Essyonna Explains How She Landed Two Drake Videos And Launched Her Music Career

November 15, 2023

Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!

Essyonna is a whole vibe! You most likely know her for her modeling career and lead roles in huge music videos such as,  Drake videos: “POPSTAR” featuring Justin Bieber and “Falling Back” — but now, she’s ready to share her artistry with the world once and for all.

Hailing from a small town in Minnesota, Essyonna made the bold decision to move to Los Angeles solo at 18 years old. Originally going to school for nursing, she’d always known her true passion was  music, which was first sparked by her ability to play the violin at the young age of 4. Her sound can be described as eclectic, unique and diverse, with the ability to both sing, rap and play the violin at any given moment.

In describing herself, Essyonna states she’s “the most serious, unserious person you’ll ever meet in your life. I’m a shapeshifter.” [laughs] Because everyone always says ‘You have such an interesting personality. You seem so humble, hard working and calm.’ Oh no, I’m a book with a lot of pages forreal. My personality and appearance can go this way and that way,  but you’ll always be entertained and inspired.

Most recently, Essyonna unveiled another highly-anticipated video for “Hate,” which she deems one of the most fun and easiest songs she’s ever recorded. The visual was shot during her recent trip to Japan, one of her favorite places in the world.

AllHipHop spoke with Essyonna in downtown Los Angeles, who had been locked in the lab all day recording. Read below as we discuss her roots in Minnesota, favorite artists, new single “Hate,” how she landed lead roles in the Drake videos, goals, and more!

AllHipHop: Talk about being from a small town in Minnesota.

Essyonna: It’s interesting. I’m from the suburbs, the outskirts of the main city so it’s extremely sheltered . Everybody’s very small-minded. Country lifestyle, everyone knows everything about everyone vibe[laughs]. When I moved here by myself, when I was 18-19, it was a big difference. Ezoic

AllHipHop: What made you move?

Essyonna: Music. I just left college in Fresno where I was in school to become a nurse anesthetist. That’s where I started my journey in California. I was there for a while, a couple months. I’m like, this is not for me. I want to do what I want to do, I just left and I never went back. 

AllHipHop: Were you scared? 

Essyonna: Oh yeah, it was very interesting. But I met a lot of people along the way. I knew nobody. Because at that time, I was still very sheltered and introverted, not super into social media. At the time I was just recording for fun in some random little studio in Fresno. I play the violin, so that was always my outlet into music. When I came here, I really started moving and building my platforms and fanbase. Meeting people definitely is a big thing, it changed my life out here. Because the right people and having the right close-knit circle definitely can make the biggest difference. I definitely needed that.

AllHipHop: Were there certain artists that made you want to do music?

Essyonna: As a kid, definitely Avril Lavigne, Erykah Badu ,Tupac ,and Beyoncé of course. I definitely watched a lot of music videos I wasn’t supposed to be watching. [laughs] I listened to a lot of 50 Cent, all that stuff. That was my start. When I got really into music, definitely now Doja Cat. A lot of eclectic, unique, very true to themselves artists inspire me. A lot of underground artists too, I listen to Destroy Lonely, Veeze, Ken Karson, stuff like that. My taste is all over, but definitely Doja Cat. She’s someone that I always love her music and her career path.

AllHipHop: You’re talking your s### on “Hate,” what inspired this record?

Essyonna: I was mad about stuff. [laughs] When I get in the zone, especially about something that really relates to my life really really really deeply, I gotta lay it down now. A few situations and people in my life at the time had me mad frustrated, so I was like let me make an extremely rappy song about it. And we did. Me and my team got in one day and we went in. It was so fun. It was one of my easiest songs I ever recorded. I love to rap though. I love to sing because of the beautiful notes, and emotions it can bring. But rapping is so fun to get my personality off.

AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?

Essyonna: My bong. [laughs] Everybody makes fun of me, they call me Billy Bong Thornton. It goes everywhere with me. Definitely, I’m usually in sweats or oversized pants. Because it be cold, and a hoodie usually. And snacks. Lots of snacks, Veggie Straws. A lot of Veggie Straws and coconut water. I drink a lot of coconut water.

AllHipHop: What Drake videos were you in?

Essyonna: I did the one with Justin Bieber, I was bald with red hair. Then I did “Falling Back” with all the wives. I went to Toronto. It was really fun. The girls were amazing, the experience was one-of-the-kind. Everyone was so nice. It was a blessing.

AllHipHop: Was Drake cool? 

Essyonna: It was a huge three day set, everyone was welcoming and professional. It was definitely a super fun professional experience.

AllHipHop: How’d the opportunity come about?

Essyonna: I’m blessed to have met a lot of beautiful people along the way. Director X, he’s great. He has hired me for different modeling/ acting jobs, also Hype Williams. They have hired me for jobs. I’ve done multiple videos for them, I did a Puma campaign for Hype. A lot of different things. They’ve been so kind to consider me for a lot of roles over the years, and always hire me when they thought it was a perfect fit. I’m always so grateful for the opportunities! 

AllHipHop: Did that spark you to do more modeling?

Essyonna: No, Hype definitely was one of the people that got me into modeling the most. Because that’s when I did my first music video, which was back in 2019/2020. It was Young Thug and A Boogie. It was for Hype.I ended up being the only girl in the video. [laughs] but it was a great experience. That definitely got me into modeling but then I stopped full time modeling within the last year. The last one I did was the Drake ‘falling back’ video, that’s it for me now, it’s just my music for me now! [laughs]

AllHipHop: What’s something fans may not know about you?

Essyonna: I have a lot of layers. Everybody always assumes I’m so put together and confident at all times which I am. I love myself alot. [laughs] But I ‘m very much like everybody else. I cry, I have bad days and good days, there are lots of things that I struggle with in life just like everyone else. I’m human and I enjoy the journey of the human experience, I’m not immune to real life s### just like everyone else is.

AllHipHop: I’m sure music helps?

Essyonna: Oh yeah, outlet for sure. 100%, every day.

AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?

Essyonna: Definitely keep growing and sharing my music.I have so much fire stuff coming! Also to always stay true to everything that I see for the vision. Granted, take account of all the advice and beautiful things people tell me along the way. But don’t let all the wild exterior things that will come along, or that have come along affect the whole vision and the art.  And what I know in my heart I want for myself and my music, because that can easily happen and I’ve seen it happen. I’m really excited to share my art with the world.


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