Sevyn Streeter: Finding My Way

“Music is emotional. Your job is to make people feel something. The best way to do that is to sing and speak from something they’ve personally been through. That’s where I write from,” said R&B Artist Sevyn Streeter. A simple, yet powerful quote by an influential singer that has burst into the music industry. She is a music sensation, dropping energetic EPs, writing and producing superb lyrics and she has collaborated with some of today’s top musicians.

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Streeter, from Haines City, Florida, began her singing career in 2001 after joining the R&B quartet Tomgirls Forever, or TG4. They thought of themselves as girls who acted like boys, but also loved being girls. Their major single, “Virginity,” earned a spot at no. 88 on the US Billboard R&B chart in 2002. From there, the girls went on to open for the rapper Bow Wow during their tour, and later, they even secured the right to perform their hit during the 9th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards with millions of fans watching. They never did release a debut album, however, and despite earning a fan base throughout the early 2000s, the girls disbanded a few years later.

After her short-lived success in TG4, Streeter accepted an offer from an agent through MySpace, encouraging her to join a newly formed group known as RichGirl. The group’s music and publicity was always focused on the girls’ classiness, sophistication, and of course, their looks. She worked with them to make music that was inspired by artists like En Vogue, Michael Jackson, Destiny’s Child and Madonna. Unfortunately, just like her previous group of girls, they weren’t able to release any LPs. They did release several singles, one of them being the song, “Swagger Right.” The song featured Rick Ross and Fabolous, yet the single didn’t receive the praise that many thought it would. With no future for the group in sight, the girls went their separate ways. Although Streeter’s early endeavors weren’t able to achieve unrelenting fame like she may have hoped, her career shot off into the right path when she affiliated herself with a well-known R&B star.

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In 2012 Streeter announced her disbandment from RichGirl and signed with Chris Brown’s latest development group, CBE Imprint. Streeter stepped into the public’s eye when she hooked up with the international R&B artist. In an interview with Carolyn Menyes, a reporter for MusicTimes, a music media corporation in NYC, Streeter said, “Working with Chris is really…it’s a lesson the entire session. Whether I’m writing records with him or doing a video with him or we have a show together, I just always learn so much. Because aside from the things that people say about it, he is such an amazing talent at the end of the day. He’s amazing and I just learn from him.”

Arguably, Streeter’s song that people find most favorable is “It Won’t Stop,” a single that hit the shelves in 2013 and was part of her first extended playlist, Call Me Crazy, But… This single also happened to have her friend, her music partner, and the one she calls family, Chris Brown featured on it. This EP broke out and reached the fifth spot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, with the debut of the song selling over 17,000 copies. “It Won’t Stop,” didn’t go unnoticed, either. According to Billboard, the track has been downloaded over 254,000 times and it has been no.1 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart for four consecutive weeks in a row. It also was placed at #9 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, earning her first top 100 spot on Billboard’s since her single, “Virginity,” in 2002.

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“How I write differs from song to song, but generally, I’ll find a beat – sometimes it takes going through a million, but other times, the first one feels just right – and from there, I’ll go and lay down some melodies. I’ll just hum whatever direction the song seems to want to go – sometimes words will just pop in and I’ll start spitting out phrases while I’m recording. Then, I’ll go back and listen to what I just did and it might sound like, ‘I’ll never love anyone the way I love you’ – I pay very close attention to those things that I spit out in the booth. Then, I can start building the lyrics, line by line,” said Streeter in an interview with AXS, a ticket merchant for entertainment events.

Streeter’s songwriting has been recognized by several major musicians . She has created song lyrics for Ariana Grande, Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys, and of course, Chris Brown. From a little girl singing in a gospel choir, to focusing on her solo career with the release of her first album, Streeter has certainly come a long way in her career.

Streeter began her singing career when she was only eleven years old and she traveled with a local church choir to sing. Then again, it could also be acknowledged that at the age of ten, she sang “My Funny Valentine,” during an amateur talent show in the Apollo Theater, a legendary theater that many artists wait their entire lives to perform in. Regardless of what age she had her first career performance, Streeter has paved the way for herself to new heights in the music industry.

Continuing to produce amazing songs for us is really the only thing that we could ask of Streeter. And trust me, she has delivered. In her latest album, On the Verge, she has paired up with Ty Dolla $ign, a hip-hop and R&B artist, and August Alsina, a recording artist from New Orleans, to create some throwback R&B singles and some nice hip-hop songs as well. With this new album coming out soon, we can predict some great tunes and some brilliant lyrics, with just a touch of her “special recipe.”

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One of the most crucial aspects to Streeter’s music is the honesty in her lyrics. The singer isn’t one to write down fake feelings on a piece of paper; if she feels heartbroken and angry, then her lyrics that day will reflect those emotions. She would tell you that it’s hard for her to hide her emotions anyway, so there’s no point in trying to hide them in the music either. This writing process that she created doesn’t just apply to herself. When she is writing a song for a musician, she wants to get to know that person inside and out. It helps her to write down what she believes is the truth, and not just some verses that’s written on paper for no other reason than to just finish the song. She always wants the music and the lyrics to mirror the person that’s performing them. Because if you just say some random words on paper, you’re not really being truthful to yourself, are you?

No one thought that the girl out of Haines City, Florida would make an impact in the music industry – well, that is until they heard her sing. Just hearing her amazing voice on YouTube is a terrific experience for us, so one could only imagine how great she sounds when she’s live and onstage. Her songwriting and singing ability could blow most musicians out of the water, easily. With her new album, On the Verge, and her latest EP, Shoulda Been There Pt. 1, Streeter may come off as a romantic woman who understands pain, but in all actuality, that is who she really is. She speaks the truth to us about life and about the things that she feels inside and she writes them down into a song. Her music is truly one of a kind.

-Te’Ron Adams