Lynda Starr’s latest single “Hideaway”

SINGERSROOM talks to soul songstress and Brooklyn native Lynda Starr winner of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival New & Next Artist Competition who has a new single out called “Hideaway“.

SINGERSROOM: You have just won 2022 ESSENCE Festival New & Next Artist Competition with your 2017 Single “Save Us” – what does that mean to you and your future?

LYNDA STARR: It meant the absolute world to have the opportunity to perform Save Us on such a monumental platform at the ESSENCE Festival Center Stage! For me, great music stands the test of time so it was refreshing to have new ears hear the message of my song and resonate with it on a deeper level. My intention was to breathe new life into Save Us to commemorate it’s 5 Year Anniversary with a Live Session. To me this means that my future is even brighter and the possibilities are endless! Winning the New & Next Artist Competition is a reminder that people can feel something when they hear my music and that it has meaning that resonates.

SR: I hear you were already singing at age 3 and started writing at age 8 what motivated you to get started in music. What is your secret to keep the inner child present with natural wonder and creativity?

LS: My secret includes laughing a lot, practicing gratitude, and finding joy and inspiration in even in the small things. I’m big on mental health so I also carve out time for self-care in order to tend to my inner child. It’s important to give myself grace and create a space where I can remain grounded when things get overwhelming! I also feel I’m most creative when my mind is still, so I enjoy doing nature walks, meditating, watching TV shows and movies along with listening to music that boosts my endorphins.

SR: Who and/or what is your inspiration in your music?

LS: My main musical inspirations are Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, and Brandy. I love storytelling in music, so Diane Warren and Ne-Yo have inspired my songwriting! Love in all of its layers inspires me the most.

SR: What does it mean to you to be a “Brooklyn Native”?

LS: To be a “Brooklyn Native” means knowing how to spread love, because it’s the Brooklyn way (word to Biggie). I’m constantly inspired by the city that raised me, and Brooklyn has shaped me to be bold, unique, and the best at everything I put my mind to! So many greats were bred from BK whom I look up to like Maxwell and Aaliyah. It’s becoming more rare to find Brooklyn Natives because Brooklyn is changing a lot. Nevertheless, no matter where you go, there’s always someone from Brooklyn, and you know we’re from here by our distinct mannerisms that separates us from the rest. So much of what I sing and write about is based on where I come from and my personal experiences, and there’s a certain ethos of Brooklyn you can’t find anywhere else. Growing up in the cultural melting pot of East Flatbush has influenced me tremendously, especially coming from a Haitian background. I love my community and especially love performing in the heart of One of my favorite things to say is, “BK All Day!”

SR: You recently tried your hand at acting – how did that come about and how did it go. Can we expect to see more of you on the silver screen?

LS: Absolutely! I started acting back in middle school at Meyer Levin in their Drama program which included full theater production and was cast in plays, most notably The Tap Dance Kid. From childhood, I saw firsthand how it was to step into a character beyond just learning lines. In my more recent endeavors, I was cast in an original Gospel stage play called Mother and became fully embodied in the emotional narrative of my character Tracey. It was an exciting emotional and healing journey. There were so many parallels and it allowed me to grow both as an actress and artists. We premiered the production during the pandemic of November 2020, and despite the lockdown, we had a great turnout! I’m looking to get booked for more acting roles in the future, so you’ll definitely be seeing me on the silver screen before you know it!

SR: “Hideaway” has just released, what is it about and what inspired it?

LS: Hideaway is an sensual audible vacation and euphoric escape equipped with lush vibes and a chill, sultry mood. It’s about having a good time with that special someone you care about as you’re still getting to know them and traveling with them in the spicy city of Miami! Ironically, earlier this year I traveled to MIA to celebrate my 30th Birthday.

SR: What does the future hold for you… if we can ever know our future

LS: As long as I’m being used as a vessel to be of service to others, I feel that I’ve done my job here on Earth. There’ll definitely be more performances, shoots, visuals, a new EP coming soon entitled The Unlearning, and many other endeavors that are aligned with my purpose! I’m big on manifesting so I look forward to doing more collaborations, writing for other artists and expanding my catalogue so the word can keep singing along.

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