To say that I love Saweetie is basically an understatement at this point, as time and time again, she's in the news or on my timeline giving me all of my life. Whether she pops up on a thread with her signature, "I know that's right!" or she's seen purchasing an item that an up-and-coming designer made for her just because "everything costs money," like. I mean. She's everything.
And her approach to being a carefree, successful, modernized 20-something-year-old is everything as well.
In her latest quest, Saweetie sat down with Teen Vogue to discuss everything from growing up, to the release of her debut album, Pretty B*tch Music. Rocking a giraffe-print turtleneck dress, baby hairs laid for the gawds, a few outfit changes and a long, waist-length braid, we learned a bit more about Saweetie and what's next on her journey.
Continue reading for our favorite highlights!
On life after her first single, "ICY GRL":
While discussing how her life has changed since she released her first single, "ICY GRL", Saweetie revealed that she recorded it in her Toyota Corolla Sport because she couldn't afford studio time. But now, much of her life has changed.
"After 'ICY GRL' hit, I was in such high demand, and it really was like night and day. I had no artist's development. I realized that I never equated attention with happiness, so all that attention I was getting was overwhelming for me and I didn't know how to handle it. Which is why — fast forward to last year and this year in quarantine — I had a lot of time to reflect, and that made me want to take back my power of being confident and made me want to rethink my career."
On living her truths:
"I went from only wanting to write freestyles to having to create a hit. Now I know how to make the hits. I need to let people know that I'm a West Coast girl. I'm tri-racial. I come from a poppin', big, male-dominated family, which explains my masculine energy at times. People were only seeing 'icy girl,' but who was the girl under the blonde wig?"
On how having a Black father and Filipino mother shaped her:
Saweetie's mother was a model and manager who appeared in music videos for many artists, and her dad was a football player. But their careers didn't stop them from raising her with certain values.
"Growing up, I was confused a lot. Like, I would get mad. I think my parents not being together really just affected me emotionally as a child, and I carried that stress and disappointment [when I was] a teenager. I used poetry as a way to express myself. Because I had young parents, I had to grow up quicker because I was always being babysat by someone else. My parents are very 'do as I say, not as I do.' They're like Bay Area legends. My mom's a tiger mom. She wanted straight A's. Her disciplining me at a young age got me into the habit of achieving high goals."
Saweetie also speaks Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, which she plans to incorporate more into her music.
On her thirst for the finer things almost landing her in jail:
"Before I went to college, I almost went to jail because I got caught stealing. At a young age, I just always liked the finer things—and I'm not even talking about name brands. I just like looking good. In that moment, I was like, I'm not really about this life. I get straight A's, I'm a year-round athlete. I think the lesson was that [I had worked] too hard for everything to be thrown away."
On how movements such as BLM or 'Stop Asian Hate' has affected her:
"I felt helpless. No amount of money can bring back these lives or can Band-Aid the bruises, pains, and scars a lot of these families experience. And it makes me feel like, 'Do I matter? If I wasn't a celebrity, would they care about me if I was to get beat up?"
Eventually, she decided to put her money where her mouth is through her nonprofit, Icy Baby Foundation.
"Growing up, my mom always asked me, 'Where's your heart?' When she would question my actions and my motives, she'd be like, 'Diamonté, do you care? And if you care, what are you going to do about it?'"
On maintaining her integrity in a chaotic industry:
Maintaining her authenticity has always been a priority for Saweetie.
"When you are a young woman in L.A., sometimes you're put in situations that can help you financially but will take a jab at your soul, your body. I remember basically just having the opportunity to get some money, but in doing so I would have violated my morals and my values. I was broke but I was like, I will never do anything to disrespect myself ... no matter how desperate I get."
She didn't go into detail about exactly what happened, but she did chalk it up as a learning opportunity.
"That's a story within itself, but I think it was a moment where I was like, it's okay. You'll eventually get what you want out of life as long as you're praying and working hard."
And in the words of Saweetie, herself, "I know that's right!"
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Featured image via Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp