In 2009, Sean returned to the academic environment, earning a Master’s in jazz piano, from Indiana University. During these two years and the following summer, he wrote the music for his third album, RISE.
With RISE, Sean continues to explore the seamless interplay between jazz and hip-hop, calling upon melodic and densely poetic lyricism. Soul Bounce writes, “showcasing his smooth vocals, he blurs the lines between singing and it’s melodic cousin, spoken word, often fluctuating between both deliveries within the same song.” The poet-reviewer, Kalamu ya Salaam, describes his sound as: “a cross between Ezra Pound in the metro and some alternative spoken word down by the Green Mill in Chicago...he takes unexpected twists and turns, puts lyrics you have to listen to at least thrice in order to decipher the deeptitudes being discussed. Sometimes it swings, sometimes it grooves but there is always something emotionally moving going on.”