ESSENCE spoke to the Florida-born singer about her long-awaited debut album and the road to its release.
It feels like fans have been waiting years for Sevyn Streeter’s debut album, and in reality, they have.
She’s had quite a few singles land on the charts, having co-written hits for Ariana Grande and Chris Brown, as well as landing her own single “It Won’t Stop”. Now, with the release of Girl Disrupted, Sevyn is looking to find success once again.
ESSENCE spoke to the R&B singer about her debut album, which has been in the making for quite sometime. She reveals the headspace she was in while making some of the songs, the projects she took on while working on her debut, and her plans to tour after the albums release.
Girl Disrupted presents a side of Sevyn that many haven’t seen, exploring experiences and emotions she faced during its creation.
"On this project, it's so weird, you know I say on the album it's about love, loyalty, and liberation and I have so many songs that speak from those different points of view,” she tells ESSENCE.
"The reason I say that, is Girl Disrupted forced me to kind of grow up a little bit, or a lot a bit. It forced me to kind of just see the world in a more realistic light. It forced me to not cry every time somebody may have knocked me down, or not cry every time I experience a speed bump.”
As a result, Girl Disrupted acts a diary for the singer, revealing emotional struggles that will resonate with fans.
"I dealt with a lot during this whole album process. You know, there was a lot of depression, a lot of, 'God, I'm so ready for this music to happen, I'm so ready for this to happen,’” she confessed.
"You know, I had some really dark days. I've been doing it 15 years, but I'm at the end of it. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I keep telling myself, 'You cannot bottom out now. You can't bottom out now. The 15-year-old version of you will kick your butt if you bottom out now.’”
Streeter names “Living,” “Peace Song,” and “Everything in Me” as songs that reflect the various sides of her.
“Peace Song” she describes as a very "t-shirt and panties type of song,” a sexy track for lovers or women who just feel good. “Everything in Me” reflects on those moments when revenge seems sweet, but in the long run it’s not such a good idea. “It’s me admitting that I've been hurt by some people in the past and I would love to get revenge, but that revenge is not going to help anybody at the end of the day. So, it's taking everything in me to move past it and to not hurt you like you hurt me.”
Her most personal track, however, might be “Living,” which takes fans on a journey through some of Streeter’s toughest times. "It basically just tells me… tells you to bet on yourself.”
And, despite the wait, betting on herself has been the best decision. Streeter has tackled opportunities that other artists have only dreamt of, making her acting debut in 2016’s Ringside.
"Acting allows me to completely be somebody else. To dive in a whole different other state of mind and become someone different. That's really cool to me. It's just different kind of release for me.”
Still, the singer isn’t rushing into more acting again anytime soon, adding that she doesn’t just want to jump from project to project. With Girl Disrupted’s release, the next item on Sevyn's to-do list is touring. The singer toured at the top of the year, calling it her "pregame tour.” This time she’ll be adding a few more cities to meet and perform for fans who weren’t able to see her.
For fans and Sevyn, while the wait has been long, it’s definitely been worth it. Girl Disrupted is a great debut, a multifaceted album that presents the good, bad, and ugly parts of Streeter, echoing feelings and parts of ourselves that only the pages of diaries and close friends and family ever get to see.
“I learned something from the patience and the things that God has put me through. I would never be able to operate at the level that he has me mentally operating. My album would have never come to fruition because I would have nothing to pour into it.”