Slidin’ Thru: Summerella

October 22, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Summerella is here to bless the masses with her one-of-a-kind charm, personality, and now breathtaking voice. Starting off in the social media space on Vine and establishing an extremely strong fan base through pure authenticity and just being herself, the Atlanta native is ready to showcase her talents as a singer-songwriter in this new era of R&Bass. Read more…

Summerella refuses to call her followers fans, she calls them supporters. Linking with Jacquees on her already buzzing single, “Pull Up,” was the cherry on top.

For those who don’t know, who is Summerella?
Summerella is a goofy, funny, loveable, sweet young lady. She’s 23 years old, and she’s the bomb.com. [laughs]

How would you describe your sound?
I would say the R&B Beyonce, not the rap Beyonce. I love Kehlani’s music. Who else? Omg, Tierra Whack. Have you heard of her?

The one minute songs? She’s so fire!
That makes me so mad, ‘cause she’s so lit. I would say those.

You’re from Atlanta, how does that play into your life and career?
I feel like when people find out I’m from Atlanta, they usually automatically know that I have Southern hospitality. That humility thing, I make you feel like you’re at home with your girl. It makes it easier. ‘Cause you get caught into a lot of attitudes down here though. Like our Uber driver, omg. I don’t think he even greeted us. He didn’t even say anything. He made us get out and get our bags out of the trunk. I’m like, “Okay sir, one star for you” And no tip.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s important because there is so much more opportunity out in LA. There’s more music studios, people you can work with, producers. I would say Atlanta don’t have as much as LA. I feel like I should move down here, period.

I love ATL because everyone dances. They like to have a good time.
Yeah, I don’t know if I would wanna move here, but I definitely want a place. I won’t have to keep staying at the hotels. It’ll be one of my cribs, 1 in every state.

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
When I started having concerts and people started singing along to my songs. I’m just like “wow, this is serious. People really listen to me.” Moments like that make me realize I gotta get on the grind. I am trying to be the next… nah, I can’t even say that. Well, you know how Beyhive is. Any R&B singer wants to be Beyonce ‘cause she works so hard. Her craft is so perfect. I would definitely say Beyonce. I am trying to be up there on her level.

Summer is your real name. Is “ella” for Cinderella?
Yeah, that’s my favorite movie! Summer is like the season, that’s why I named myself Summerella. About 3 years ago, I picked that up. Cinderella with Brandy is my favorite movie, so I just added the “ella” in back of Summer.

Can you talk about how you got your start? How you so poppin?
So it started on Vine. They deleted the app. People wasn’t getting on it like that. But it all started on Vine, like the 6 second videos. This was before Instagram even had videos. Then I graduated and moved to Instagram, and that’s when I started building my followers up. Now, I have 3 million followers in 3 years.

Was there strategy behind this?
No strategy. The key really was just be consistent. Posting every day, keeping those supporters active. Because I feel like there’s somebody new every day, so we gotta keep them satisfied. Vine did it for me. I miss it, don’t you miss Vine?

Was it hard to transition from social media star to being taken seriously as an artist?
No, not really. My supporters, I feel like they take me serious because they grew up with me. My first single was on Vine. I was just freestyling on the video. It was actually 11 something at night. I got my piano and just started freestyling on the piano, and everyone was like, “Omg, you should make a single.” I made my first song, “11 Something,” and it went to #4 on Billboard.

I feel like they take me seriously because they know I’m not just an artist. I’ve never been known as just an artist, because I came up from just being a personality and being that goofy girl. So I’m just a goofy girl with talent.

What’s been the best part?
The best part is just helping people through situations that they may be going through. ‘Cause I write off things that I went through or I write about things that people go through around me. I feel like with my songs, I can help people out with the problems in their life. That’s the best thing.

Your single with Jacquees is at already over 3 million views. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
Actually, I can’t even say I didn’t. Because I made “Pull Up” at least a year or 2 before Jacquees got on it, and it already had at least 10 million plays on the song by itself. People were already begging for a video back then, so since Jacquees got on it and he’s featured in it, it just made them want it even more. They been waiting on the video for 2 years since it’s been a song. I can’t even say I am surprised, they showed out.

