Black Music Month Spotlight: Sevyn Streeter
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on MadameNoire June 10, 2014.
Amber Streeter, widely known as Sevyn Streeter has been taking the R&B game by storm with her new music, including the jams “It Won’t Stop” featuring Chris Brown, “nEXT” featuring Kid Ink, and “I Like It.” But before she was stepping out on her own to have success as a solo artist with EPs like Call Me Crazy, But…, like so many other musicians these days, she was a thriving songwriter, and really, she still is. She’s behind some recent big hits, as well as deep cuts off of albums from some of our favorite singers over the last few years. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself. Here are 10 songs written or co-written by Sevyn Streeter that we’re sure you’ve tried to sing or danced to before…
“Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown
It was the first time Streeter and and Brown worked together, but it wouldn’t be the last. He was so impressed with her writing skills (she co-wrote the song), and of course, her voice, that he made her his protege. Who wouldn’t? “Yeah 3X” was a massive hit internationally and helped his fourth album, F.A.M.E. sell well and get attention back on his music after being blacklisted on the radio after his assault on Rihanna in 2009.
“The Way” by Ariana Grande
It was the song that would take Ariana Grande from Nickelodeon star to superstar. “The Way” went double platinum and was a top ten hit, but Streeter says that the song almost ended up in the hands of another talented singer:
“That song kind of came out of nowhere. Me, Jordin Sparks, and [Al Sherrod Lambert] wrote that together for Jordin. When I was on the road, I got a phone call like, ‘Hey, Ariana Grande cut the song and it’s gold.’ Then I got another phone call, ‘The song is platinum.’ It’s like getting a present and it’s not even your birthday.”
“Fine China” by Chris Brown
How can you not love this song? It was supposed to help launch Brown’s new album, X, but all that pesky legal trouble stunted the growth of that single and halted the release of the singer’s sixth album. But the song was hot! When speaking on co-writing the track, Sevyn Streeter told Complex this about the music-making process: “That was a lot of fun, I actually wrote that record with [Eric] Bellinger, Rocstarr, and Chris. I just remember when Rocc finished the beat for it we were just tripping and it wasn’t even no words to it yet and it just felt so good. That record just feels great.”
“New Day” by Alicia Keys
A cut off of Keys’ last album, Girl on Fire, “New Day” was probably Keys’ most uptempo song to date. You can blame part of that on her hubby Swizz Beatz, who along with Dr. Dre, worked on the beat, and the other part can be blamed on Sevyn Streeter, who co-wrote the party-starting song.
“All The Way Home” by Tamar Braxton
“Wait a minute, baby! Going too fast…” Well, you know the words. “All The Way Home” is probably my favorite Tamar Braxton song. The vocals are quite impressive, the whole song reminds me of ’90s R&B, and of course, the lyrics are great–which were co-written by Streeter and former Troop member Steven Russell. She also co-wrote another one of my jams on Braxton’s Love and War album, the song “Pieces,” which was produced by Bryan Michael-Cox.
“Strip” by Chris Brown feat. Kevin McCall
This song, which was all over the radio at one point and is definitely a booty-bouncing jam, was written by Streeter, with the help of Brown, J. Lonny Bereal and Justin Henderson. The song charted everywhere from Australia to South Korea, and of course, here in the States.
“Keep It Between Us” by Kelly Rowland
Most of us probably remember the video (featuring super fine Lance Gross) more than the song, but if you actually give “Keep It Between Us” a chance, you’ll love it. The song, a hypnotic track, was co-written by Streeter and was featured on Rowland’s album, Here I Am, which featured “Motivation” as its huge debut single.
“Slower” by Brandy
Streeter credits Brandy as one of the people who influenced her musical journey, and she had the chance to work with one of her idols when she penned “Slower” for the Two Eleven album. Streeter and Brandy became close afterwards, with Brandy saying she’s Streeter’s “big sis.”
“Get It Right” by Fantasia
The super uptempo song, which reminds me of something Cee Lo would do, was so good that it was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year for Best Traditional R&B Performance. It wasn’t even released as a single! “You better get it right, baby!”
“International (Serious)” by Estelle feat. Chris Brown and Trey Songz
The song, with its reggae influences and ferocious beat was a deep cut from Estelle’s third album All of Me. David Banner was on the beat while Streeter helped write the jam. Seriously, it’s a hot song. It’s serious.