[S]abrina Claudio is the breakout R&B singer to know now. The 21-year-old grew up listening to artists from Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys and Usher; posting YouTube covers when she was 14 years old. Fast forward seven years and the social media savvy, smooth operator – whose already garnered a 287k strong Insta-following – joins a roster of female neo-soul singers such as Jorja Smith, Billie Eilish and Mahalia tipped to takeover your playlist next year. Hunger caught up with the LA-based talent to talk Cuban-Puerto Rican influences, self love and R&B’s renaissance…
How would you describe the inspiration behind your EP ‘Confidently Lost’? Do you write about personal relationships?
I’d describe my sound as soulful and sultry. Confidently Lost is a mix of everything (musically) that was inspiring me in the moment. I don’t typically write from personal experience – I write about the conversations I have with the people in my life so majority of the EP was inspired by the stories of those I love, however, Confidently Lost was inspired by my move to LA.
Who are your biggest influences?
I get influenced by many things but not usually specific artists. Certain genres such as (R&B, jazz, & bossanova) give me most inspiration. When it comes to songs, I get inspired by sounds, sonics, melodies, lyrics, etc. I don’t idolize particular artists is because I fear that with too much research and studying, it can become easy to mimicking them without intention. I always want to maintain a sense of originality while being inspired I always want to remain true to myself.
You grew up in Miami – how did that impact your musical tastes? What music were you listening to growing up?
Growing up in Miami and being surrounded by Latin people and Latin music definitely molded my ears when it comes to gravitating towards certain sounds. Being raised in a Cuban and Puerto Rican household, salsa, merengue, and reggae ton runs in my blood.
You’ve been announced as Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ Artist. What would you love to bring back now in R&B for the next generation?
I’m just trying to bring back vulnerability with the content in my music. Music that’s relevant for generations to come that inspires and relates to everyone at different stages in their journeys. R&B is definitely back and on a whole other level- that original R&b that’s boundless and universal.
You painted your body gold for your Belong To You music video. What was the concept behind that?
The concept behind the entire video is self-love. To me, gold represents power and so I decided to cover myself in it as a representation of self-empowerment. I’m in control of my destiny and if you don’t believe and love yourself first it’s hard to find anyone else that will.
Is empowering young girls important to you?
Absolutely! It important for young girls to have a strong female figure to look up to and build they’re goals from. I want all girls to feel positive and believe in themselves in everything they do.
What’s up next for you?
Things are moving rather quickly; it’s almost impossible to predict what’s next. I’ll always be working on new music, hopefully doing my own headlining tour sometime in 2018. Other than that, I’m just taking it day by day and living in the moment and enjoying creating and spreading my music.
Follow Sabrina on Instagram @sabrinaclaudio