We Interview Angelique Sabrina, The Next Rihanna

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This summer, for our Next Big Thing music feature, we took on the task of seeking out 15 musicians who will be the biggest stars of tomorrow. One of those artists was Angelique Sabrina, who we think has the talent and the starpower to be the next Rihanna.

The fourteen-year-old Bahamian can do more than sing, as evidenced by the video for her first single, “Pull Up.” The video features Angelique and her crew dancing down Hollywood Boulevard, turning heads as they go. If the song itself doesn’t have you dancing, the video is sure to get you out of your seat.

We had the chance to talk with Angelique, and we’re even more sure now than we were before that she’s a star in the making. Her enthusiasm for her career is infectious, and this girl knows what she wants.

Read on to see Angelique’s video for “Pull Up” yourself, and find out what she thinks of the comparison to Rihanna.

Crushable: You’re only fourteen. Are you still in school, or do you study with a tutor?

Angelique Sabrina: That’s a good question. I’m homeschooled. I started homeschooling last year, and I actually just came from school.

Has it been difficult for you to balance school with your career?

In a way. It’s always difficult. I mean, I enjoy my career way more than I do school, but I know that I have to get it done and it’s important. So I do it anyway. And it’s not that difficult, because my parents have been good with helping me stay balanced with it. So sometimes I really don’t feel like doing schoolwork, but I don’t complain, and my mom’s really good with helping me. She’s the one who tutors me. And so we do everything together, and it ends up being a fun time actually.

How did you decide that you wanted to be a recording artist?

Well, my first performance was when I was eight, when I entered myself in a talent competition. And I had a really amazing time. It was the time of my life. I loved the whole process, and the performance especially. That’s when I realized that I love performing. That was when I got my first real glimpse of it. And from then I was begging my dad to get me in the studio, and when it finally happened I never stopped. So I think my decision was based on how that one performance made me feel.

Do you come from a musical family?

I do. My dad is a producer, and he signed Arrested Development, which is a group from back in the day for me. He was the first person to sign them. And my mom sings, and my grandparents sang, and my grandmother still sings. I always grew up around a church singing family. So I would go to church early in the morning because they had rehearsals. And I was always involved in talent shows and school plays. So my family is really into music. Very much so.

Judging by your video for “Pull Up,” you’re a great dancer, too. Tell us about some of the things you’re involved in outside of music.

Dancing came when I was really little, actually. I was always in and out of it. I would tell my mom, oh I want to try Ballet, oh I want to try tap, hip hop. I was interested in so many different styles and I never made up my mind, not once. So I think now that I’m doing my own thing, all those styles influence me because I have that foundation. I just pull from what I did learn. It’s not that I was trained, I just dabbled, and I listened, and I watched a lot of artists that I look up to. Their dance style, and what they did, and how they move their bodies. I think it’s really important to be innovative, so that was a big part of why I really wanted to come up with my own style.

Was “Pull Up” your first video?

I had actually done a lot of music videos before, but mainly by myself. So I would do them with my dad, my parents, I would shoot them and edit them myself. But that’s my first single from the album I’m working on, and I was so excited that it was received so well by the public. That they liked it so much. So that got me excited, and it was my first real single, my first real music video that I was so proud of.

What was it like to film “Pull Up”?

It was amazing, because it was my first time ever in L.A. And I’ve traveled a lot but I’d never been there. So I was excited to see how everything would be. Especially the scenes we would be shooting. We shot on Hollywood Boulevard, so we got to see some really nice scenery at the same time as shooting my first music video. So a bunch of cool things were happening. The trip itself was great, and I think that it helped on the energy of the video, because the whole the point of the video is to have fun. And to get on the dance floor and dance with your friends. So everything was captured on camera.

We featured you in our Next Big Thing music feature as the “Next Rihanna.” What do you think of that comparison?

I definitely understand it. I’m an island girl, so is she. I can understand that side of it. But I also think that in time, people will start to see the difference between me and Rihanna. I have been getting a lot of comparisons to her, and I’m actually honored by it. Because I am an island girl, she has opened the door for people like me. She has gone so many places coming from the Caribbean, and done so many things, especially as a female I can look up to. So I’m honored by it, and I’m glad that if anybody, it’s her. But I think in time that will also flicker away.

If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be?

Oh, gosh. Do I have to pick one? Well, past is definitely Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson, I look up to him so much. I love him. Or someone like Frank Sinatra. But present day, definitely Frank Ocean. I love his new album, Channel ORANGE, and his writing style is ridiculous! He writes poems and he sings them. I just love Frank Ocean so much. He’s completely gone against the rules of the industry, and just slapped everyone in their face and it’s working for him. I love that. I hope to meet him one day.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

That’s a good question. It was pointed out to me by my dad that every time I’m about to go onstage, I look at the dancers and I say, “y’all ready?” That’s the one thing I always say, I don’t know why I do it. Just to get everybody hyped, I guess. But as for rituals, I just make sure that I’m in the zone. Every time I’m about to perform I have to be in a good place. And I make sure that everybody else is, too. Because you don’t want anybody going onstage that doesn’t feel comfortable, or like they know everything. I just want to be prepared.

What can we expect to see from you next?

I’m working right now on my album, and we have a lot more singles to come. My second single is going to be soon, we don’t have a date for it yet, but it’s called “Stop Sign.” So I’m very excited about releasing it. I’m traveling a lot and doing a lot of performances. And of course, more music videos.

For more on Angelique, check out her website.