Sabrina Claudio: Reinventing R&B

sabrina claudioPhoto Credit: Kanya Iwana/Courtesy of Warner Music Group

Los Angeles based alternative R&B singer Sabrina Claudio is known for her airy vocals and her incredible look  – a look that represents the young modern woman of today. Her style is best described as a mix of HBO’s Euphoria and Solange Knowles: nude colored clothes, natural makeup and bright lipstick. Sabrina started writing songs when she was a teenager and began her journey by posting covers on Twitter and YouTube. She caught the public’s eye after releasing her first two singles in 2016, followed with an original EP called Confidently Lost on SoundCloud. Confidently Lost is a modern, experimental twist on R&B heard back in the early 2000s, with Sabrina’s deep, airy, sensual vocals (at times reminding us of Billie Eilish). Sabrina wrote the namesake song after moving to LA – she describes that certainty of having a direction to walk, but not knowing exactly where. She knew she was on the right path even at this early stage of her career. Looking for her own sound, Sabrina is quite confident and sure of where she’s going.

The introductions to some of Sabrina’s songs (i.e. “Tell Me”) have an older underground jazz sound. She was introduced to music at a young age. Her grandfather shared his love of Bossa nova and jazz, while her father listened to R&B and soul around his children all the time, both of which influenced Sabrina’s work greatly. Lauryn Hill, Usher, Destiny’s Child and Boyz II Men are some of her favorite artists, but she never followed a specific musician for inspiration. She wanted to have her own unique sound and made sure to not look like anyone else.

A lot of Sabrina’s lyrics are about love, heartbreak and life after a relationship. She admits that some of these songs are inspired by other people’s stories, or conversations she’s had, rather than her own experiences. Nonetheless, she does write emotionally. Sabrina looks at other people’s situations through a very personal lens, channeling these moments and releasing them through her own feelings. This makes her music vulnerable and precious to the listener.

Truth Is_

Sabrina’s first mixtape, About Time, dropped the same year as her EP. This project is literally about time: loosing it, wasting it, using it to grow. Releasing 12-tracks, each one with it’s own vibe, we watch Sabrina grow as her singing style slightly changes from soft and fragile to more mature and firm. Two singles supported the mixtape: “Unravel” and “Belong to You”, a song that’s Sabrina’s most popular among Spotify users. There is a version of it featuring 6lack, with whom Sabrina went on tour (Free 6lack Tour), gaining valuable experience and exposure.

2018’s No Rain, No Flowers, Sabrina’s debut full-length album, is about the price we pay for happiness: there is no love without pain, no good without bad. It’s a smaller collection of only 8 songs, which are all in the same tempo: slow, relaxing and meditative. Sabrina’s second and latest album, Truth Is, includes one of her personal favorites, the lead single “As Long As You’re Asleep”. It also includes the song “Rumors” featuring ZAYN, which was her fifth single. The album leans towards pop more than her previous projects. Claudio has collaborated with Khalid, The Chainsmokers, Gallant and others. She released a song for the popular 50 Shades Freed movie soundtrack and made her Coachella debut in 2019. She has a unique view of R&B, works only with people she “vibes well” with and absolutely loves what she does.

Written by: Rachel Shubayeva

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