Zoom Date: Saweetie on Her New Project 'Pretty Bitch Music' and Quarantine Beauty Routine

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

The past three years have been a whirlwind for Saweetie, to say the least. The Bay Area-born rapper’s 2017 hit “Icy Grl”—a sample of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)”—put her on the fast track to superstardom. In 2018, she released her first major-label debut High Maintenance. And in 2019, she put out her sophomore project Icy. The EP’s standout track “My Type” has racked up 89 million views and counting on YouTube. With Platinum plaques under her belt, brand deals on her resume, and over seven million monthly listeners on Spotify, there’s no stopping Saweetie.

How are you doing in light of everything going on?

How am I doing? I'm doing great. I'm a homebody. So, I love being at home. I love working. You know, when we weren’t in quarantine, I was on flights almost every day and that really takes a toll on your body. So, I'm just really thankful for this time to spend at home and work.

So, what has a typical day been like for you at home?

I have become an early bird. I feel like people were staying up until like four to five in the morning at the beginning of quarantine and then we all kind of got used to our schedules. I realized I can't be doing that because I was waking up at one. And then, you know, half the day is gone. So, I started getting up early.

So, I get up at 8 a.m. I play Afrobeat music because it makes me so happy. I love WizKid. I love Burna Boy. It just gets the vibes going in the morning. I'll make some coffee. I'll make some oatmeal or I'll have some donuts. Then, my team comes over it and we work. We can end around 3 p.m or we can end around 1 a.m. It really just depends on the content and what we have to take care of.

Throughout quarantine, you’ve still been serving beauty looks. What are some of your favorite makeup products recently that you've been using on a daily basis?

Oh, in the beginning, I was playing with my Morphe palette a lot and I made clouds on my face. It took me like three hours to do. But, it was fun and a lot of people thought I had a filter on my face. So, I think that's one of my proudest makeup moments.

Are there any other products you like to use on a regular basis?

Girl, I love lip gloss. I am obsessed with lip gloss. Before my Zooms, I put on some lip gloss. But, I'm not really a lipstick girl. It has to be a really special occasion. If I do, I wear a mauve or brown color, but I'm not really like a bright lip girl.

What's your skincare routine been looking like these days?

Well, I wash my face every morning and every night. I use lighter products in the morning and then heavier products at night, like night creams. But, I just ended my cycle and I always break out. I know that I'm about to start my cycle because I get like three nasty ass pimples on my face. Like, they're really big. So, something that I really love during this time is Neutrogena's Acne Toner ($7) and Sunday Riley's U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil ($80). I put it on top of my pimples, it never fails.

Where do you find inspiration for your nails, your hair, and your makeup?

When you do have downtime from work, what do you like to do for self-care and to take care of your mental health?

I go to sleep, girl. Whenever I have so much to do, sometimes I need to go to sleep. Especially when I was in college, if I had a to-do list and I looked at it and it stressed me out, I just went to sleep.

I also wanted to talk to you about the injustices happening in our community. What are some ways you've been trying to use your platform as a Black artist to push for change and make people take action?

So, two things: I feel like action is really important. And I actually started posting when I can take action because I'm the type of person where I need to have action behind my words. So, I donated all proceeds from my PrettyLittleThing collaboration, specifically from my collection, to a foundation to help with social injustices. Also, I will be participating in “Rock the Vote” this year. So, I'm just excited because the more I learn, the more I become passionate about making change. So, I think it just comes down to self-education and just realizing the difference you can make with a platform. I feel like the more I educate my friends, my family, and my followers, I feel I'm slowly taking steps on helping with that change.

Continuing to educate ourselves and the people around us is so important. So, let’s also get into this music. What inspired the title for your project “Pretty Bitch Music?"

So, for me, my fans always tell me I make them feel like a bad bitch. I make them feel pretty. I make them want to get dressed. And, I love that I inspire them to want to look their best.

I feel like I make pretty girl music, pretty bitch music, whatever you want to call it. And all my fans look different and they talk to me and say ‘Oh, we wish we looked like this.’ But, I’m like, no, you should be proud of your own skin. So, I kind of wanted to give that power back to my fans.

Like, what is your pretty? What makes you pretty? Because if we all looked alike, then our own value of beauty wouldn't matter. So, I feel you should be proud of your skin, your culture, and where you come from.

And then when it comes to bitch, I really love Tupac. So, he inspired me to make an acronym behind bitch. So the B means bossy. I means independent. T means tough. C is CEO because, you know, I run my shit. The H is hyphy because I'm from the bay.

With your music, I continue to see you grow with each record. How do you feel like Pretty Bitch Music stands out from your other two projects that you've dropped?

I was super hands-on because I had the time to, so I co-produced a lot of the tracks. I really had time to sit and fix lyrics that I wasn't happy with. As a new artist, especially when you're developing at the rate that I did, I was pressured to just release music even though I felt like I wasn't ready.

So, I feel like this past year, people said I took a hiatus. I don't feel like I did. I just felt like I just went the traditional route of trying to have some artist development. So, I'm just excited to continue to grow because I know I have a lot of room for improvement.

I'm so excited for you as well. We talked about how your music is for the girls. It's about empowerment and making us feel amazing. Who are some of the female rappers that you would love to collaborate with? Can we expect any female collaborations on this upcoming project?

Right now, I have a long list, so I haven't confirmed all my songs yet, but I do have some collaborations that can make the project. But, a song that I really love right now is "Pussy Talk" by City Girls. I play "Tap In" and "Pussy Talk" every morning and it just makes me feel like such a bad bitch and I love what they talk about. So, those are definitely some girls that I put on my playlist.

Outside of music, what have you been doing during quarantine? Any hobbies you've picked up?

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