ESSENCE.com’s “New and Next” column spotlights the brightest new talents we think you should know. This week we meet rising R&B singer Sevyn Streeter. On track to make her debut in the coming months, Streeter is no stranger to the music business. In the past, she has penned a number of tracks for Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys, Estelle and more. She has also had the pleasure of working very closely with Chris Brown during his career. Now it’s her turn in the spotlight. Streeter already released her first single, “I Like It,” and says a debut album is on the way.
ESSENCE.com: Who is Sevyn Streeter?
SEVYN STREETER: Sevyn Streeter is a singer. A performer. A writer. Just a lover of music. I love music. I’m obsessed with it.
ESSENCE.com: You’ve worked very closely with Chris Brown over the years. What’s the best lesson he’s taught you as an artist?
STREETER: He definitely taught me to take my time and to not stress in the studio. I’m a little bit obsessive and I’ll do a take 20 times. He doesn’t really let me do that and it’s helped me so much. Even video wise—he was on the set of my video and was giving me pointers on how to come across through the camera. Little things here and there. No matter what arena we’re in, he always has some type of advice for me.
ESSENCE.com: You’re working on your debut album?
STREETER: I am! It’s coming along really well. I’ve been in with a couple producers—I have more to go in with. So far so great.
ESSENCE.com: What do you expect the vibe to be like?
STREETER: It’s going to be very true to me. I’m going to try to be as honest as possible with the records. I was the typical little Black girl—I grew up singing in church. The urban and R&B will definitely be there. That’s who I am. That’s the type of music I grew up listening to. There’s going to be bits and pieces of pop and alternative in there too. I have to be true to all of myself. [But] the core of it is going to be urban and R&B.
ESSENCE.com: Are you writing the songs on the album too?
STREETER: I’m doing a lot of writing. I’m not really trying to write all of the records myself. I’m so not interested in that. I love writing with other writers. We sit in the room and we throw ideas back and forth and that creative process is so much fun to me.
ESSENCE.com: What do you want most out of your career?
STREETER: When I think about the dreams and ideas I had when I was younger, as singer you envision yourself on a stage touring the world. That’s how I view it. I love shows and I love performing. I can’t wait for the day when I can tour the world and have crazy costume changes and crazy sets and a really great band. That’s all I really want.
ESSENCE.com: Where do you get most of your inspiration?
STREETER: It’s weird. I like going to the movies by myself. Like just sitting in the back, catching a really good movie. It may not be a movie that your friends want to go see with you. But I love watching movies. I get inspired by them a lot. They don’t have a box. Also my everyday conversations with people inspire me. Everybody is different. Everyone has a different take on life, love and relationships. There are a million ways you can sell that story.
Listen to Sevyn Streeter’s debut single, “I Like It,” below. Her debut album will be released later this year.