AP Breakthrough Entertainer: Icy Queen Saweetie ready to win | Entertainment News

By MARCELA ISAZA, AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) – When Bay Area rapper Saweetie learned she was nominated for two Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, the competitive nature she learned growing up in an athletic household came out fully. .

His grandfather, Willie Harper, played for the San Francisco 49ers and his father played college football.

“I’ve played soccer, track and field and volleyball,” Saweetie told The Associated Press, which named her one of its 2021 Breakthrough Entertainers. “You could be invited to the playoffs. , but you have to win, so I felt like I was invited to the Grammys, but I had to win.

Saweetie, who is also nominated for Best Rap Song for “Best Friend” with Doja Cat, has claimed her title as Ice Queen, a swaggering rapper whose sharp lyrics placed her in the ring alongside seasoned veterans. Over the past three years, she’s landed three Top 40 hits including “Best Friend”, “Tap In” and “My Type”, has her own McDonald’s meal and has become a TikTok meme.

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All of this success over a few years has come from a hard work ethic instilled by his family. Her mother, Trinidad Valentin, was 17 when Saweetie was born and had a career as an actress in music videos, but she insisted that her daughter finish her studies. Saweetie graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Communication.

“I’m really thankful that she pushed me to go because when I was in college I didn’t like her,” she said.

Meanwhile, his father, Johnny Harper, encouraged him to show off his rap skills whenever his friends came over to play dominoes. “And I was never afraid,” she said. “But looking back, when I look back, I know he was preparing me for anything, so I really appreciate him.”

Now, with three successful EPs under her belt and an uninterrupted schedule, she has had to learn to slow down and breathe. Even finding the time to sit down non-stop and talk about some of her accomplishments was a challenge at a party she threw at a dance club, but did her best to stay fully present while music was blaring in the background. She has also juggled high profile gigs like her first appearance on “SNL” and hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards in Hungary.

She meditates for about two hours each morning, having learned the practice from two of her mentors.

“Meditation is really important to me because my life is so chaotic,” Saweetie said. “In order for me to be centered, I must pray and I must meditate.”

For Saweetie, the meaning of being an “ICY GRL” has extended beyond her brand to her upcoming EP project, called “Icy Season,” which will be released on January 7th, which will feature seven songs plus a bonus track.

“When I launch this project, it’s a question of clarity. It’s about healing. It’s all about soul-searching, ”Saweetie said.

But she is also aware that there is a lot of demand, not to mention pressure, for her first feature film, which she already calls “Pretty Bitch Music” and which will arrive in 2022. For her, “Icy Season” is the caterpillar phase, but her full album will be the emerging butterfly.

“A first album has to be clear,” she said. “It’s a plan, in a way. It sets the tone for your career.

To learn more about the 2021 class of AP’s Breakthrough Entertainers, please visit: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-breakthrough-entertainers

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