You may not recognize her name yet, but Sabrina Claudio is coming hard for the charts.
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The 21-year-old singer-songwriter recently hit no. 1 on the iTunes R&B artist chart, and her song “Frozen” is currently in the top 40 on iTunes R&B charts. Her songs get millions of streams on Spotify, and she’s ready for more now that her debut mixtape, “About Time,” just dropped this month.
So let’s get to know Claudio since she’s already taking over our streams and being called “The Future of R&B” by Teen Vogue.
CREDIT: The cover of Claudios’ Mixtape, “About Time.” Credit: SC Entertainment/Genius.com
Claudio is half-Cuban, half-Puerto Rican, from Miami. That has undoubtedly influenced her sound.
“I grew up around that environment, salsa and merengue were around me at all times,” she tells Billboard. “There’s a lot of Latin influences in terms of sonics and sounds [in my music]. It will just always be in my blood, really.”
Like many before her, Claudio got her start by posting covers of popular songs to YouTube and social media.
Hotline Bling pic.twitter.com/hiZniKn35Z
— SC (@sabrinaclaudio) August 28, 2015
Here she is back in 2015 singing the sh*t out of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” with no assistance from any background music. Just sayin’.
She even paid homage to the queen of all queens, Ms. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Praise this excellence.
— SC (@sabrinaclaudio) February 18, 2016
I mean, no one can ever beat Bey. We won’t even flirt with that level of disrespect. But damn if she doesn’t kill it. Those pipes! Even so, she tells Billboard that it was probably a cover of “Super Rich Kids” by Frank Ocean that made her go viral.
It’s not just Beyoncé who she stans for. She’s a major Destiny’s Child fan too, calling them one of her biggest R&B influences in an interview with Teen Vogue.
Credit: Columbia Records/Giphy
“You put it on and you kinda want to do all the harmonies at the same time because they’re all super beautiful,” she says. “And when she hit that high note, and it took me a while to get to that point but when I got to that high note it was like an accomplishment.”
She has some very real advice for YouTube singers out there trying to make a name for themselves.
Credit: J Records/Giphy
Claudio insists that no aspiring singer is serious until they’ve shown love to Alicia Keys.
“I mean, you’re not a Youtuber — which I am — if you didn’t cover ‘Fallin’,'” she tells Teen Vogue. “Sorry, that was the standard cover song. ”
She also spills some of her other major R&B influences to Teen Vogue.
Credit: Motown Records/Giphy
Claudio reveals that the first album she bought was Usher’s “Confessions” and that she grew up listening to Boyz II Men because her dad was “obsessed” with the group.
Can you blame him?
Speaking of her dad, Claudio explains to Billboard that she still worries about him seeing her looking sexy in her music videos.
Credit: SC Entertainment/Giphy
For the video for her song “Unravel Me,” Claudio appears nude and covered in flowers and butterflies.
“The only thing I was worried about was what my dad was going to think,” she says. “That was my only worry the whole time. But, being bare was something that I felt was needed for the visual and for the concept of the song. So, I was confident about doing it. It was just a matter of what people were going to say, specifically, my daddy.”
Hitting No. 1 on the iTunes charts was a major moment for the breakout singer, and it solidified her place making R&B.
“It is crazy! I don’t typically look at charts, but this chart, I am most proud of with my genre,” she gushes to Billboard. “I worked really hard on this project. So, to have that type of feedback is extremely rewarding.”
Can’t wait to see what else this talented songbird does in her career!