Talk about working with him, was it done in the studio?
No, we didn’t even get a chance to record it together, but I met him multiple times. He’s super cool, down to earth, real chill. I feel like he’s not one of those celebrities that try to make himself feel like he’s so big, you know? He’s super chill. He’s dope. We shot it in Atlanta. In the A! I’ma shoot my next video out here though.

You recently released your First Day Of Summer EP. What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Well. I would say the First Day Of Summer EP is not really a story. It’s me just stepping my foot into the real world of music. That was my first project, my first time writing songs, first time everything. That project was just to get their feet hot. With the next project, it’s gonna be like “oh snap.” It’s gonna have a story. It’s gonna make sense. This is just an intro.

What is your take on the music industry?
I don’t know, ‘cause I am a newbie. I’m a new artist. I haven’t seen too much. What I have seen so far is super cool. But there is a lot of fakeness in the industry, period. So far, I’ve dealt with a lot of issues already. But that’s why you gotta keep your circle small, so you don’t have to deal with that. Lots of egos.

What are some goals for yourself as an artist? Are you looking to get signed?
Actually, I don’t wanna get signed, unless they are talking a good ole’ contract and shmoney. But I would say getting a Grammy. Yeah, getting a Grammy.

How important is social media for your career?
Social media is my career. Without the social media, I wouldn’t have anything. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Instagram, Vine, all that. ‘Cause when artists don’t have a following and they are super talented, it’s harder for them to get up there. I’m super blessed with my platform and what I can do with it. Because without the followers, where is your music gonna go?

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Acting, in movies. Actually, I’m gonna be doing both… at the same damn time. [Future voice] Recently, I just came out with my own short film. It’s called First Day of Summer, to promote my EP. It’s not out yet, but it is my first time acting. It was basically a mini-movie, so I am super excited about that. I would definitely say acting though, that was my first dream. I used to see myself being the next Raven Symone — but not that actual Raven Symone. You know That’s So Raven? I always wanted my own show like her. She’s dope.

3 things you need in the studio?
I would say snacks, a blanket, and I guess water. My mommy be making me drink water. She be like, “Your throat sounds dry.” I’m like, “But I don’t need a water!”

Mother: I am actually her vocal producer, so I produce all of her vocals. That’s where she kind of gets that from. [hair flip]

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
If I make myself go out, I would say it’s super fun. Wherever I go, all my supporters recognize me. Sometimes, my mom or sister will have to step in like, “Okay, you guys gotta back up a little bit.” Because they will basically tackle me. It gets crazy, but it’s definitely cool. It’s never overwhelming to me, but it always surprises me that people recognize me and want to take a picture.

Is it more popping in Atlanta than LA?
You know what, it’s both. At the airport, they’ll be like “Welcome to… hey, I follow you on instagram!” I’m like “heyyyyy.” It’s cool. I had a lot of people recognize me out here just by getting in the Uber. They’ll be like “Summerella!” I’m like “oh, hey girl!” It’s real dope.

How’s the fame as it gets more intimate? How is it treating you?
I would say it’s cool, but it gets scary. Because I had a stalker, it wasn’t good, He tried to get into my hotel room. He slept at my sister’s job to get to me. He bought me a ring. He sends me videos of him playing with himself.

That’s wild. Did you get a restraining order?
Yeah girl. It’s crazy. I mean we contacted the police, but they said they can’t do anything until he physically touches me. I’m like “what, you want me dead? It’s messed up.

What did you do with your first advance or check?
[Laughs]. I would say a house, for me and my family.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Drake. I fucks with Drake. I feel like everyone does. If you don’t something is wrong with you like come on. That’s the one person I wanna do a collab with is Drake.

That was my next question, dream collab?
Drake or Beyonce. I feel like Drake is the male Beyonce. All my people be like “don’t you ever say that again in your life,” but it’s so true!

What advice do you have for an aspiring Summerella?
I would say just being yourself is gonna get you real far. Don’t try to be like nobody else, be yourself. Stay consistent. Show people you are working and pray. Just pray.

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