INTERVIEW: Sevyn Streeter talks about being comfortable in her own skin, Insecure and what it means to be a Girl Disrupted

Photo from Sevyn's IG

Photo from Sevyn's IG

Sevyn Streeter is a singer and songwriter from Haines City, Florida.  She was originally in the girl groups, TG4 and RichGirl before launching her successful solo career.  She is currently signed to Atlantic Records with EP's "Call Me Crazy, But..." and "Shoulda Been There, Pt. 1" being released in 2013 and 2015, her debut album "Girl Disrupted" is slated to release in Spring, 2017.  Sevyn has written songs for some of the hottest artists in the game such as Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, Alicia Keys, Usher, Kelly Rowland and more. 

From the O-H: Sevyn, what is the biggest song that you've written and how did you feel when you found out you sold it oppose to keeping it?

Sevyn Streeter: I'm just saying this off of the top of my head and I could be wrong but I'm going to say Yeah 3x [Chris Brown] but only because of the licensing.  *looks over at her mom* I'm looking at my mama because she gets all of the checks so she knows better than I do.  I believe it was Yeah 3x because it wasn't just the song that was on an album and we got publishing but when you do songs that are clean with no cursing and its a "pop, upbeat" song there is this thing called licensing where you can get music placed in commercials, movies and things like that.  When I first found out that not only did I have that placement (it was my first placement ever) but I also found out it was the first single he was releasing for that album. My mama and I were in the parking lot in Florida, I think Lake Wales. We freaked out in the car.  "You remember that mama?"

Mama: *nodding* Mmhmm

Sevyn Streeter: We freaked out in the car because I never had any placement so to get a first single with Chris Brown was Godsend.

Stills from Sevyn's video "Don't Kill the Fun"

Stills from Sevyn's video "Don't Kill the Fun"

From the O-H: What makes you relatable to your fans?

Sevyn performing in Cleveland, Ohio.  Photo courtesy of her IG.

Sevyn performing in Cleveland, Ohio.  Photo courtesy of her IG.

Sevyn Streeter: Hell, I don't even know! *laughing* I think the thing that we connect with each other about is I don't try and put on for them and they don't try and put on for me.  I just am who I am.  I admit when I am upset or heartbroken; whether it's through a song, a tweet or a post.  I just try and be as honest with them as I possibly can.  I try and respect them, so much so to where I don't like to give them half-assed music.  I like to literally make sure (atleast to the best of my ability) when they get EPs, I treat those EPs how you're supposed to treat an album and I treat my album like how ever you're supposed to treat whatever is bigger than an album.  I think what makes us relatable, we just keep it 100 with each other. 

From the O-H: You've changed the name of your album a few times; I think it went from On the Verge, to Girl Interrupted and now Girl Disrupted. How did you settle on the final name?

Sevyn Streeter: *nodding in agreement*  You know what?  It's so crazy because me changing the name of the album to Girl Disrupted from all of those other titles, that came from you know.. the process that I went through while making it.  It came from that.  I grew up in so many different ways throughout the creation of this album; from starting it out not putting myself in a box, doing all types of songs, kind of fine tuning it and sitting myself down and saying, "How do you really feel? What are you really going through?" You know? I went through a breakup in the process of writing this album.  I've lost grandparents through the process of writing this album.  I've lost best friends and people I grew up with.  I have began to date again and being in that early honeymoon stage.  So many different emotions and things I've gone through, through this process of creating this album that's why I changed the name.  As a person you evolve and music is no different, you evolve.  I couldn't keep it as On The Verge because that just wasn't where I was at and then I changed it to Girl Interrupted and I think it was Godsend that we couldn't use "Interrupted" because of the movie [Girl, Interrupted was a movie that came out in 1999 starring Angelina Jolie] and we had to change it to Girl Disrupted.  When I thought about that I was like, "Well, that actually makes more sense" because for me the girl within who maybe in the past looked at things in a very naive way or with rose colored glasses or whatever.  She's been Disrupted.  I am a very comfortable young woman now.  I'm comfortable within my own skin now so yeah, Girl Disrupted was perfect.

From the O-H: What can we expect from Sevyn Streeter with this project?

Sevyn Streeter: Man, every experience you've ever had in your life there's a song for it. Hands down, point blank, period! I don't care if you're going through a rebellious stage and you're just feeling sexy and you don't give a F-U-whatever then "Prolly" is for you.  If you are interested in somebody and ya'll are dating and you're like, "I don't know if I should trust him, I don't know if I should let myself fall.. but I really like him" then "Before I Do" is for you.  If you are infatuated with somebody and you can't figure out why you just cannot get enough of them then "Fallen" is for you.  If you're having a sexy ass night with you and your dude or your girl then "Peace Sign" is for you.  Like literally, there is a song for everything. I can sit here forever and go through the entire track listing.

Girl Disrupted Tour Dates

Girl Disrupted Tour Dates

From the O-H: Can I say it's so good to see a dark skinned woman doing the damn thing? Why do you think it was (and probably still is) difficult for singers such as Kelly Rowland, Naturi Naughton formerly of 3LW and yourself to name a few to reach the same success as fair skinned women in the music business?

Sevyn Streeter: Hmmmm.. why does it seem to be that way?  Now that is a question where we can sit down, have a glass of wine and talk about it forever.  Um, how do I break this down? I think that throughout the years, whether its on television, movies, commercials or entertainment period everything that we see has always leaned towards a certain image.  That image being white people or light skinned people and I'm not saying that it's fair.  I don't know if sometimes people are maybe a little intimidated or a little afraid of what they don't understand.  So maybe that's what it is.  I don't know if the world looks at, when they see people that are my complexion or your complexion maybe there's a stereotype that comes along with it.   Maybe they don't deem us to be as pretty or as smart or as educated or as whatever.  There's a handful of people in the world that are just ignorant when it comes to it.  I think that we are at a place now and I think that it trickles down from the top all the way down through people at regular 9 to 5's, people in the entertainment industry, in so many different ways.  I feel like *starts singing* "I know a change gon' come"  and the change has come and you can feel it in the air.  I feel it in the atmosphere. You see today women of color winning all type of accolades at awards shows and all of these television shows with diversity.  You got Blackish, you got Empire, you got Power, you have Scandal ...

From the O-H: Insecure!

Sevyn Streeter: Insecure.  Girl, Insecure is my shit! I'm so mad, Issa can that show come back? You killing me girl!

From the O-H: Have you seen Awkward Black Girl?

Sevyn Streeter: Noooooo! 

From the O-H: You gotta watch it, it's on Youtube. Issa is like my best friend in my head.

Sevyn Streeter: Right, Issa is like my best friend in my head too, I love her but yeah I think with shows like Insecure, it's changing and I'm so happy about it.  People are just starting to embrace diversity and I think that it's just glorious.  So I think, like everything you have to just give people in the world time to just evolve. We're lucky to be here on this Earth when it's a period in time where everybody is trying to accept everybody .. outside of our new President, but we won't talk about that. *laughs*  America is just one huge melting pot, it's so mixed up and I love it and it's beautiful.  Every different race, ethnicity, all of it.  We're all in here together, I think that it's time and maybe that's why people are giving me a shot but don't get it twisted, it's still a handful of people that make it a little harder too but that's okay.  You just gotta keep going, you keep pushing, you gotta keep putting out great music, great content and just keep being positive.  So that's where my head is.  Keep praising God, praying to God and keep it moving.  Amen!

From the O-H: Thank you for being your humble self.

Sevyn Streeter: No, thank you guys.  You have great questions.

Photo courtesy of From the O-H.

Photo courtesy of From the O-H.