Groningen, Netherlands - Swedish songwriter Seinabo Sey was unveiled this evening as the seventh winner of the 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), the European music awards for emerging artists. The announcement was made during the Kulturnyheterna show on national television.

Seinabo Sey became a household name when Kygo's remix of her song ‘Younger’ became a viral hit. The Stockholm-based pop phenomenon, known for her powerful voice and captivating stage presence, inherited her immense talent from her father, West African musician Maudo Sey.

Initially influenced by the likes of Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys, Seinabo has developed her very own R&B /electro sound. Her much-anticipated debut LP Pretend was an instant success after being released in October and she has just announced a European tour in early 2016, with dates in Scandinavia, Finland, Germany, France, UK, Belgium and Switzerland.

Seinabo, who grew up in Södermalm and Halmstad, had academic aspirations but moved to the Swedish capital at 16 to attend a music school programme at Fryshusets. In an interview she recalled:  "I was really academically tracked... I tried to push away the whole music dream and thought I had to do something more in line with that, like becoming a lawyer or something. But then I realised I couldn’t really [do that] so I moved to Stockholm.”

Earlier this fall Carnival Youth (Latvia), AURORA (Norway), Oscar and The Wolf (Belgium), KOVACS (Netherlands), Alvaro Soler (Spain) and SOAK (Ireland) were unveiled as 2016 EBBA winners. Three more winners across Europe will be announced and filmed next week. The footage will form part of a unique ‘road-trip’ mini-movie, which will be shared via the EBBA social media account and website. 

The EBBA are about breaking down borders and recognising emerging European rock, pop and dance artists who achieved success in countries other than their own. These unique European music awards are funded under the European Union (EU) Creative Europe programme. With the EBBA, the European Union wishes to highlight the success of 10 debuting European artists in selling albums and touring outside their home territory.

From Adele (2009) to Milky Chance (2015), the winners of the EBBA represent the full breadth of European talent and diversity. Other previous winners include Stromae, Emeli Sande?, Gabriel Rios, Hozier, Melanie De Biasio, Of Monsters and Men, Woodkid, Mumford & Sons, Caro Emerald, Lykke Li, Disclosure, Katie Melua, John Newman, The Ting Tings, C2C, Tokio Hotel, The Script, Zaz, Nico & Vinz, Saybia, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall, Alphabeat, Milow and Afrojack.

Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity is a strong part of its cultural appeal, but linguistic barriers sometimes make it harder for artists to work internationally and achieve cross-border sales success. The EBBA seek to help them overcome these obstacles.

To be eligible for the 2016 awards, the artists must have achieved border-breaking success with their first international release in Europe between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015.

The winners are selected on the basis of data from Nielsen Music Control research, the European Broadcasting Union, EBU radio stations, and from festivals participating in the European Talent Exchange Programme.

The winners will receive their awards in a ceremony hosted by TV personality and musician Jools Holland at the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival in Groningen, Netherlands, on January 13, 2016. The ceremony will feature performances of the winning acts.

One of the winners will receive a Public Choice Award based on votes cast on the EBBA website from December 1, 2015 until January 1, 2016. Up to 15 voters, chosen at random from different countries, will be invited to the award ceremony: each will be able to bring a friend and the prize includes their flight and hotel costs.

The EBBA, now in their 13th year, is organised by Eurosonic Noorderslag in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), with support from Buma Cultuur, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Province of Groningen, the City of Groningen and Music Week.