What kinds of challenges have you faced as a woman in the rap industry and what do you feel are some of your proudest moments?
This sounds bad, but I’m not a fan of this question. I 100% believe that being successful, in almost any industry, is more difficult for women based on our role throughout history. However, I can’t stand when people take on a victim mentality. Especially someone with privilege, like myself. I think the best way to stop this question from showing up on interviews in the future is by being a success in music, so that being a woman in music isn’t such a novelty.
Some of my proudest moments were playing SF Pride and LA Pride. I’ve opened for Snow Tha Product twice. I’ve opened for Angel Haze in England and Ireland. I’ve opened for Caskey, and I’ve done a 36 city tour. When my friends and family dig a song I release, that’s always a really proud moment for me.
You have said that the Musicians Institute in CA was the first place where you ever truly felt that you fit in. What can you tell me about attending their Independent Artist Program, winning the prestigious Artist Development Showcase and what you learned during your time there?
I love how knowledgeable you guys are on my life lol. I really appreciate all the research you’ve done. Thank you. I’ve always been the quiet nerdy type. I definitely wasn’t cool in highschool. In fact, the only class I enjoyed in school was art class. Musician’s Institute was the first time I was “cool” and liked my classes. I was surrounded by people who were obsessed with music just like me. We all got along and collaborated and hung out. It was a really special time in my life. I learned the importance of finding your tribe. Your tribe is a group of people you meet throughout your life who have the same interests and passions as you. You support each other and help each other grow. You’ll know them when you meet them lol.
You have said that alone time is key for you and that time not making music is so important, because while music is a huge part of your life, it is not your entire life. What do you enjoy doing outside of music and what does self-care look like for you? Have you often felt pressure to not stop and not take breaks from making music?
Outside of music, I love spending time with my family. I have an 8 month old nephew who is the light of my life. I go on long walks with my dog, take day trips out of town, cook good food. I love taking baths and doing facials. I really enjoy being home.
Having not been able to get on any cypher a few years back, what can you tell me about the cypher series you created and about the rappers and artists you have featured?
My cypher series is at 10 episodes now. I was planning on filming a hand full of them during 2020 but obviously that didn’t work out. I’d love to start them up again. I just choose 3-5 rappers I love and get them on it. I send them a beat in advance so they can prepare a 16 for it and we get together and film it. I enjoy them but I slowed down on them because it takes a lot of time and organization to get everyone locked in.
What can you tell me about living in Hollywood, where people seem to be valued more for their wealth, status and success more than who they are as a person? How do you stay grounded in that kind of environment? You talked about moving back to Chicago for a few months in 2019 to take a break from Hollywood. What was the time away like for you and what was it like to return to LA and reacclimate to life there?
I enjoyed the fun and excitement of Hollywood very much. I learned a lot about the music industry and made some “friends”, but after I was in Chicago for 6 months I realized I didn’t want to live in Hollywood anymore. I spent my time in Chicago with my grandma, my family, my godfather, and some of my best friends. I returned after six months only because I didn’t find a permanent living situation. However, instead of going back to Hollywood, I went to Santa Monica. I was born there and went to highschool at SAMO so it’s home to me. It took me a little time to acclimate because I didn’t know how I was going to survive or what steps to take to keep pushing my music career. That’s when most of my EP Tears was written. I was in limbo and felt a bit hopeless. I wound up getting an internship at Scott Frankfurt Studio in Woodland Hills, which taught me so much. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. It re-sparked my passion for all things music. Then corona hit lol, need I say more?
You recently released your new EP Tears, which explores the hardships that come along with growing older, striving for success and overcoming self-doubt. You have said that when you were writing the EP, you felt lost and hopeless and didn’t know where you were going in life because you had been making music for 7 + years with not much success. What can you tell me about writing the songs for the EP and do you feel it was a cathartic experience for you? What message do you hope listeners take away from the songs?
Yes, writing my EP was extremely cathartic. The level of vulnerability I reached to write, and especially to release, this project was new for me. I used to guard myself by trying to make music that’s “cool” instead of real. I find that impossible now. After releasing Tears, I feel like I have nothing to hide from or be ashamed of. I told everyone my deepest fears and insecurities. It’s like the scene in 8 Mile when Eminem raps about all his shortcomings before the other rapper can bring them up. I’ve exposed myself and I feel free. I want my EP to spark vulnerability in others. We hide so much behind social media and photoshop and pleasant conversation, but so often we neglect to get real and gritty. I think that vulnerability is how you create meaningful relationships and ultimately a meaningful life.