Future Black History Month: Sevyn Streeter Is R&B's Confident Voice
Fuse is once again celebrating an extended Black History Month by highlighting a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Black History before our very eyes. Today we are honoring Sevyn Streeter, who is quickly becoming a vital part of modern R&B music.
The Florida native first got her start in the industry as a teenager when she was part of the girl group TG4, and later RichGirl in 2007. But soon Sevyn (whose real name is Amber) broke out on her own and signed to Chris Brown's CBE label imprint. The singer then began to make her stamp in the R&B world with 2012's "I Like" and "It Won't Stop" the following year. The latter single, a sultry collaboration with Brown, dominated radio for weeks, became Streeters first Top 40 smash on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified Gold.
Thanks to her stunning vocals, sunny personality and throwback charm reminiscent of her idol Aaliyah, Sevyn quickly gained enough momentum to create her debut album Girl Disrupted which drops this spring. She has the best of both worlds: She is the extra-cool girl next door that you want to kick it with, but also has such a radiating inner and outer beauty that fans admire. Sevyn tackles topics in her music that is relatable for so many women, as she discusses heartbreak, cheating, affection and other facets in a relationship.
"It was the beginning of me realizing I have to approach men and relationships in a different way," Sevyn said about using music to recover from her breakup with rapper B.o.B. "Even though you go through breakups, at least for me, nothing's gonna ever make me give up on the idea or the possibility of love."
But she's not just another singer with a pretty face. Sevyn is outspoken on racial injustices in this country and decided to rock a "We Matter" jersey in support of the Black Lives Matter movement at Philadelphia 76ers' season opening game in October. Her wardrobe choice soon led to the cancellation of her scheduled national anthem performance at the basketball game.
"I love my country, I just want it to be better," Sevyn tells us about the incident in the video interview above. "It's unfortunate what happened, me not being able to sing the anthem at the 76ers game because I was wearing a shirt that says 'We Matter.' But guess what? I still want to spread awareness."
"We are sorry that this happened. After receiving feedback from our players, basketball operations staff and ownership group, we believe that the wrong decision was made, and Sevyn should have been welcomed to sing. We apologize to her, and in an effort to move the conversation forward, we have reached out to offer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice. We are waiting to hear back.”
Sevyn's ability to see the bigger picture regarding the national anthem snafu, instead of letting it get her down, is what makes her so fearless. That quality is also a driving force in giving back to her community, where she makes a priority to visit almost every local Boys & Girls Club during her current tour. "I started working with the Boys & Girls Club around 2013 when I was on my first tour with K. Michelle, and it’s just something that’s stuck with me," she told People earlier this month. "Every chance I get when I’m on the road, I love to do it because the road life can be really stressful, and it gives me a great appreciation for why I do what I do."
The singer's courage and commitment to providing an important voice, whether it be for race issues or reaching out to women through her music, makes her a staple in black history's future.