Interview: Sabrina Antoinette
Mon, 01 Apr 2013 09:56:58
Chris Brown Photos
Sabrina Antoinette's got a one-of-a-kind approach to pop music that's as irresistible as it is incomparable.
Signed to Chris Brown's CBE Entertainment, the singer and songwriter carries soulful hooks over production with hip-hop attitude and the right amount of rock swagger. In other words, she's a unique powerhouse you have to hear to believe. She's also well on her way to taking over…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Sabrina Antoinette talks "I Know You're Out There", her biggest influences, and so much more.
What's the story behind "I Know You're Out There"?
I have a lot of friends and family members who get set up with guys, and they're always complaining. That person for everybody is out there though. People these days get discouraged with love and bad relationships. There's somebody for everybody though.
How was it constructed musically?
I write all of music. I love writing! I was in a writing session, and we went to grab some food. The other writer was like, "Hey, can I play you my favorite song I've ever made?" I said, "Of course!" He played it, and I thought, "Oh my God!" It was originally written for Chris Brown, but he had just closed his album. I thought the track was amazing though, and this was the first time I ever asked to record somebody else's song. Something about it was really special to me so I had to have it. It wasn't just the lyrics. It was the way the song made me feel. When I'm creating music, I need to feel something. It has to take me somewhere. That's how I want my album to feel. "I Know You're Out There" took me somewhere else. I loved it.
Was the video your concept?
I wrote a concept, and the director wrote one too. We talked, and we made a baby between the two concepts [Laughs]. After it was shot, they even let me help edit the video.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Yeah, for all of the songs I write, I make vision boards for them. I plan out the story literally scene by scene and verse by verse. I'll write what I want the scene to mean down to what I want to wear. It's a whole thing [Laughs]. I'm very in touch with my music and the visualization of it. Being signed to CBE is a great thing. Chris wants all of his artists to have their own visions. He doesn't simply want somebody to produce something for us.
Do you feel like this a fitting introduction to the album?
I think it's a good intro because I show my rock side a bit at the end. It's sweet and spicy. Sometimes, I want to be sweet and sing a nice song. Other times, I just want to rock the fuck out!
What artists shaped you?
I lived with my grandparents a lot when I was little. My mom was a single mom, and she worked a lot. I grew up on Elvis and Etta James. When I was younger, I was absolutely obsessed with Elvis Presley. I had posters of him in my room. The day I found out he died, it destroyed my life! Michael Jackson was my "boyfriend" from then on [Laughs]. There was something about Elvis. He had this presence, and I loved that. I can watch an Elvis any time. I went to Graceland, and I almost lost my mind. It was amazing.
Who's on your playlist?
I like Muse and Fun. I really like rappers. I'm from Houston, and I like getting ratchet. Kendrick Lamar is dope too.
What inspires you outside of music?
That's a great question. I love going to the theater and sitting and watching movies. I like audiobooks that tell stories. I create all day when I go into the studio. I like to have someone tell me a story and be in a different world for a moment. I read a book every single month. I like to keep up with my storytelling and vocabulary because these damn smartphones aren't helping with it. I love art too. I like the Art Walks in L.A. You can see so many different incredible things.
Have you heard Sabrina Antoinette?