Saweetie releases 2 brand new singles & dishes on going on Tour with YG & Tyga this Fall
Interviewed by: Taylor Winter
Saweetie is on Top! The Chart-Topping artist has just released not 1 but 2 new singles and visuals, Shot o Clock and Birthday, she has also announced that she will be going on a North American tour this Fall, “STR8 TO THE KLUB TOUR” with YG & TYGA – kicking off September 21st in Sacramento. As we continue to Celebrate 50 years of Hip-hop, we remember the ones who made it possible for artists such as Saweetie to thrive in music and branding deals such as acts like Eve, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, and Nicki Minaj. As a dynamic powerhouse, Saweetie continues to solidify herself as a multifaceted artist with her chart-topping songs, successful collaborations, philanthropic endeavors, and captivating onscreen performances. Born Diamonté Harper in Northern California, Saweetie was raised in a multi-ethnic household with her father being of African-American descent and her mother being of Filipino-Chinese descent. Saweetie was exposed to a wide range of music genres which would later influence her own sound and identity as a trailblazer for young, culturally diverse individuals around the world. After attending USC and earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Saweetie began to focus on her music career. Since then, Saweetie has cumulated over 4 billion career streams from her chart-topping hits such as RIAA certified GOLD “Tap In,” triple-platinum “My Type,” and double platinum “Best Friend,” featuring Doja Cat, which also earned two GRAMMY® Award nominations. In addition to numerous awards and accolades in the music space, Saweetie has also launched her own jewelry line “ICY” while also solidifying herself as a global brand through her partnerships with companies such as McDonald’s, MAC, Crocs, Quay, Revlon, Champion, and PrettyLittleThing to name a few. With a comprehensive portfolio spanning so many different avenues, Saweetie’s global influence continues to grow with each subsequent project. Read Saweetie’s full Interview below.
You started freestyling in your car way before your high-maintenance & icy girl freestyles went viral back in 2017. Take us back to that time and talk about who you were at that moment. What did your life look like back then and what were you working towards?
I was driving a Toyota Corolla in LA and renting rooms off Craigslist was just really ambitious. I really just wanted to be successful, and I felt in my heart that I was going to make it, so I was patient and I stayed the course.
Since your “High Maintenance” EP you’ve dropped three projects all with different vibes. Which sound is your favorite and what can we expect from your next project?
My favorite sound is my next sound, so stay tuned!
You were born and raised in Sacramento & The Bay Area. For those of us who aren’t familiar with California, what is it like there versus LA? What do you love most about your hometown?
Well, it’s about a five- or six-hour drive from LA, so the environments are very different. The Bay Area, in my opinion, has its own culture. When people come to the Bay, they constantly say, “All I saw was a lot of pretty girls with a mug on their faces” in the clubs or at a party. The two are different representations of the West Coast. Both places have distinct personalities that make each special.
Over the years you’ve racked up brand partnership deals ranging from MAC Cosmetics to McDonald’s. What do you look for in a company when you decide to work with them and who would be your dream collab?
I see how we’ll both benefit from this. Because I take my business seriously, I always make sure that I believe in their brand. It’s always about finding a synergy between the Icy brand and any partner I collaborate with. I am a really hands-on person, so I creatively direct many of my brand deals and will continue to do so for the rest of my career. My dream collaboration would be with DC Comics. I’d love the opportunity to play Poison Ivy. I adore superheroes, and if you look at my Halloween costumes, you’ll notice that I dressed up quite a bit.
With the amount of success you’ve had since Icy Girl, how do you maintain normalcy in your life?
By eating crab. Eating crab just calms my spirit down. It makes me really happy. So shoutout to the fishermen that get the crab. [laughs] All jokes aside, I love to pray and I love to meditate every morning. And I love my ginger shots #shoto’clock.
Your non-profit “Icy Baby Foundation” was created during the pandemic alongside your grandmother. Tell us about your experience creating this organization and how it has impacted its recipients.
I wanted to see the direct impact of my money and make sure that I was reaching the communities that needed help. Every Saturday morning, kids across America get to tune in and learn the strengths and weaknesses of financial planning. It’s imperative that brown and black kids coming into the business or getting into money know how to manage their money properly because they haven’t had the opportunities to learn how to create generational wealth in this country.
You’re very tapped into your femininity and your aesthetics are always on point but you weren’t always this way. As a former student-athlete, at what point did your personal style evolve from tomboy to girly girl?
Don’t get it twisted, I’m still a tomboy! [laughs] It really depends on my mood on the day of the week on how the sun is shining or how the rain is pouring. My fashion is always evolving and changing every day.
What is your favorite beauty product at the moment?
Nose strips by Biore, because I have oily skin and it helps clear my skin and leaves it with a nice clean finish.
What is one drugstore beauty product that was your go-to in college
Clean and Clear “Morning Burst” was it for me. I loved how clear my skin felt afterward. My main drugstore product now is my tweezers by Tweezerman.
