SEVNDEEP is no stranger to creativity. He understands the assignment on his own terms when it comes to making music because he made it clear from the beginning that he was going to embrace all sides of himself.
That type of authenticity is unmatched for a lot of new artists, but SEVNDEEP knew that this messaging was vital to what the industry was lacking.
We sat down with SEVNDEEP for an incredibly insightful conversation about his music and to talk about the varying factors that make his artistry a force to be reckoned with.
Let’s talk about your artistry. What moves you to create?
SEVNDEEP: Life. Honestly, what inspires me to create is life and just living. You need to breathe in so many different emotions like love, hate, and passion… – those are things that inspire me to create different experiences.
How did you come up with the name SEVNDEEP?
SEVNDEEP: I started off as a dancer and choreographer and thought to myself that my biological name was a little boring. I would see choreographer names like Luam or Sean Bankhead, and they just had all these names that were very catchy.
I remember listening to Erykah Badu one day, and realized her son’s name is “Seven” and I thought that was kind of cool. So I looked up number meanings and “seven” stands for completion, which is a beautiful meaning. So I stuck with it. I added “deep” to the name after a studio session with my engineer when I first started doing music in L.A.
The engineer kept saying, “I can’t understand what you’re saying. Your voice is so deep.” He was trying to coach me through it, and [in my head] I kept saying “Sevendeep” and thought about a play on words like Nicki Minaj. So that’s how I came up with it because my voice is deep.
You’re definitely a dancer’s artist. You weave the essence of dance into your music so well through your musicality and flow. It really shows that you have respect for the art form. Talk to us about why your music reflects that.
SEVNDEEP: Simply put, I make music for dancers. I grew up on Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, Prince, Michael Jackson – just all these artists. My dad owned a barbershop when I was growing up, and during that time, the only thing that played in the shop was music videos. I remember sweeping the hair off the floor and just watching the music videos, and I would be moved.
When I started to make music, I knew I wanted to make music for dance, because I really feel like we don’t have that. And it’s not only because we’re missing that element, but that’s what I really want to create. I love dancers. I love when I look at a video and it all makes sense. Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” – I was a kid, a baby when that came out, you know. I just remember being so moved by it. I just love dance.
When I go into every project, it’s usuallyjust me and the engineer – I don’t really have anybody else in the studio with me when I create music – But if the engineer starts dancing, I’m like, “Okay, cool. I’m doing my job.”
When it comes to being a queer artist in today’s music industry playing field, there’s still a lack of representation. We have artists like Lil Nas X, and that’s great, but it still feels like music execs and companies don’t get behind queer artists as much as they should. A lot of people, Team OBVIOUS included, are discovering queer artists and new talent through social media. Talk to us about why it’s important for artists like yourself to continue to make their own space and create their own seats at the table.
SEVNDEEP: Honestly, it’s 2022 and we still have a lot of work to do as far as being progressive when it comes to queer artists and queer artistry in general. But I will say that it’s safer and more groundbreaking to be more authentic to yourself as a queer artist.
For me, I just found my tribe. I created my music, I put it out there and I thought to myself, “I can’t be the only one in the world that’s this magical. There has to be other queer artists and queer influencers that will take to it.” And that’s what happened. I would say just keep going.
I’m not in this for music execs or to become the most famous or the richest person. I’m doing this because I really love this. I’ve been doing it since I was younger – that’s why I have such a strong passion for it. I believe the most important thing is to continue to be authentic to yourself. Your social media is your best tool.
Even though it’s another job, it really is your best tool. You have to market yourself if nobody else is going to market you, but you will find your tribe. And then, eventually, your tribe is going to push you, because the world needs it right now. The world needs more authentic creativity that’s just different.
Let’s talk about your musical inspiration and any possible dream collaborations.
SEVNDEEP: Okay, musical inspiration… This is going to be a lot. LOL. I love Lil’ Kim. I love how raw she is about her sexuality. I love Britney Spears because growing up, I would look at her and see this young girl who transitioned from being the pop princess to someone who was going to embrace her sexuality.
I love Busta Rhymes cuz his flow is so nasty, and Ludacris as well. Kanye West because he just doesn’t care what he says out of his mouth – he says it and it’s just like, “This is what I’m gonna say. Whoever doesn’t like it doesn’t like it.” I just really love all the greats. I’m a student of the greats.
Who I would like to work with now: I would love to work with SAINt JHN. I would love to work with Doechii – she just released a video that I just can’t stop playing called “Crazy” and I just think she’s a beast as an artist. Bree Runaway, FKA twigs… I like artists that really go out there and just get the spectrum.
It’s not just about creating a cool song for them, but it’s about visually and performance-wise being the entire package as an artist. So yeah, those are some of the people that I want to collab with. It’s going to happen
What’s something that your fans don’t know about you?
SEVNDEEP: You know, people are always shocked when I say this, but I’m the oldest of 11. I’m adopted. So when I tell people that, they’re always like, “we didn’t know you had so many brothers and sisters and that you’re the oldest of 11.” I’m adopted, and I have two families and I love it. We’re a blended family, and a lot of fans don’t know that about me, so that’s a fun fact.
That’s very interesting. Is there any influence on your artistry from that aspect?
SEVNDEEP: Not yet. When I become more mainstream, I think I’ll dive more into the personal side of me where I can talk about that experience and stuff like that. Right now, it’s just fun and dance.
When it comes to messaging through your music, what are some things that you want audiences to really resonate with?
SEVNDEEP: So growing up, I was taught and saw on TV and the media that being queer and embracing your sexuality is wrong – or it wasn’t talked about because we had the notion of being in the closet and having to come out to something, which is kind of crazy if you ask me. I want queer people to know that it’s okay to embrace your sexuality.
It’s okay to take control of that because that’s your power. And you can be as loud and as bold about that as you want. You don’t have to be silenced about it or feel bad for what you like. You don’t have to pick a side, pick a box or pick a role: top, bottom… You can be whatever you want to be. We are multifaceted, and that’s what my music is about.
If you could give advice to your younger self, what would that be?
SEVNDEEP: If I could give advice to my younger self, um, that’s a good question! I never had that question before. I would probably say to my younger self, that it’s gonna be okay. Like just really embrace your masculinity in your femininity. I wish I would have started doing it at a younger age. So, I probably would tell myself it’s okay to embrace all sides of yourself because that’s your true power. There is power in femininity just as much as masculinity, and when you embrace them both, it’s LIT!
How do you find freedom in music?
SEVNDEEP: I find freedom through creativity in all aspects: from performing, down to creating my visuals, down to making music – I feel super duper free. It’s so funny, because after I’m out of the studio when I listen to my song, I’m always like, “Did I just say that? Like, did I just really say that?” My moms gonna hear this and be like, “Did you really just say that?” LOL. But yea, freedom to me is just being totally authentic and totally raw. Breaking down those barriers and not having any walls up. Freedom is really going for it and going for it unapologetically.
What’s next for you this year?
SEVNDEEP: I want people to continue streaming my last single “Pressure” and to check out the music videos for my singles “Hips” and “Break My Back” on my YouTube channel. I also have several performances coming up, so people can follow me on my social media platforms for updates on new releases and appearances.