Spreading her wings for solo fame, Sevyn plays back her upbringing and music career upsets.
BY NIKI MCGLOSTER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY REID ROLLS
Sevyn will affirm that her childhood was normal. Against a Central Florida backdrop and heavy church-rearing, she starred as an average little black girl. Though not many Barbie-toting southern youngsters ditch dolls for mall performances and practicing runs of 702’s “Get It Together.”
“Other kids might’ve been outside playing, but I’d literally be in my room laying on my bed with my big ol’ black Sony boombox,” she recalls. “Every time I heard a run, I’m like, I should try to do that.”
Born Amber Streeter, the R&B singer-songwriter was immediately captivated by music’s allure and submersed herself in both sides of the musical tracks. “It was a really huge influence, whether it was in church listening to the Winans, the Clark Sisters or secular music—your Whitney’s and Prince.”
However, the journey from then to now is a staggered one. Finding herself in two failed girl groups—first T.U.G. Entertainment R&B quartet TG4 then producer Rich Harrison-orchestrated ensemble RichGirl—the July 7 baby (hence the stage name) decided to take an independent approach, no extras or deflated confidence included.
“Leaving TG4 and leaving RichGirl, those were just really great experiences in my life because I learned so much. It didn’t break my spirit. I don’t look at them like they were losses.”
Today, she boasts a joint deal with Atlantic Records and Chris Brown Entertainment, including a résumé that praises songwriting credits for Alicia Keys, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland and songwriting mentor C. Breezy himself.
Equipped with new pen pals and an up-tempo, hard-hitting first single “I Like It,” this cocoa songbird chats with us about the premature stages of her forthcoming debut album.