Abrina is a talented singer/songwriter from San Diego, California who is paving her way through the music industry on her own terms. Fusing together the worlds of hip hop, R&B and Latin heat, this talented singer/songwriter has powerhouse vocals, killer looks and her own sound that is shaping a new wave of music. Her latest tracks, “Fallback,” which features Baby Bash and “Dat Good,” which features Problem, are raising ears on iTunes and has garnered praise from the Internet world of music. Abrina is a featured artist on MTVTres and even had her music featured on soundtrack to hit movie “Should Have Put a Ring on It.” Abrina has since toured the Philippines where her recent single “Fallback” made the Top 10 charts. Not bad for an unsigned artist about to drop their first project, eh?
The Blair List caught up with this incredibly talented singer to talk about her new EP My Playground, which is set to release on November 18th. With features including Jeremih on “Blowin’ Kisses” and Eric Bellinger for “Actin’ Up”, it’s safe to say that Abrina is On The Rise and has no sign of stopping any time soon.
So, your new project is about to drop. You must be so excited!
I’m super excited. I don’t think it’s hit me yet, but I am definitely looking forward to it. November is going to be crazy!
Where did you get the name My Playground from?
It took me a minute because I was putting so much pressure on myself to come up with a cool idea. I was really looking for something different, but when I was trying so hard to be different, I was going way left field. Everyone was like “okay, Abrina, let’s circle in on what we’re trying to portray here!” [laughs] I finally zoned in on what I was trying to give off with my music’s message and the whole feel of the project, which is when I came up with My Playground. I have two songs on the project which really showcase who I am, a young woman with ambition trying to hustle and just do me. It’s my world, I live by my rules, it’s my playground.
You have a really unique style, with influences ranging from R&B to Latin music. How has it been creating your own sound?
It’s been really dope! I have noticed that a lot of people used to try and pull me in different directions and make me more pop or more hip hop so it was actually a very big thing for me to grow with myself and know myself as an artist. It’s been a long journey solidifying my sound and now that I locked it in, it’s definitely a fun time for me. But yeah, my sound is urban pop with latin elements. I never want to be piut in a box or straight urban/pop artist. I wanted to be ambigious.
It definitely sets you apart! How did you link up with Jeremih & Eric Bellinger?
It’s a funny story actually. Jeremih was one of the first artists I ever opened for two or three years ago, so me and him built a relationship back then and we stayed in contact. I hit him up and sent some songs and he really liked what he was hearing. He then was like “well, I could feature on it..” [laughs] so I got lucky with Jeremih being on the song and that it happened super organically.
With Eric, it was definitely organic as well. I kept running into him in the studio and we have a bunch of mutual friends, so it was bound to happen. He had heard the song [Actin’ Up] and it wasn’t even close to being done. I told him “This would be dope for you to get on” and he was actually like “Wow I really love it! I want to write for you too.” I’m like “Ok that’s amazing…” So it was really cool that it happened so naturally. When people hear the features, they automatically assume that I tried really hard to get these people on the track , but everything happened so naturally it was awesome!
Do you have a favorite song your excited to share?
I do! There’s this one song called “Fire” that I know when I play for people, they’re like “Oh, ok Abrina! I hear you singing more” and I’m like “I know, I can actually sing don’t worry” [laughs]. A lot of the songs I’ve put out are high energy and for the club. We’re not putting out ballads when we first come out anymore, so you don’t really get to hear the vocals come through as much. I feel like “Fire” really shows my vocals and is written really well. It was written by me and another artist and is a great story line and a perfect fusion of my R&B & Latin elements. So I’m excited to show everyone that song!
What would you say is something you have learned from creating this entire project?
A big lesson is to trust in myself and my artistry because I feel like I kept getting deviated when I would try and listen to someone and they would pull me in different directions. I was thinking a lot of the time I had to take a step back and be like “Hey, this isn’t really something I want.” For my future projects, I definitely will be staying on my course and not let others mediate. I know that happens to everyone, especially with major labels and it’s always gonna happen in this business.
What are the best things about being a person on the come up trying to make a name for themselves?
The best part is seeing everything happen before your eyes. You get to start from point A where you are barely getting started and no one really knows if you can sing or if you have it in yourself to stick it out, and seeing all this growth happen. I remember the first time I performed and people knew the lyrics to my songs and were singing with me and I was like “Woah! This is crazy, oh my god.” It was an amazing feeling. Just knowing that you had to work your butt off and people are finally recognizing what you’re doing is amazing. The way you can touch people and help change their lives or even making their night better through music is what keeps me going. I’ve had people come tell me they’re so inspired by me and I’mm like “What?! No, you’re inspiring me right now!”
What’s some advice you would give to an aspiring singer on the rise?
There’s going to be obstacles and you really have to work really hard. Obviously there are haters and the music game unfortunately is really political. At times you can get discouraged and be like “Why can’t it be about this music?! Why can’t I just create what I want to create?” So, you become business people. You do records for artists and you do the ones you have to do for radio or club to market yourself. Every artist just has to stay true to themselves and know that they are going ot deal with A LOT of BS. The most driven and hardest working make it. Not the people who chill in the studio and think their talent alone is just gonna get them to where they want to be.
That’s a good answer!
I try and keep it real. Everyone is a singer nowadays so they just gotta know!
Who is your ultimate dream collaboration?
Wow… well, I always start off saying this because I want to speak this into existence. When I look up to rappers, Kendrick Lamar is just my guy. He’s in my top three of all time and I just love him, so I definitely want to give him a verse. I want to be in the studio with him and be surrounded by someone I think is extremely talented like him. Then as far as singers, I mean, man… I probably would have to say Usher to be quite honest.
What’s next for you?
I have my EP My Playground dropping November 18th and right now, I’m just taking the necessary steps leading up to that. Then after, I will be touring and doing shows all around trying to work on my overseas game. I am actually setting up a Germany tour right now so I’m excited about that!
Don’t forget to follow Abrina for the latest news and keep it locked on The Blair List for her upcoming project on November 18th!