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06:03 LA

09:03 NYC

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PRADA MAMA

Straight Out the Y-O!

PRADA MAMA

Half Moon catches up with the rising star of Yonkers, NY

Curtis Ashley, Writer

Curtis Ashley

Writer

Updated

Now introducing the Princess of Yonkers, PRADA MAMA. Her pretty face and sweet demeanor are the perfect sheath for the lyrical onslaught that she is capable of unleashing. ‘BIG PRADA’, the debut studio album by PM, is still on the menu, following a 2021 release. With energy-driven, hater-shredding tracks such as “Trauma” or “Big Prada Freestyle”, there’s no surprise if you find yourself bumping her often.

Fortunately, there’s plenty more music dating further back for anyone who just cannot get enough of the Yonkers royalty. Some of PM’s social media posts place her in the studio, crafting new songs to reel us back in when we tread too far. Through her hard work, persistence, and unquestionable certainty that this is her calling, PRADA MAMA is breaking out of her core, and emerging as a new star. She took some time to come on down to the city to talk about some behind-the scenes, behind-the-artist kinds of details. If you’re looking to get to know PRADA, you have to meet MAMA, straight out the Y-O.

PRADA MAMA for Half Moon, by Curtis Ashley, at 368 Studios.
PRADA MAMA for Half Moon, by Curtis Ashley, at 368 Studios.
PRADA MAMA for Half Moon, by Curtis Ashley, at 368 Studios.

Before we start, what’s on your mind right now?

Half Moon

I’m chillin’. Nothing specific. Honestly, I’ll keep it a buck – we’re gonna keep all the way a buck in this interview – just the challenges of being an independent artist; having to deal with the lack of budget for all the creative ideas we want to execute. Also, how you maneuver in this industry sometimes. Me and my friend just had this convo – that’s what we do, we sit here and analyze ourselves, that’s how a real friendship is supposed to be. You don’t have “Yes Men” around you, you have people that are straight up gonna tell you where you were wrong, what you have to work on, stuff like that. We were just having this deep ass convo about where the line is between utilizing people and being entitled to things.

I don’t know, shit is weird. It’s something I’m still trying to figure out. Sometimes you can’t do this all on your own, but at the same time you gotta just work harder and hope that you put all the pieces together. That’s what I’m thinking about. You know, regular, personal growth conversations.

PRADA MAMA

I get it. Balancing out, making sure you’re not stepping on any toes. I respect it. I’d love to hear about your beginnings in music; some of your inspirations.

I think my earliest inspirations were growing up on MTV music videos, BET videos. I already knew that’s what I saw myself doing, and I was writing songs for as long as I could write. That’s really where it started from. 

Nice. What does making your music do for you? Is it therapeutic, just for the money?

My music is literally my purpose, my everything. What drives me is being passionate about what I do, and challenging myself to be the best artist, the realest artist I can be. For me, it’s just a personal journey. It’s something that I owe to myself, to grow, get better, as an artist and as a person.

Your first extended offering was the ‘BIG PRADA’ album. How was the experience making that project? What was that like, it being your first studio album, how you presented yourself to the world?

I feel like there was a lot of pressure. In my town, there was a lot of hype around the time I was dropping singles, before I had the project. I felt like, “I need this project to be a healthy first body of work,” and it definitely was. BIG PRADA, that shit is fire! I can say that with my chest. Everybody involved took their time with it, and it was just crazy seeing the whole thing unfold.

I was in a different place when I was making each song. Seeing the final product – I get goosebumps listening to my shit still, to this day. It motivates me; any time I have writer’s block, I just listen to my old shit and it reminds me who the fuck I am. That’s what I want all the listeners to feel, especially the girls. When you put on “Big Prada Freestyle,” that song is supposed to have you in your bag, period. 

We’ll get back to BIG PRADA, but keeping the ladies in mind, I want to segway into women in Hip-Hop. For instance, there’s a lot of talk about Ice Spice and her longevity. Do you think there’s still a “glass ceiling” that women have to break through in this industry, or is the presence undisputed by this point?

I feel like there's more longevity with the male artists, like, how old is Hov and he’s still dropping verses. I feel like the girls – which is so wack and I think is gonna change obviously because we have Nicki Minaj – they always end up in a different lane after they give rap however many years, over the span of however many albums.

