Since it’s inception, Tik Tok has become a social media app to rival competitors like Twitter and Instagram—a success story driven largely by the platform’s appeal to young Black creatives who have the uncanny ability to simply make people dance. To date, the app has helped a number of talented new and rising entertainers fast-track their music careers, as Tik Tok users continuously use the app to create dance challenges featuring choreography inspired by the artists’ latest songs. Eventually, each of the dance challenges soon make their way to other social media apps, leading them to become an almost-instant viral sensation.
From the #SavageChallenge to the #BussItChallenge, the ability of young Black creatives to help take songs and artists to the top of every playlist—and even to the Billboard charts on occasion—by creating these dance challenges using the Tik Tok app is undeniable.
Rapper Coi Leray is one artist who is living proof.
“My label is happy, my fans are happy and the world is starting to know me for me and who I am as an artist,” Coi Leray tells ESSENCE. “It feels like I am getting closer to being a major… superstar.” The 23-year-old’s song, “No More Parties” was released at the end of January and quickly began to circulate on Tik Tok and syndicated radio. Shortly after, Leray teamed up with fellow rapper Lil Durk to add a feature verse to the track, leading it to debut at No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 (currently, the song sits at No.26 and was recently certified gold). Not long after, the young entertainer had all eyes on her yet again at the end of March when she released a joint track with rapper Pooh Shiesty titled, “Big Prdd,”.
Beyond the music, Leray’s personality is one that draws fans in naturally. From funny videos posted on her Instagram page, to her cooking show on Youtube, to championing her body against Internet trolls, she says this has always been who she is, unapologetically. “It feels good that I… have so much for people to look at,” she added. “I love content.:”
Check out the full interview below between Coi Leray and ESSENCE Associate Fashion Editor Nandi Howard.
Video Producer: Tiffani DuPree