Not many people can enter into the music industry and collaborate with Missy Elliot right off the bat. But Bree Runway? She did that. Known for undeniably catchy singles like "Hot Hot" and "ATM", the rapper and pop artist discovered her potential during her school days and signed to her first record label back in 2018, and she's been just the disruptive pop star that the music industry has needed ever since. Nominated for a MOBO award this year for Best Female Act, she's also announced her biggest headline tour to date, and we're expecting pretty big things. We caught up with Bree to chat about how she got started and her burgeoning friendship with TikTok star Pinkpantheress.
"Starting from primary school, I would make girl groups, and I'd always be the leader, the stylist, the everything in the group, and I'd get my mum to make all the clothes," the singer told POPSUGAR, adding that "I discovered I had a voice through doing mini concerts for aunties in the living room because everyone would be like, 'Brenda you can really sing.'" Runway went from performing mini concerts in her living room to studying music tech at secondary school, where she learned to make beats and record herself singing at the same time.
"Water your own grass, and make it as green and amazing as possible."
"I then transitioned into making short videos for social media, and one of them went viral — like super viral: it got 50 million views or something like that," the singer explained. As someone who, at the time, was happy to get even 100 retweets, the viral nature of her video encouraged Runway to consider if she should be putting out her own music. "I put a project together called RNWY 01 — it got 30,000 streams, and I was so happy because I'd never experienced something like that before. After my first project, I made another, went on a mini hiatus, and then I ended up in Berlin, and I tried to figure out my sound with a few producers. When I came back, everything went forward from there," she said.
Speaking of figuring out her sound, Runway's recently become pretty close friends with up-and-coming TikTok star PinkPantheress, and it certainly feels like a collaboration is on the cards. "I threatened her the other day, and I said, if she removes 'this is a Bree Runway stan account' out of her TikTok bio, I'm going to kill her. But we're besties really," Runway confirmed.
When it comes to what she wants to be known for, Bree Runway wants people to know that she's not here to be a photocopy of anybody else: she truly is an individual. "I'm a strong believer in originality and a strong believer in the idea that the underdog will always have an amazing story in the end. I feel like it's important [to know] that if you feel like you have something special inside you, please nurture it and please water it. Don't try to look at everything else that's happening around you and water your own grass and make it as green and amazing as possible. That's one thing I want people to take away."