rap star who pushes the limits with a best friend in Cardi B

It’s safe to say that Glorilla is one of the hottest rappers around. The artist – born Gloria Hallelujah Wood – currently only has a handful of singles to her name, but she’s already rubbing elbows with the big dogs: She teamed up with Atlanta’s Latto for the lively ‘FNF (Remix)’ and, most recently, superstar Cardi B in “Tomorrow 2.” The latter is a peppy, high-octane remix of Glorilla’s track of the same name, and earlier this month skyrocketed to the Top 10 of the Billboard 100 chart in the United States, making it a real watershed moment for this fast rising star. .

Growing up in Memphis, Glorilla hails from a place rich in hip-hop history; it was there that she met her mentor, multi-platinum rapper Yo Gotti, whose “Cocaine Muzik” mixtape is widely known in the southern states of the United States. But throughout Glorilla’s early life, there were tensions between the church community she was raised in and the attitude of the “neighborhood pass” area she lived in, she tells NME today.

As a teenager, she listened to both gospel music and Chief Keef, the artist who pioneered drill music on the streets of Chicago in the early 2010s. his own bars after school, which gave him the confidence to follow his dynamic and playful vision of rap.

Newly signed to prolific Memphis label CMG – home to big names in the scene such as Blac Youngsta and Moneybagg Yo – Glorilla is set to release her debut EP, “Anyways, Life’s Great” on November 11. A hotel room in London, she remains tight-lipped about the release, but teases that the project is “emotional, as well as hyper”, and that it includes her “strongest tracks to date”.

With new music on the way and “Tomorrow 2” still comfortably perched near the top of the charts, it’s safe to say the church girl has nailed it. “If I say something is possible, then it is possible,” she says.

You’ve become close with Cardi B over the past year. What was it like working with her on “Tomorrow 2”?

“I don’t have a lot of friends, and I’m just easy to deal with. Cardi is my cousin. I was so happy and excited during the whole creative process. Cardi is such a sweet soul and has such a genuine heart, and we come from a similar background, so it was easy to connect. And it was crazy when [‘Tomorrow 2’] hit the cards. I said to myself: ‘Ah! Nobody knew about me a few months ago!

Cardi DMed you when “FNF” started exploding online. How did you react ?

“I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ I had just gotten off the plane in New York, and I was at baggage claim and she texted me, almost like she saw that I had landed in the city. music to Cardi since I started rapping, and I tried for so long to get her to watch my music, but then she ended up listening and liking my music, to the point where she was like : ‘I already did my verse for ‘Tomorrow 2’, before I heard anything else from her. I love Cardi.”

“Chief Keef really influenced me. He’s young, touring and gangsta’ – and that’s how my music is”

What does your relationship with Yo Gotti and CMG Records mean to you?

“[Yo Gotti and I], we come from the same place in Memphis, so our connection is really like a cultural thing. I went to a few [major] label meetings, but they didn’t understand me. I listened to them but none of them made me say ‘Oh! I want to do that’. But when I linked with Gotti, he made sure I understood him.

“When I first met Gotti, I met him on a yacht in Miami. He was telling me he believed in me past [the viral success of] ‘FNF’. Everyone else I was going with, they just wanted to sign me after one song. But Gotti liked my story and the rest of my music. There was something special there, I felt it.

Your next EP, “Anyway, Life’s Great”, will be released via the label. What does this new project represent for you?

“I think people are going to love it. I have catchy songs there, but I also talk to my people there. There are songs about… the pain — well, I’m not going to say the pain because the only difference between the past me and who I am now is that I have money now. I feel like I’m the same person, but [musically] I found my sound. When I’m in the car with my manager and they start playing my old music, I tell them, “Turn it off!”

Credit: Derek Blank

You grew up listening to exercise pioneer Chief Keef. What do you continue to find so inspiring about him?

“Chief Keef is the person who really influenced me. He’s young, twirling and gangsta – and that’s kind of what my music sounds like. I feel like a female version of Chief Keef. I have faith. I joined Chief Keef in high school. In 2012, [when Chief Keef blew up]I stayed with my mother and she wouldn’t let us listen [music] like that. The first song I heard from him was in ninth grade, and we had a project where we had to recreate sketches, and these guys had pieced together the video for [2013 hit] ‘Now it’s over’. They played it and I was like, “I love this song! then I searched for all his songs.

“Chief Keef came out around the time I started going to school because before that I was homeschooled so all I knew was church music. I was in church but at the same time I was from a real ratchet neighborhood We would go to church but when we went out afterwards all the bad kids would get together In sixth grade I was just behaving hurt because I didn’t know how to act. My environment was divided between going to church and then going to the extremely disadvantaged schools.

Do you feel like you’ve found your artist voice now?

“I instilled in my head that anything I can do, I can do. I want to be the Beyoncé of my time – not just rap, but music in general. I don’t know anyone better than Beyoncé, just because I love her so much. I know people are sick of me talking about Beyoncé because they’ve heard me talk about her a million times. But she had a big impact on my music and I want to follow her.

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