Coby Sey on fate, romance and Tortoise steps
The experimental musician from Lewisham Coby Sey sits down with woo for a palm reading ahead of his show at Nicholas Daley's Woven Rhythms
image Ksenia Burnasheva
words Rhys Thomas
Practised all over the world, palmistry analyses the major and minor lines on your hand to define how you love to how you live and, possibly, what lies ahead in your future. Inspired by this tradition, Palmistry is a series where we sit down with some of our favourite names in the worlds of music, fashion and entertainment for a unique quiz. Turning to their palms, we ask them questions relating to the properties of the five best-known lines in palm-reading.
Coby Sey is a Lewisham-based musician, songwriter, artist, and vocalist, who He also hosts an NTS Radio show. He spent much of the year touring his debut album, Conduit, a moody experimental electronic record which was widely hailed by critics, as well as releasing singles.
Having worked with musicians from Tirzah, and Kelly Lee Owens to the London Contemporary orchestra, and artists including Hannah Perry and Maëva Berthelot, Coby knows a fair bit about how to harness art through interconnectedness, serendipity, and ethereal connection.
His hands do and see many things, from making drum beats to paintings, they live very full lives. So we thought we’d do a palm reading with him, we spoke about “galavanting”, spontaneity, and limiting sugar. Here’s how it went!
One of the three major lines in palmistry, the Head Line (also known as Wisdom Line) reflects your belief, self-will, intelligence, mentality and creativity. Beginning at the outer edges of the hand, under the index finger, it runs towards the middle of the palm.
Would you say you’re more logical or creative?
Growing up I was more creative than logical. Nowadays, I’m equally logical and creative. I can’t have one without the other.
What were you like at school?
I was studious in school. I liked the arts, computing and humanities the most. I was also that school kid that would make drum sounds on tables with my hands and write rhymes and poetry any chance I could get. I taught myself how to play the drum kit at school.
What's the biggest adventure you've been on?
I've been told by my family and friends for a long time that my life is an adventure. This has increasingly been the case since actively doing music. My nana describes what I do as galavanting. Gotta love the old school words.
Travelling to Iceland on my own in 2020 was a big thing for me. I wrote my EP 'River' there, which I’m planning to reissue. Same with my first visit to my place of ancestry, Ghana, in 2007. I visited there again in 2021 and wrote some music there too, which I’m deciding what to do with.
Are you romantic?
[Laughs] Sometimes, in my own way.
Do you text first?
Sometimes. Even though voice notes can take up more storage space than texting, I prefer voice notes. I think it's a nice balance between texting and calling.
Your Fate Line (which some call the Money Line) runs vertically, from the wrist to your middle finger. It's said to be an indicator of the path you will take in life and how your future will pan out, across your career, finances and fortune.
Do you believe in destiny?
Hmmm... There are circumstances and things that people are born into, and/or inherit, but I think it's important for me (and I'm sure for others) to remember that self-belief is important. Y'know, to help reach a point where they can define themselves within their circumstance, and to be there for others in aid of cultivating self-belief in order to define themselves.
Are you a planner or are you more spontaneous?
I like to balance the planning out with spontaneity. It's healthy for me.
What's on your mood board for the future?
To keep inspired, motivated and provide inspiration. But in terms of a visual moodboard? Any window near to me is my IRL mood board. I also have some photos I’ve taken over the years of my travels and close ones at home.
The Sun Line is a vertical line which can start anywhere on the palm as long as it is in line with the Mount of Moon (at the base of the palm, opposite the thumb) or the Mount of Apollo (the padded area under the ring finger). It also isn't found in every palm. This line is all about beauty and creativity as well as confidence and power.
What's the last book you read?
Donny Hathaway Live by Emily J. Lordi.
Play hard or work hard?
Work hard and smart to play hard and smart.
One of the easiest lines to spot on your palm, the Life Line is the arc that curves around your thumb. It's usually considered to be a prediction of your vitality, health, ideology and experiences - as well as if you will befall major changes or accidents.
What's a major change you've had in your life?
I have so many. Becoming an uncle for the first time a few years back to my older brother Kwes’ kids and seeing them grow continues to be seismic. More recently, I’ve limited my intake of sugar those, who know, know. So yeah, baby steps. Tortoise steps.
How many times have you moved city?
I don't know if this counts, but I resided in Leeds for uni before moving back to London. Besides that, I've always resided long term in London.
What's a moment that changed your perspective on life?
There's too many to even count!
Coby Sey plays the Southbank Centre on September 15th as part of Nicholas Daley’s Woven Rhythms, information is available here
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