Syndee Winters is here to bless the world with her smooth and sultry voice, creating meaningful music that resonates with the soul. Now on the heels of Valentine’s Day, the R&B singer and Broadway actress is excited as ever to announce her most recent project, the R&B duo Butterfly Black.

In conjunction with GRAMMY award-winning bassist/producer Ben Williams, Winters has released “Lifetime,” a record that touches on all facets of love. Whether you’re loving others, yourself, or simply wanting to live your best life, “Lifetime” will have you dancing and appreciating life all at once.

How would you describe Winters’ sound? Imagine if Nancy Wilson, Erykah Badu, and Bruno Mars had a baby. 

Winters is an established recording artist, dancer, and actor, who’s performed in award-winning productions such as Hamilton, The Lion King, Pippin, Motown The Musical, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Prior to Broadway, she danced for the New York Knicks and even had the opportunity to work with Grandmaster Flash on his 2009 album, The Bridge

Sheen spoke with Syndee Winters to discuss her background, biggest influences, 

For those who don’t know, who is Syndee Winters?

Hi! I’m a multi-hyphenated performer: singer, songwriter, actor, playwright, and dancer. I spent over a decade on Broadway in shows like Motown: The Musical, Pippin, Hamilton, and I played “Nala” in The Lion King. I’ve worked with Sara Bareilles, Brandon Victor Dixon, and John Legend on the Emmy-winning Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC. Before that, I got my first placement as a songwriter with the Legendary DJ Grandmaster Flash on his album The Bridge. I’m also well-known for my music-mashups on Youtube.

Where are you originally from, and how does that play into your life and career?

I’m first generation Chinese-Jamaican American from Brentwood, New York. Growing up in Brentwood, NY, in the 90’s was a melting pot. That was when the radio was blazin’ Hip-Hop and R&B, and music felt like life. I remember hearing Lauryn Hill and Brian Mcknight on one station, then flipping to the pop station and hearing ‘NSYNC, and Christina Aguilera, all while reggae and salsa were being played in my house. The blend of those sounds influenced how I related to the world. It was blended, like me. 

Who are your biggest influences?

Firstly, my father. A soccer coach and an artist at heart, he’s supported me in building up my confidence. My mothers, (yes I have a few) are all strong women. And I’m a descendant of the greatest performers Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, The Marleys, Missy Elliot, Lena Horne, Diana Ross, Beyonce, and Ms. Debbie Allen.

At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?

I’ve been writing songs since high school, and I haven’t stopped. I released music during my career as a dancer for the New York Knicks and through my time on Broadway. It was during the pandemic, when the world closed that I realized that writing songs was one of the only things I felt I could control. So, I wrote songs every week, but I really wanted to collaborate with a producer that could challenge me further.

What was the inspiration behind your group Butterfly Black?

Butterfly Black was inspired by the hope of reconnecting people. I love music that makes me dance, feel good, and has a message. During my time inside, I realized the value of human touch, and how much I missed feeling desired by someone. I wanted to talk about positive relationships with another person and with myself. 

What’s the synergy with Ben Williams in the studio?

I was a fan of Ben Williams’ music for a few years. He’s an incredible musician and he’s worked with the best in music. I didn’t know Ben could sing until his last album, “I AM A MAN.” That album came out in 2020 and was everything I needed to hear to inspire me to reach out to him. I connected with him on Instagram and asked him if he’d be willing to collaborate with me on some new music. I didn’t know that he was also a fan of mine and that he had been following my career since 2017. So we decided to get together for a writing session, and Ben had already begun playing with a concept he called “Syndee Idea.” I listened to it for about 30 seconds and said “ Let’s go, I’m ready to record.” That idea turned into what became Butterfly Black’s first single, “I Just Wanna Love You.”

How did the R&B duo Butterfly Black come to be? 

We were writing a lot of songs within the first few months of working together, and initially, these songs were going to be for a Syndee Winters project. But as we were fleshing out the music, Ben would sing on them as well, and we realized that our voices blended really well together, and the music began to sound like “love.” And we asked ourselves, what if we could make music that sounded the way love felt? It has elements of all the music that inspires us, R&B, Pop, Soul, and more, but the main ingredient is love. 

Tell us about the process of creating “Lifetime” together?

Ben sent me a voice memo of this hook he’d been playing with, and at first, I didn’t like it. I avoided working on it for a few months until one day, he inspired me to challenge myself despite the fact that I didn’t like it. I accepted his challenge and took it as a form of love, and voila! “Lifetime” was born. After it was done it felt like a love anthem, something people would play to underscore marriage proposals and first dances at weddings, or just in the living room with your boo. 

What inspired the music video?

The music video was inspired by the idea of breaking down the journey of feeling safe to unpack your past and heal with someone by your side. We all carry our “Representative” with us. The person we want others to see. But we also all carry our own “box of stuff.” This video shows what happens when you are loved despite your shortcomings and insecurities.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?

Create your own work, and never stop. I’ve been a part of amazing projects in my career, but I’ve always believed in my music. I’ve never had a record deal, but it never stopped me from creating my own work. Believe in what you can do and find others who believe in you and support each other. 

What can we expect from your debut EP later this year?

That good feeling of Black Pop Music. 

What are your goals as an artist at this point in your career?

Music is the great uniter. My goal is to help bring people together when we play concerts and festivals and when our music is played at block parties, clubs, and brunch.