BY Sadé Kelly
There are songs that you listen to when you’re going through a tough break-up. There are also songs that soothe your soul when you’re feeling a little blue. Over the years, R&B singer and songwriter Sevyn Streeter has blessed her fans with melodies and lyrics that effortlessly ground them during emotional storms.
Some of her most popular hits include “It Won’t Stop”, “Before I Do”, and “Yearnin”.
This week, Southern Laced had the opportunity to host our first media roundtable with the multi-talented artist. With the release of her newest single entitled “HMU” from her upcoming album “Drunken Words x Sober Thoughts ”, it was truly an honor to welcome Sevyn to our exclusive roundtable.
Sevyn Streeter is a true gem and her realness is deeply felt throughout her music.
“If you don’t know what to say, then play this!!” – Sevyn Streeter
Question: How has the pandemic affected the music industry?
Sevyn: Change is very uncomfortable for a lot of us. It’s very scary, very sad. We’ve lost a lot of lives. All we are left with is time to get deeper into spirituality and learn yourself.
For me, it created a sense of freedom when it came to creating music. I was able to put a studio in my house during this pandemic. With that, it opened up this whole new world for me musically.
Question: What was your creative process like while writing “HMU”?
Sevyn: “HMU” was one of the first songs written for the album. To paint the picture for you, we recorded the song at Paramount. There was either Tequila or Hennessy in the room. Smash David sent me a pack and that was one of the beats we pulled up.
The writer 4rest , and I were able to talk openly and candidly about our dating lives. At that particular time, I had gone through a break-up. I had been single for a minute and I wanted to speak on that time where you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Like, “Girl, who you gotta answer to?”
It speaks of meeting someone and having a connection that you can’t really explain. It’s that level of freedom in that song.
Question: What do you pull from while going through your song writing process, in terms of your relationships?
Sevyn: Sometimes I pull from my experiences, things that I want to happen to me or conversations with my girlfriends. I like people. I like conversations. I like saying shit in its most rare form. Freedom is my word for this moment. A lot of times people feel like they need permission to say certain things and I don’t like approaching songwriting that way. I write music to send it off and let it be a tool for somebody else that may not necessarily know how to say I love you; may not necessarily have the backbone to say fuck you. Use my music as translation.
Question: What compelled you to speak up and make a public statement about Breonna Taylor?
Sevyn: There’s no difference in you and me. We are the same people. It happened to Breonna, it can happen to Amber…( my real name is Amber). It can happen to you or my cousin. So for me not to say anything, would be me saying that injustice is okay. It is not okay.
Protesting and marching is a way that I express myself; all of which we have done this year. As long as I have breath in my body, I’m going to want to protect the people that look like me and have the experiences that I have. It’s no question, Breonna was my cousin just like she was yours and everybody else who looks like her.
Question: If you could collaborate with anyone right now who would it be?
Sevyn: Drake. I really want to collaborate with Drake. He’s an emotional ass nigga and I’m an emotional ass woman. I like the place he pulls from with his music and how honest it is. The storytelling… the metaphors, I live for that. So that would be a dream collaboration, for sure.
Question: How does love, loyalty and liberation tie into “Drunken Words x Sober Thoughts”?
Sevyn: Love, loyalty and liberation… At the time, those were the things I was seeking. It wasn’t the prettiest time of my life. So actually looking back, when I hear it now, those are all things that I’ve found. I didn’t necessarily always have them.
This pandemic has taught me to be very aware of the people in my space. Liberation… at the time, I understood the importance of it but I didn’t quite begin to scratch the service of it. I just knew I wanted to be free. Fast forward to now, it’s like I was talking to my future self. Now, I’m in a space where I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I give honor to God, he’s reconstructed me entirely. I don’t even think the same. I knew these things would be necessary to get to the happy space I truly wanted to create from.
Do what you love.
Question: How did Chadwick Bosman’s life inspire you as a creator?
Sevyn: It was something in his spirit that he carried around. How he treated people on the red carpet and handled interviews, that was just the surface. As an artist, we can say yes or no to whatever. If you look at everything he’s done, they all had a sense of integrity. His choices connected with the spirit that he carried with him. We felt it through the television. That inspires me musically.
Question: How important is it in the music industry (Hollywood specifically) for black artist to talk about mental health?
Sevyn: If it’s anybody that’s been through more shit it’s black people. I don’t want the next generation to not have the tools, I don’t want them to have to deal with that at all. If we don’t talk about it, they might not know what to classify their mental issue. It is so important. You have no idea what people go through, especially people of color.