Sevyn Streeter Talks Music Industry Lessons, Guidance From Alicia Keys and Dream Collaborations
Sevyn Streeter is having a grand introduction. Her first video, ‘I Like It,’ which released last month, has already reached over 1 million views on YouTube. In the visual, she throws out her best dance moves to the track’s upbeat rhythms. She makes it seem effortless, but truthfully, Sevyn has been in training for years.
“I sang in church in lot,” the Haines City, Fla., native tells TheDrop.fm. "My parents kept me in talent shows. Me and my cousins, we had a gospel group called Voices of Praise and we would sing anywhere in Florida.”
The singer always had spunk. When she was 10, she performed in front of the tough Apollo crowd. By age 14, she had her first recording session -- she knew singing was going to be her life.
But Sevyn experienced some bumps along the way. At the age of 15, she joined TG4 -- the sister group to popular boy band B2K -- who sang the assertive lyrics of ‘Virginity,’ about holding tight to purity. After the group disbanded, Sevyn later sang in Rich Girl, and opened with the female set for Beyonce’s I Am… tour in 2009. But that group also met the same fate as TG4.
She doesn’t look back regretfully at those times though. “If it were not for those two groups I would not be the artist that I am right now,” she admits. Today, she describes herself as still being a tomboy at heart like in her TG4 days, and also embodying the sexy essence of Rich Girl. “One day I may be in some pants and some J’s or you may catch me and I may have on some six-inch heels with a skirt with a split up to my thigh," Sevyn shares. "I always think women should be well-rounded and be little chameleons. Switch it up a bit.”
While in TG4, Sevyn also co-wrote tracks on Chris Brown's Grammy-nominated album ‘Fortune’ including ‘Biggest Fan,’ ‘Strip’ and ‘Party Hard.’ She’s also penned songs for Estelle and had the opportunity to write with Alicia Keys.
“I learned from Alicia that it’s OK to really take your time and think about what you’re writing,” she states. “I remember writing and I’ll say something, and then she’ll say something and she’ll go, 'Well, what are we saying?’ or ‘Well ,what does that mean?’ I just thought that was brilliant.”
Now, Sevyn is full-swing into her solo career. She's currently in the studio penning her first album, to debut under Chris Brown Entertainment/Atlantic Records. Besides Brown, she name-dropped Trey Songz and Wiz Khalifa as dream collaborations. Pop singer Bruno Mars, whom she believed some of her fans would be surprised by, is one too.
“I’m a songwriter at heart and I write pop records," Sevyn explains. "I write alternative records so that’s a part of me too, so you’re definitely going to have a couple of those influences as well."
Promoting ‘I Like It’ is her priority these days. She says the song shows the real side of relationships. “Sometimes it’s nice to write about the pretty, fairy tale-ish side of it, but I just want be as truthful as possible about what I write and that’s where that record came from,” she says.
Coy about revealing what the rest of her album is like, as it’s still in its early stages, she did have open up about the theme. “The concept overall it’s just about real life experiences," Sevyn continues, "and we’re just trying to find different ways to flip them -- love, friends and family from a different perspective.”
Watch Sevyn Streeter's 'I Like It' Video