Maxim Meyer-Horn

29 Nov

Interview Pineappleciti: “There Hasn’t Been a Hip-Hop Artist like Me”

All the way from New Jersey, PineappleCITI is taking her shot at world domination. The upcoming female rapper went viral in 2016, but signed her first major label deal only recently. Red Bull Records fell in love with her talent and is ready to kick off a new stage in her career. We had a little conversation with her and we feel that big things are coming soon. Her latest single “Recognize” is only the start.

You must be crazy excited because you just scored your first big record deal. In what way do you think it’s an advantage to be signed to a big label?

This is a super exciting time for me. I think the advantage comes from the amount of support I have in executing my vision. It feels good to have an entire corporation believing in what I have to offer.

Your first release with Red Bull Records is called “Recognize”. What’s the song about?

“Recognize” is really about my life story and how much hardship I faced while following my dreams. From my car accident to being turned down from labels, I’ve encountered so many downfalls, some might say I shouldn’t be here. No matter what I’ve been through, I made it to this point. I had to trust myself. But it’s important to note that before they recognize you, you have to believe you are worth the recognition. I thought it was an important piece of music to share with my fans who in their own way might have dealt with challenges along their journey.

In 2016 you were involved in a near-fatal crash. Did that experience change your perspective on life?

Man, that car accident is the whole reason I’m here today. I shouldn’t be alive, let alone walking. I spent two years unable to walk unassisted. God wanted me to slow down, to plan out my life and to follow his word. Before the accident, I was a totally different person: more afraid, less authentic. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. God gave me a second chance at living, so that I would be able to share my purpose with the world. There’s somebody out there that needs the encouragement and the motivation I am now able to give; because I got up from my lowest point and survived. Now, I’m living testimony. And for that reason alone, I can never ever let fear dictate my life or my decision-making ever again.

We know you don’t limit yourself to only singing or rapping, because you do both, but is there a (musical) secret of yours we don’t know about?

A musical secret that no one knows about is that I love watching musicals and I always sing along. Back in high school, I was in a choir where we went around the country singing medleys of different musicals. I never had any major roles or big parts, but that’s actually where I started to get the confidence to sing in the first place. I also learned to play recorder in 4th grade.

Before you started to gain success with your own music, you wrote songs for other artists. When did you realize you wanted to sing songs yourself?

Some songs just sound like me. The songs I wrote for Kelly Rowland or for Twista were made for them. When writing for someone else, a lot of times I try to put myself in their shoes and speak from their point of view. Other times, I write something and it just feels like too much of me is in it to give it away. There’s a balance to songwriting that I have come to love. It for sure has made me a better artist because it allows me to stretch my boundaries.

Earlier this year, you released your first album. What do you want people to know before and after listening to the album?

I want people to know I’m here, I’m real, I’m authentic and I’m willing to share my journey with you. There hasn’t been a hip-hop artist like me telling my story from my point of view before, yet it’s so relatable. I’m young, black, gay, and a little disabled, but all of those adjectives fly out the window when you press play. I’m just a person with good music that touches your soul. I hope you dive in headfirst and never look back.

On neonBLUE, you don’t have any collabs. Who do you want to work with in the future?

J Cole, Rihanna, JID, Buddy, WS Boogie, Ari Lennox, Drake, D’Angelo, Kanye, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Earthgang, Andre 3000, SZA. The list goes on …

The one and only badgal Rihanna follows you on Instagram. What went through your head when you saw that notification?

Honestly, I almost passed out. Been a fan of her music forever, so for her to even take the time to press follow is a dream come true. I think in the next few years, if not already, will be crowning her as the GOAT she is — not only for what she’s doing in the music industry, but in fashion, and in the women’s empowerment movement. I know we’ll do something great in the future. She’s a legend beyond her years.

When can we expect more new music from you?

Faster than you can say, “pineappleCITI is my new favorite artist of all time”.

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