A young Sabrina Claudio sits across from me dressed in head-to-toe white. She has this wild curly brown hair and a lip color that could kill. She manages to let her guard down slightly when I mention how mature her writing style is. “Girl, I started writing when I was 14 and I was writing as if I was 20,” she exclaims with her Cuban flair showing through. “Now that I’m 21, I’m writing like I’m 40,” she adds.
Claudio has just released her newest project About Time, the follow-up to her debut EP, Confidently Lost. The new 12-song collection is littered with love stories, heartbreak and even regret, which are topics that Claudio admits she hasn’t exactly personally experienced.
“People never believed me that I could be writing about love that I never experienced,” she says. “A lot of the songs I write are stories from people I care about in my life. The stories become very personal to me but most of the time it’s not my personal story that I experienced first-hand.” She continues to describe her personal life saying that her days are mostly consumed with sessions and meetings, not the most ideal inspiration for lyrics.
A common thread throughout About Time is the concept of time. Claudio explains that once she took a step back from the collection of songs she recognized that they all revolved around time in some way. Whether it’s losing time, not having enough time, having too much time or giving someone too much time, she noticed that she was interpreting that concept in each song.
“Conceptually, “Unravel Me” is the most relatable for me at the moment,” Claudio says of her top track off About Time. “It’s about a girl–or a person–who gets over people really quickly but doesn’t know how to get out of the relationship. They try to make excuses for the other person to get out of the relationship instead. That’s me, girl,” she reveals. Claudio grew up in a primarily Cuban household, although she identifies as half-Cuban and half-Puerto Rican. “I was born and raised in Miami so there’s a big Hispanic culture there. I think being in a Latin household and being surrounded by Latin music really influenced my sound. Not exactly me being a Latin artist but just certain sounds, things that I grew up listening to.” The music she grew up on primarily consists of R&B, due to her father’s love of the genre. She shares that as she grew older she became interested in jazz music and bossa nova, thanks to her Grandfather’s influence.
As a songwriter, Claudio wants listeners to be able to relate to the stories she tells through her music. “I have so many different stories from the different people in my life, I’m assuming that it’s a little more relatable than the first project. I just want people to listen to it and have the stories resonate with them,” she says.
For her first-ever collaboration, Claudio tapped 6LACK to help her out on a remix of her powerful single “Belong To You.” The partnership couldn’t have come at a better time as Claudio will be joining 6LACK on tour this fall. The remix is included as a bonus track on About Time. Be sure to catch Claudio on tour where she will be introducing new movement-based choreography into her live performance.
Main image credit: Kanya Iwana