Are You The “Next” One?

Amber “Sevyn” Streeter

Are we using the label “next” too freely within in the music industry today? It seems that every record company, every entertainment management firm, every record producer, music PR firm, music media member and fan is looking for an artist who will be larger than life. They all seek that artist who will produce a ton of hit music for many years. However, when we look to define greatness, what is the standard? Simply put, the standard is the success garnered by previous entertainers. Is it fair to a singer who has worked many years to learn to create music that projects individuality and a new sound? Fair or not, this is the way the business and life in general works. Nevertheless, all of us continue our search for the next popular entertainer.

I remember back in the fall of 1983 that I was a young college student who happened upon the Miss America contest on TV. I do not habitually watch beauty contests but this one caught my attention as a young African-American woman was in the finals. This was an unusual event and I stayed glued to the television set waiting to view possible history.  The talent segment of the competition began, and this young woman began to sing. As I listened, I knew this competition was over and many things had changed. The young woman was triple-threat artist Vanessa Williams. The next, great artist at the time!

Since then I have not experienced many definitive moments where I correctly predicted an artist would have that long, illustrious career. In fact, like most the industry and fan base, I am probably around 50% in determining musical stardom.  So many factors go into determining if the artist will produce a hit song or album, and then even more factors exist for deciding longevity in the business.  A few of such factors are talent, ability to write popular music and competence in public performance.  Our featured artist this week seems to possess all of these factors and some additional intangibles. This week we present to you Amber “Sevyn” Streeter.

The first thing that I noticed was the consensus among music industry professionals and media members that Sevyn’s solo work will be stellar and she will experience major popularity. A closer look at her accomplishments thus far provides reasons as to the industry optimism. Sevyn has worked extensively singing with Chris Brown and he has responded favorably by featuring her on several songs. She also has written songs for Brown and other popular artists like Brandy, Kelly Rowland and Alicia Keys. In addition, Sevyn has performed with two all female singing groups: TG4 and Rich Girl. She has spent over ten years in the music industry and now at age twenty-six, she has a good understanding about her next career steps.  After listening to a recent interview Sevyn appears to be a very intelligent singer/songwriter who is capable of producing music for a long time, whether her own or for other artists.

Do these factors mean certain success for Sevyn? Not necessarily. Many considered Rich Girl, Sevyn’s second group, ready for success while possessing major vocal talent and backing from super producer Rich Harrison.  Sevyn spoke freely about the reason for Rich Girl not being able to live up to expectations. “We were together for four really long, beautiful years. The label was going through a change. We can’t pinpoint or put it all on one thing in particular,” she admits. “It came down to we love each other, we love music, so let’s just not stop whether we are together or apart.” Now we have Sevyn with a new single and video gaining in popularity, and an audience awaiting her album. Will Sevyn Streeter be the next one? The best we can say is maybe so.

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