietly, he stepped away from social media and the music scene, deciding to focus on himself. “I had a while of not releasing anything,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I was working on things in my life, clearing my mind and my heart and my soul.” He was particularly focused on his health and wellness: “I had a medical issue with my back, so I was working on myself, exercising, getting my health in line.”
It was when his world quieted and slowed down that new inspiration struck. “As soon as I started to feel better, I got motivated, and I dove fully into the [next] project,” he says. Sech explored ideas from his time traveling, experimenting with sounds from Europe and Puerto Rico. Before he knew it, he had four tracks that he loved — and he couldn’t decide between them. “I was only supposed to turn one song in, but I couldn’t pick.” He decided to organize them together as an EP, playfully titled Ya Casi Vienen, or “they’re almost here.”
The name was mysterious, toying with the idea of how he’d also gone on a cryptic little hiatus. “The name came to me at the crack of dawn, and I loved how enigmatic it was. If I see that on Netflix or something, I’d want to know more,” he says. “But it also fit into the new chapter that’s coming, with all these songs and videos.”
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The EP is imbued with a sense of brightness — rejuvenated, fresh and upbeat. Sech sounds more enthusiastic than ever as he talks about this project. “I always get bored listening to my songs because I write them, I produce them, I sing them, I make the videos,” he admits. “I do so much with them that it starts to become stressful.” Ya Casi Vienen is a different story, and he loved each track so much, he broke down each one with Rolling Stone. “I can listen to them every day and I don’t get tired of them,” he says. “I feel like it’s a new Sech.”
“Champagne” is a special song, because I didn’t want to focus on love. Instead, I was talking about life — about people who have left your side and who you never hear from again. Those people are dead to you. in a sense. That’s why I say in the lyrics, “Riego una botella de champán por los que no están/
No se murieron, pero no están.” (“Spray a bottle of champagne for those who aren’t here/They didn’t die, but they’re not here.”)
It’s about overcoming and forgetting those who shouldn’t be in your life. To me, it’s a celebration of finding only what works for you. When I started writing about those themes, I grabbed an organ like the ones at church. I began playing the melody to go with that idea of mourning those who are gone, and a flute synth we wove into the chorus. But more than anything, I wanted it to have this heavy bass and percussion because it’s a celebration, after all, even if it’s also a goodbye.
I recorded that in Colombia, in Medellín — it was one of the last ones I did. It wasn’t even in a studio. It was a room with just a little mixing table and I plugged in these little horns and we started to build everything. I was there doing some tests for my health, and this came out of that period. I’m really happy with it.
That’s a long, long story behind this one. [Laughs.] Basically, I did it at a writing camp around the time I wrote “9/11,” “Sal Y Perrea,” a lot of those songs during 42. But this was so different and it really felt like it was made up of two separate songs. We kept it out, but the chorus was lying around, and to make a long story short, I went on tour in Europe. I was in Barcelona and hit the studio, where I showed the song to a friend. He was like, “Bro, I really think that chorus is magical. You have to do something.” I began building the track back up from the beginning: the verses came out, the whole thing started again.
“Foto En Panty”
I started it in Puerto Rico. I was thinking a lot about this topic: how [a guy] gets mad when women upload sexy photos in a bikini or lingerie or whatever — but then they give likes to other women who do the exact same thing! [Laughs.] So I started to write. I have to be honest: I love to go to the club and see women having a good time. That’s how the whole idea of Sech even started, when you think about songs like “Otro Trago” and “Sal Y Perrea.” I love for women to go to the club and have a good time and relax and forget about everything. So this song is really special and I feel like the topic is perfect for social media because it’s going to start fights. Women are going to be like, “Listen to this song, listen to what he’s saying! He had a point!” It’s going to start problems — it’ll be a great problem for me, but a bad problem for some guys out there. [Laughs.]
This one is like solid reggaeton, reggaeton, reggaeton. I wanted to do something clubby, really danceable. I love the sounds on this, and there are only like three of them. I didn’t want to overload it because the drums are like everything on this.
“Party De Electrónica”
Subelo NEO, who worked with Bad Bunny and Karol G, sent me the instrumentals for this. As soon as I heard it, I fell in love with it completely. I wanted to do something different because from the first lyric, it’s complete chaos. It’s a huge party. The idea is all about people who have more than you, but their girl is checking you out, something that happens all the time in life. [Laughs.] I’ve had that happen! There was a person who had a better job, who was in a better position than me, but the girl wanted to be with me. I feel like everyone has been through this, and especially when we live in such a fictitious, material world, it’s showing that that’s not what’s important.
There’s a chorus at the end with everyone chanting, and I see people singing along with it in a stadium or at the club. When I was in Europe and I went to the clubs, everything is so up-tempo right now, so I lost it when they sent me that beat. I was like “Whoa!” It’s funny with these songs because in general, I’m always closed off to the idea of asking for feedback about my music. I want to feel like if I picked the wrong song or made the wrong move, it’s because it was my choice, not because I was going with what other people told me what to do. But with this EP, it was different. I was excited to play it for my friends, my family, everyone, and they were all like, “It’s tough to choose one!” So I picked them all, and that’s the story of these four songs became their own project.
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