Saweetie on What It Means to Be 'Icy' - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Saweetie on What It Means to Be 'Icy'

Saweetie on What It Means to Be 'Icy'

By Joshua Eferighe

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because she's going global.

By Joshua Eferighe

Rapper, USC graduate and fashion icon Saweetie sat down with OZY CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson for a recent episode of The Carlos Watson Show. Below are the best cuts from the interview, which you can listen to in full on the show’s podcast feed.

Getting into music

Carlos Watson: How did you get into music? I can’t remember — did either parent sing, or are you the first singer in the family?

Saweetie: Well, my uncle is a singer. My other cousin is Zaytoven, so I would say we have a musical family. A lot of my aunties and my uncles and my grandparents sing, so, you know.

CW: And how did you develop your own style, or did you borrow it a little bit from them and other people?

Saweetie: I think I developed my own style, I think sometime around this year and last year, because I was known for cutting my car raps, rapping over other people’s beats and sampling. So it took me a while to figure out what my sound was.

CW: And how would you describe it now? If somebody were to ask you, “What’s your style?” What would you say?

Saweetie: I would say it’s bougie, it’s bossed up, it’s inspirational.

On Making It

CW: When did you know you made it? What happened that all of a sudden was your moment where you’re like, “This is no longer just a dream. This is happening.”

Saweetie: I think when “My Type” first debuted on the Billboard 100, I felt official, but I definitely feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement since that time, and I feel like that’s exhibited on my new body of work. So I’m really excited to share that with the world.

CW: And when is everybody going to get to enjoy your next set of goodness?

Saweetie: Maybe end of this year or the top of next year? We haven’t really decided. I think that’s the great thing about being in the DSP era, so we don’t have to ship it out through physical copies. It’s so readily available through DSPs, like Spotify, like Apple, etc.

‘Icy Girl’

CW: What would you say that “Icy Girl” is about? Why “Icy,” like if people are just tuning in, they’re just getting to know you a little bit? What does it mean to say “Icy Girl”?

Saweetie: I think “Icy Girl” has … I think at face value people’s perspective of it is like, icy, the glamour, riches and all the good stuff that comes with success. But for me, I wrote it, “Icy Girl” was more of a mentality. Because I always felt like hard work gets awarded. I felt like you being ambitious, that’s what being icy is, because it’s more so about mentality. And if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, then eventually those physical icy things can be bought and do come in.

George Floyd

CW: Over the last six, eight months, as everything happened with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and all the different things that are happening, has that changed you in any way? Or did it just reaffirm who you already were and where you’re headed?

Saweetie: I feel like it did both. I have a Black father, I have Black uncles, I have Black aunties, I have Black grandparents. And they’ve all, including myself, have experienced some form of racial injustice. I remember when I was a little girl, they would, they would pull over my dad for no reason, they would search the car for no reason, and I would just hear him complain under his breath. And for me that was normal, as a child, but as I began to learn more about the world, I began to just learn that that isn’t normal. And especially as a little girl, I remember I was pulled to the side by my English teacher, and she asked me if my mother wrote my paper, because she didn’t think that I was smart enough to write the essay that I had written in class.

So all these things that you experience as a child, you think that it’s normal until you start to see it on the news, or you start to see movements, or you start to see people who are calling out these injustices. So it’s definitely nothing new to me, but in this time, it has inspired me to actually create my own foundation, an organization who is actually led by me and my grandmother. I made her the president, the grandmother who I talked about previously. Because she’s been an activist for so long, and she constantly educates me, and she constantly like helps me with my facts. So before I speak, or before I say something politically, I always go to my mentor, who is her, and she educates me. So with this foundation, we’re going to help the minority community, single mothers, help kids get to college, and also autistic kids.

What’s Next

CW: What will be the next thing that happens? In the way that you said seeing your name on the Billboard 100, you knew you had made it. What’s the next thing that could happen, that for you would be like, that’s a whole different level?

Saweetie: A No. 1 album. Nominations at important shows like the Grammys. Performing there. Having more visibility around the world, not just America. Because I feel like the special thing about my brand is that it goes around the world. Even with “Icy Girl,” I had fan bases already reaching outside of America. So that signals to me that I have the ability to be a global artist. I love being big here, but my ultimate goal is to be a global brand, because that’s when it’s just like big money.

Sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Related Stories