VIBE Vixen: How does feel to finally have your album out?Sevyn: I’m just happy to still be able to do what I love, this is a milestone for me. I was having this conversation with my mama in the car because we rode past one of the places where one of my old group members used to live. I was like Ma! Do you see that? God is so good! You could’ve never told me that we would still be able to do this. I say “we” because it takes a village: me, my mom, my dad and my brother.
What role does your mother play in your career?My mom isn’t my manager, but I just recently left my management team after five years. I have new management now, but my mom is my day-to-day.
What made you cut ties with your entire management team?This was the third time that God told me to make a life-changing decision. That’s how I really knew [that I had to] do it because the first time it happened, I was in my first group and God told me to leave. I was nervous and scared but I listened to him, and the next situation was even better! When I was in my second group, the girls [and I] actually got along really well, but towards the end we wanted different things.
[I told God] that songwriting is all I have, but I want to be an artist. He turned songwriting into me becoming an artist again, so when it came back around this time [and he said] “I need you to leave your management” I was like alright, you’ve shown me twice before. I trust you. I know by now when God is telling me to do something, and I listened.
How has battling depression changed your perspective?I just channelled all of [those feelings] into ‘what can I do about it?’ If something’s making you unhappy, what can you do to change it? That went for people in my life, circumstances and situations — whether it was dealing with work, or dealing with men. I had people in my life that were bringing me more sadness than joy. I had people in my life where some days I didn’t know which side of the bed that they were waking up on, and it would determine how I would feel, and respond to them.
Do you feel a responsibility to cover social issues in your music, after the Philadelphia 76ers wouldn’t allow to perform the National Anthem in a “We Matter” jersey?I had a song called “Stronger,” that I recorded before I went through the thing with the 76ers and I went back in the studio and played around with it again because it took on a different meaning for me. I never really put it out, because I wanted to be really careful, I didn’t want anybody to think I was trying to capitalize [off of the situation]. That really wasn’t what [wearing the jersey] was about. 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.
What is the general message, or feeling, that if you want to convey with Girl Disrupted?That it’s okay to be open and vulnerable, because that’s the only way you’re going to get to your solution. That’s why every song touches on, a different emotion. It’s like I had to rewire my emotions, rewire myself. We’re all, in some ways, emotional basket cases. We feel everything, and I think the thing that’s hard for people to deal with is when they don’t confront those feelings. You have to confront every emotion. I don’t care if that emotion is in the bedroom at 3 a.m. and you’re trying to get it poppin.’ Let the freak flag fly! If you’re in a relationship, or a “situationship,” you’re not going to get anywhere if ya’ll don’t talk about [your feelings]. Going back to your own self-image, your own insecurities, dealing with depression or whatever it may be, you have to confront that stuff because it will stifle you. So if there’s anything that I want people to take away from Girl Disrupted, it’s that you’ve got to disrupt some sh*t within you sometimes, in order to grow and evolve.