Saweetie, the “traveling business model” – Future 25


This story appears in Rolling stoneThe 2021 issue of Future of Music, a special project exploring the next era of the multi-billion dollar hits business. Read the other stories here.

“Throughout my life I have been judged because I was called a pretty girl,” says Saweetie. But ILike a diamond, Saweetie is equal parts strength and beauty. She’s multi-faceted too, with the chameleonic ability to switch between her roles as a musician, glamorous fashionista, athletic MVP and tomboy, actress on a TV show. Cultivated-ish, brand genius, CEO and activist in an instant.

“I never just walked around and said, ‘Hey, I’m pretty.’ For me, the energy is pretty. Confidence is pretty. It’s the way you behave and how you help people, ”says Saweetie. The 27-year-old star, née Diamonté Harper, is doing her best to “change what ‘pretty’ means” in her multi-faceted career. His upcoming debut album, Pretty bitch music, tracks more than 2 billion cumulative flows for singles like “Tap In”. “When I say ‘bitch’ in my music, I want my fans to know that it means something,” says the singer, explaining that she uses the word as an acronym for “Boss, Independent, Tough, CEO, Hyphy”.

Saweetie studied communications at the University of Southern California before one of her freestyle videos went viral on Instagram in 2017, propelling her into the limelight. Since then, his music has garnered more than two billion cumulative streams without even a full album being released yet.

I don’t want to just put my name on something and then post it. For greatness, I have to take my time – and I’m literally starting from zero ”

She knows timing is everything, however, and Saweetie was waiting to be recognized for her talents in a proper way before kicking the door on her next act, knowing intuitively that people are often scared of what she’s doing. they cannot understand. “As a woman – especially in hip-hop, and as a woman who had some notoriety before she exploded – I was often locked in as a model or Instagram girl,” she says. “People like to tag you when they’re unfamiliar.” She says the quarantine downtime may have attracted new fans to Saweetie’s world: “I think they finally understood and recognized me as an artist.”

Originally, Jolie BITCH Music was supposed to house songs all created before the pandemic. While some remain on the track list, Harper says she ended up replacing a lot because she “grew considerably in her 40s.” She adds that she has been “strategic” in capturing a wide range of emotions derived from “struggling with success, succeeding, having a good time, being stressed, being sad, having grief, coping and persevering.” .

The success she refers to goes beyond music. After collaborating with cosmetics company Morphe on a 2020 collection scheduled for festival season – which sold out, even despite a worldwide cancellation of live music events – Saweetie is now working on setting up her own makeup business. “I enjoy the springboard, but I like having my own thing,” she says. She was “a kind of speed dating” in search of the right business partner: “I look at the workmanship, the quality of the products and the aesthetics. Where will it be made and how will it be packaged? When I create a product, I want to make sure that when my consumers buy it, they get what they pay for.

Saweetie’s aunt, Whitney, who is part of her management team, has worked in the makeup industry and advises her closely. “I don’t want to just put my name on something and then post it, ”says Saweetie. “These things are available. But, for greatness, I have to take my time – and I’m literally starting from scratch. “

One day, she would like to create a complete fashion line. In the meantime, she takes care of the creation of the clothes and accessories that she sells. “I must have some merchandise that I would wear,” she said. “It doesn’t sound like the typical ‘slap the artist’s mark on a random t-shirt’.” His goal is for his brand, Icy, to “replace the Saweetie brand”, so that “anything that falls under that umbrella can stand on its own two feet.”

“I want to create a brand that my grandchildren and their great-grandchildren will lead, because I won’t be here forever,” she says.

Sports and games are other key areas for her: Saweetie grew up as a self-proclaimed tomboy, winning MVP titles in track and field and volleyball, and her grandfather played for the 49ers. She put that experience to good use this year by hosting the Saweetie Bowl, a taped competition between Patriots Snoop Dogg and Julian Edelman that raised $ 10,000 in donations for the Snoop Youth Football League, as part of a partnership. in progress with Xbox. Because she is so careful about her branding, Saweetie pays special attention to the companies with which she aligns. Her work with Xbox may have surprised many, but she has enjoyed playing since she was a child.

She and Xbox “currently have a couple [other] things in the barrel, ”she teases.

Of all his projects, what Saweetie is most proud of are his initiatives to give back. In 2021, she created the Icy Baby Foundation to “help low-income families, single mothers and children in neighborhoods who do not have access to education, as well as children with autism”. Two members of his family work with autistic children. “We have ties to this community, and this community is under-represented,” she says.

Her grandmother, who has a background in philanthropy, is the president; together, they have spent the last few months finding a partner and raising enough funds to meet the eligibility criteria to become an official nonprofit.

Saweetie started making Icy University videos last year, posting some very stylized YouTube clips of his teaching lessons like “How to Start Your Own Business,” “How to Make an 8-Digit Man”, “How to Be a pretty bitch “and” How to Recover from an F Boy. She sees these online classes as “super accessible” ways for her fans to connect with her.

She has also teamed up with Facebook to launch the next series of courses, which are expected to arrive this summer. Her goal is to someday teach in her alma mater. “I’m in talks with a teacher who has influenced me a lot,” says Saweetie. “We’re working on me to eventually teach a real class in a real college at USC. I am really excited about this.

Saweetie runs his own LLC and is currently working on the creation of several more. “A lot of times I fund my own products, business projects and ideas,” she says. “I invested my own money in the first four online courses at Icy University, which required glam, production and editing. I continue to grow and establish myself, but, because I like to control my narrative, I invest a lot of money in myself to bring my visions to life.

In her eyes, it is more important than ever for artists to be aware of branding, marketing and the economy. “Fans around the world are waiting for a new artist,” she said. “They are no longer interested in the mysterious celebrity. They want to know what you are eating, how you are feeling, what you are experiencing … When it comes to a true, authentic brand, you have to do a lot of soul searching to really understand what you are for. What are you trying to project? What is your message ? What is your mission? What are all these things that make this brand sensational? “

She encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to start small and at the first step. “My first step was music,” she says. “Music has finally opened the doors to acting and beauty offerings.” It also put her at the forefront of the scorching fashion week shows, “because all of these brands were playing my songs at their fashion shows. It is a slow process of progression of tones. It takes a foundation. “

Saweetie doesn’t consider herself an “established” artist yet, but says she will be at some point in the next five years. She expects the Icy brand to evolve by then as well and predict a future as a top woman. She got a recurring role on a TV show Cultivated-ish in 2021 and says that because of the skits she released during her forties, producers and directors have reached out.

“The philanthropy will be operational with the help of my grandmother. And that Saweetie the mogul – and the business model – will be noticed around the world, ”she said. “I’m not just an artist. I am literally a walking business model.


About Author

Leave A Reply