In addition to gracing headlines and magazine covers aplenty for being one of Rap music’s most promising breakout stars, ‘My Type’ maestra Saweetie has already seen her name typed alongside Platinum certifications by the RIAA and as a tenant of some of the Billboard Hot 100’s upper rungs.
Having made history for being one of ten female rappers to score a top 30 hit over the last decade, her entry into the exclusive club (which also includes Missy Elliott, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, City Girls, Lizzo, Iggy Azalea, Young M.A., M.I.A., and Megan Thee Stallion) is just the tip of the iceberg, the rapstress (born Diamonté Qiava Valentin Harper) told That Grape Juice in an exclusive interview.
Thanks to the enduring successes of her first two EPs – ‘High Maintenance’ (2018) and ‘Icy’ (2019) – expectations for her official debut LP (due later this year) are at their highest. However, if her ventures into fashion and acting are any indication, the album will be just one of many ventures Saweetie showcases this year that will meet and exceed the hype.
Ahead of her upcoming London show at Heaven on May 26th, she dished on her short, but storied career, her foray into fashion, next musical moves and so much more:
That Grape Juice: For those who don’t know, tell us about your journey into music.
Saweetie: I’m a late bloomer because I’m a college girl that went to school for five years. I pursued music after I got an education in business and communications. From there, I started my career off of Instagram and Twitter.
A lot of my videos went viral and got the attention of a lot of important people. After that, I signed with Warner Bros.
TGJ: How would you say going to college impacted your approach to the business side of music?
Saweetie: It made me a very skeptical decision maker and a critical thinker.
My brand is the Icy Girl brand and it motivates people to go out there, get their bag, and do it in a way that is good for them. Similarly, college put me in the right mindset to think “you’re not going to just be an artist, you’re going to be a mogul.”
That Grape Juice: Now, you’re enjoying the success of that train of thought. ‘My Type’ was omnipresent – everywhere from the club to the radio and more.
As an artist on the rise, especially as a late bloomer as you even mentioned, did the success of the song feel like a validating moment?
Saweetie: Not necessarily. It just made me want to work harder because I’m never content. It just motivated me to just go harder because I feel like I have so much more to improve on.
TGJ: Absolutely. Speaking of working on “so much more,” a little birdie tells us that you’ve been in the studio? Is there anything that you can kind of share with us about what’s to come?
Saweetie: I’m starting to actually sing more. So, I think that’s just something I’m super excited to share. Also, this will be my debut album so it’s about to get really real.
TGJ: It’s about to get super real. Is there anything you can share with us in regards of producers, songwriters, and other collaborators you’ve been working with?
Saweetie: I’ve been in like a boot camp with Dr. Luke. I’m about to get into the studio with others as well.
I’m growing as an artist. I like to think of “Demodogs” from Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ – the studio is like my food and every time I go in, I just get stronger and better.
TGJ: That’s a very interesting analogy, I like it.
You’re heading to London very soon for your first show and there’s a lot of excitement about that here. What can fans expect from that show and the tour in general?
Saweetie: I want it to feel like a sexy playground. I have choreography and they can expect just an experience. I want them to feel like I was [when I was] that little girl growing up watching Beyoncé and TLC. Watching them made me want to take some of their moves, go home, and practice them in the mirror (laughs).
TGJ: Speaking of Beyoncé, I know you met her recently and you’ve touted her as a big influence in the past. What was it like to meet the Queen?
Saweetie: Beyoncé is just like royalty. I’ve been a big fan ever since I was a kid. She has such an amazing aura and the fact that she knew who I was, I was amazed!
TGJ: Would you say that she’s like a dream collaboration of yours?
Saweetie: I’d die. Definitely it would be beyond a dream collaboration because oh, my gosh. I have no words for that.
TGJ: Let’s segue way into your other ventures, namely the fashion side of things. We’ve seen you at Milan Fashion Week and, of course, there’s the Pretty Little Thing collaboration. Tell us about your foray into that industry.
Saweetie: I’m happy I was able to experience fashion overseas because it just opened my eyes and made me realize how little I knew. More importantly, it made me want to be a student.
I was able to meet Edward Enninful and Anna Wintour and it really piqued my interest to get into the history of fashion. Like I did my research on Hip Hop to know about Tupac, Biggie, Run DMC, and more, it’s time for me to learn the godmothers and grandfathers of fashion as well.
TGJ: Speaking of being a great student and admiring those around you, if you could piece together an ensemble remake of “Ladies Night” featuring artists from now and the past – who would you pick and why? Include yourself.
Saweetie: Where do I begin? That’s something I’d really have to like sit down while I’m getting my nails done and really ponder (laughs).
TGJ: To wrap things up, we’re all about positivity here at That Grape Juice. If you could put one thing in the air that you’d love to happen before the end of 2020, professionally speaking, what would that be?
Saweetie: A billion dollars!
Want to see Saweetie live in London on May 26th? Click here for tickets.