What is the Saweetie signature scent? What does that smell like?
What is that potion? Tell me, what are the ingredients?
Mind your business! [laughs]
Lip gloss or lipstick?
Clear lip gloss
What is one beauty trick your mom has taught you that you swear by?
When putting lotion or foundation, apply it upwards so you’re not creating that pull on your skin.
How is your style and beauty setting trends and rebelling against the norm?
Everyday experiences and everyday people and my fans inspire me and my style. I experience so much, and I’ve done so much at such a young age that I just feel like every turn, every experience I have—whether it’s in the studio, on set, on a music video shoot—I’m getting inspired for my next thing. I’m always thinking about the next trend! I’m always thinking about the next beauty and fashion moment through the lens of my life, so in reality, everyday moments become the mood board for me.
How is your creativity disrupting the culture of music
My creativity has been a staple in the music industry for half a decade, and the music and the success have spoken for themselves. My creativity has paved a trending path for the general world of upcoming art.
As we celebrate 50 years of hip hop who are your SHEROES of female rap music
My mother introduced me to Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown, and Lil Kim who I loved as well. When I first fell in love with music, I discovered Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, MonieLove, Trina, Nicki Minaj, and Missy Elliot – all on LimeWire by the way. I feel like every woman who has come before me has inspired me. That’s the beautiful thing about being a woman. We’re like chameleons. We can fit in anywhere we want to and inspire people. So shoutout to all the women who came before me.
If you could collaborate with any musician dead or alive who would it be and why?
Tupac. As for why — other than the obvious — it’s because I’m a West Coast girl!
What are your thoughts on the creation of AI in music?
I think the beautiful thing about AI is that it’s making inclusive communities of music and spreading art. However, I hope the art doesn’t get diluted.
It’s been over a year since you posted a “The Icy Life” episode and your fans are barely holding on! I love how you show us behind the scenes of your everyday personal and work life. Can we expect a new season or is that chapter closed?
Something bigger is coming! Stay tuned.
Many artists have Merch lines but yours have always stood out from the rest. *Saweetie was actually wearing her merch during the interview* What goes into creating every drop and when can we expect new merch?
Lots and lots of mood boards. And you can expect new merch debuting throughout my new tour.
“Icy University” is a segment on your YouTube channel where you teach your supporters about everything ranging from how to start a business to mental health. Where did this idea come from and can we expect more semesters in the future?
I’ve always wanted a big sister, so it was my way of being one to my fans. It’s my way of sharing the knowledge that I’ve acquired through my wins and losses in life. I would love to do more semesters, I just need a platform to come pick it up, so come pick me up.
You’ll be hitting the road pretty soon co-headlining alongside YG & Tyga for the “Str8 to the Klub” tour. Have you ever been on tour before and what are you most looking forward to during this 14-date tour?
I’m looking forward to it! Knowing that I don’t like flying during a tour, I will definitely be on the bus. So catch me on the freeway, baby! There will be cool outfits, cool creatives, a new sound, and lots of new music!
When I think of Saweetie rapper isn’t the only word that comes to mind. You have the skills of a creative director, mentor & you’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Tell us about your first brand “Money Makin Mamis” and how that has helped you become the multifaceted entrepreneur you are today.
When I was in college as a full-time student, working three to four jobs at a time. I was coding for a professor; I was an office assistant; I was on and off being a brand ambassador for Nike events; and I was working at the strip club as a waitress. So, my experience taught me how to balance life because as I was working and studying, I was still partying at the club with my fake ID! [Laugh] I learned how to balance work and pleasure because I definitely feel like we shouldn’t let work consume us. We’ve been put on earth to enjoy ourselves, so live it up!
It’s safe to say that your nails are an extension of the Icy Lifestyle. Why do you love your nails so much and what is the perfect nail set for you?
I love my nails so much because growing up, I couldn’t afford them. So I love that I’m able to have the luxury of getting the designs and lengths that I want because, you know, the longer the nail, the more the money, honey! My perfect nail set would definitely be 3-D with cartoon art and lots of bling.
You graduated from one of the top universities in the country (the University of Southern California) in 2016. What did you attend school for and how did you transition into music?
I went to school for business and communication and it took me two years to get signed after I graduated. So, in that interim, it taught me patience and perseverance.
Every year you have a huge themed birthday bash surrounded by the people you love the most. How was your recent birthday and what do you hope to achieve in your 30s?
It was very low key and I intend to continue building my empire in my thirties
It’s pretty safe to say the West Coast is your favorite place in the world. When you’re not at home, where do you like to go to retreat from the world and have self-care time?
I love Turks and Caicos! I love the water and jet ski there, I have so much content of me jet skiing there. Also, the food is fantastic, they have the best chefs. Shout out to the Jamaicans and the Haitians!
Photography: Ro Lexx Ro
Interviewed by: Taylor Winter
Editor-in-chief: Prince Chenoa @princechenoastudio
Galore Art Direction: Sebastián Chicchón Motta