20-year-old Harlem native singer/rapper Melii is becoming the talk of the music industry and her viral hit single “Icey,” is everywhere. The track clocks in at two minutes and thirty second, full of aggression, slick talk and sassy Uptown bravado. The versatile MC gives us a taste of her heritage letting her heavy accent cut through the track rapping in Spanish. Her chorus repeats “These Bitches Don’t Like Me, They Just Mad cause they man, keep me Icey.” With Rihanna jamming to her hit while showing off her Fenty Beauty products, it’s safe to say Melii has all the co-sign she needs to become the next big female rapper to burst onto the scene.
The 20-year old NYC native inked a deal with Interscope after her remix of Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” became a viral hit. On YouTube, the cover has close to two million views, with subsequent video release “Ballin” approaching 300,000 views. “Ballin” finds her showing off her singing chops, the follow up to early single “No Simple Chick,”and a prelude to the breakout hit that is “Icey.”
While talking to DJ Booth on a over the phone interview she spoke on her new found success she said: “That’s actually dope,” Melii says in regards to blowing up off remixes. “I have my own music, but just remixing and showing people like, ‘Hey, I can take this song and turn it into my own,’ that was always a good trait that I had. It’s definitely cool that people could relate to the remixes, and then they’re like, ‘Okay, let’s check her music,’ and they get to see the originality that I have.”
“Every song on the project, or that I put out [separately], is actually a true story,” she continues. “It’s me telling my story through my music, and people are gonna learn more about me.”
Part of that story involves Meliibringing Spanish into a majority of her music—both remixes and solo work. “I feel like it was important because, just in general, I grew up in Harlem so that made it big,” she tells DJ Booth. “Usually the English music is remixed a lot in trap. So it’s important to do both because I know these people and I know what they like, and me myself, I listen to both Spanish trap and English.”
When DJ Booth asks her how she moves so seamlessly between intimate and vulnerable ballads and more cutting tracks, she reminds him, “I mean, the project is called Phases for a reason.” Her newest single, “Charlie’s Line,” premiered exclusively on DJBooth. “It’s not a back-and-forth for me, it’s just venting on a beat. It’s me speaking to my fans through music.”