It’s no secret that singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter is a firecracker, so it makes sense that the evening before 4th of July while many of us were making last minute hot dog roll runs, Streeter was putting the finishing touches on visuals for her latest album, Girl Disrupted. In an exclusive interview for Vibe Vixen, the artist discusses her battles with depression, dating and the dedication the music industry has required from her.
If you’ve followed Streeter’s career, you’re well aware that she’s not new to this. After singing in church, Streeter entered the music industry officially at 15-years-old, joining the groups TG4 and later Richgirl. She went on to write songs for many industry favorites including Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz, Ariana Grande and Chris Brown, the latter who contributed to her gold-selling hit “It Won’t Stop”.
In 2012 she signed a deal with Atlantic Records and released the single, “I Like It,” but even with the headway she had already made, Streeter is clear that the road to success consists of peaks and pitfalls. Girl Disrupted is her first album in two years and Streeter is honest that the delay had a lot to do with the fact that she was dealing with a case of depression:
“I dealt with depression on a very serious level for like a year-and-a-half, and I never said anything to my fans. Obviously, my mom and my dad and my brother, a few family members, knew about it — but it was really, really hard. I wanted to kill myself, I really did. And through my family, and God and prayer, it turned around.”
The artist shares that the track “Livin’” is a reflection of that time and what she took from it:
“I wrote “Livin’” and it speaks of dark times, but it also comes back around and says I’m going to bet on myself. You have to bet on yourself.”
She also shares that turning 30 was a big trigger for her depression:
“This is not like when you graduate high school and you get your diploma. You go to college for four years, or whatever period of time, and you get your degree. You did it, and you get to move on. I’ve literally been doing the same exact thing everyday with the same amount of intensity and focus, since I was 15 years old. To look up and be 30 years old, and to feel like this hasn’t happened yet, but you can’t quit because you’re just going to be throwing away all the years that you put into it [music].”
“I don’t care what you do in life, you want to be successful, you want to feel like you accomplished certain things.”
As for the album title, Streeter shares that the album shows many different sides to her personality and the things she’s been through particularly in her 20’s:
“Because there were so many things in my life that needed to be disrupted, especially in my 20s.”
“I have sex records because I’m just a freaky a** woman, and it’s just truthful. I have songs on my album about being in a gray area and you’re trying to get away from this person, but then it’s like I miss him so much, and you find yourself in the same sh*t.”
“[This album] shows so many different sides and vibes to me as a person and as a woman.”
She also updated fans on where she and ex-boyfriend rapper B.O.B. stand after somewhat of a messy break-up:
“We haven’t talked for a very long time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish him the best. Our situation ended amicably, but then he just kind of went through some other stuff after we broke up.”
“He went through some public things that had nothing to do with me because we weren’t together. He probably could’ve used a little better judgment, but at the same time, he’s human. I’m pretty sure that he’s learned a lesson or two, behind that.”
Streeter also shared that she and singer Chris Brown haven’t made beautiful music together for quite awhile:
“We actually haven’t worked together in a very long time. It’s not something that I necessarily want, but I just think that he has a lot going on in his life. I love him and he loves me, that’s my brother — he will always be a brother to me — but it’s just a lot of different dynamics that I think were out of our control.”
“He’s not on my album, I would love it if he were, but for whatever reason, we haven’t worked together in a minute, but I love him. I’m praying for him.”
But don’t get it twisted, Streeter isn’t just caught up in her own struggles with life, love and career. She talks about the controversy that made headlines late last year when the 76ers basketball team refused to allow her to perform the national anthem at the season opener game while wearing a jersey with the words “We Matter”. The organization later apologized and invited Streeter to perform at a game two months later rocking the jersey and spreading social awareness about the racial discrimination currently plaguing the country:
“Even though the situation ended up turning into something seemingly negative for the 2.5 seconds that I was kicked out of [Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo] arena, it turned back around into something so much bigger and more positive than I could have ever imagined.”
“I’m very conscious and sensitive to the things that people go through, which is where a lot of my inspiration from my music comes from. [My music] is not just my life, or for me to be in my house by myself listening to it on my laptop. All of this is about people. Music is about people and experiences, human experiences.”
You can read the interview by Latifah Muhammed here where Streeter talks about working with YungBerg/Hitmaka, finding new management and why she recently broke down at a listening session.