About Ice Spice specifically, who can really judge how long she’s gonna be releasing music, how long she’s gonna be around. Especially now, this is the best time to be a female artist, to be honest, compared to how it was before.

I know I asked you this off camera, but have you called anyone a “munch” yet?

I definitely called some of my hoes a munch, or some potential hoes just to throw it out there, like where my head is at. I’m not gonna lie, shoutout to Ice Spice because I was not saying “munch” before that shit came out.

Getting back to BIG PRADA, there’s only one feature on the project. Do you enjoy working with other artists?

Yeah, that was on “Break Bread,” with Iman Nunez and Sco, two other fire ass artists from Y-O. It’s not that I’m not open to working with other artists, I just need to really establish my own sound before I start collabing with others. Just so it can be a smoother process. Also, I’ve been like, where the people I do work with, my producers, we just have really good chemistry. It is something I look forward to doing more.

There were a lot of people that worked on the album. Iman and Sco were featured on “Break Bread,” but all of the beats were cooked at home by other fire ass Yonkers producers. Iman executive produced the project. I’m always with the same people: Jesus, Scoop, Sav and Josh Nunez.

It was just, wow. That shit is really done and out. It’s crazy, like that’s really my first born.

And you’re still promoting it, right?

Pssh, I'm promoting that shit forever! We have a music video dropping; I’m still shooting videos for that project.

I see you in the stu on IG. Looking ahead, what’s in the works?

So I’ve definitely been brainstorming project number two, but I don’t want to limit myself to this one concept right now I’m just making music. Whatever ends up being a single is gonna be a single, what ends up making the project is gonna make the project.

Bet. So we can say in the fall/winter, you’ll be working on new music, new videos. Is there anything else fans can look forward to?

I’m dropping music videos; I’m dropping another single, I think that’s gonna be my next drop, it’s called, “Ritz Carlton,” executive produced by Pinky McCoy. We have Jesus on the beat, and that shit’s about to be a movie. I wanna drop videos for BIG PRADA, but also videos to unheard singles. That’s the plan.

Definitely looking forward to what you have on the way! You mentioned Pinky McCoy, and I’ve noticed that you come down to the city to perform at events of hers. Tell me about those nights, they look pretty lit.

They are so lit. My good sis, Pinky Motherfuckin’ McCoy; she is an executive producer, founder of Pink16 Club platform, which is really just a way to put women on. She throws events highlighting women, she throws shows with all-girl performances. She works with everybody but she mostly works with girls, that’s just who she’s really trying to put on the map.

Women need a platform too. Men have enough, they can go anywhere. I get that. Let’s get into social media. Back in the day, artists just went on tour and that was about it. Now, social media plays a big role in music careers. Do you like that about social media, all the aftercare, or would you just rather focus on creating music, putting it out, and that’s it?

Well, it was just different back then because I feel like artists were signed off their talent, but the artist development, all that was done by labels and other people. Now you have to build your own brand, really do everything yourself in order to gain leverage, and then be able to walk into a label meeting. I wish that more people would get opportunities off the quality of their work, rather than the numbers, but that’s how it is.

There is an advantage to it; we all have access to social media that’s a tool that we can all take advantage of. It has its pros and cons. It is what it is, right?

Right? Well that’s the digital world, but then there is still this physical world for artists to manifest in. What about touring, have you been able to take this act on the road?

That is like a dream of mine. I’m literally like, “Yo, this is the year we’re going on fucking tour.” I was supposed to go on tour with this one artist I did a feature for, right before the pandemic. That shit hit and it was just a dub. But no, I have not been on tour yet. That’s like a huge dream of mine. It’s gonna happen soon.

If you could go anywhere in the world – I mean anywhere, forget Europe and that “North American” tour – where would you go? Even just one performance.

I wanna do Rolling Loud. I wanna do SXSW. And obviously I want the Prada Gang tour. I am ready to tour. But just to travel to, I’d have to say Egypt, somewhere that’s very historically rich.

That sounds pretty dope, and you’re right, that time is coming. I want to change directions again by asking what are you grateful for?

I’m grateful for my ability to get myself out of any type of depressive state. It takes a lot of mental strength to do that, especially when you’re very emotional, and sometimes our emotions get the best of us. But that’s definitely a strength I have, that I guess every human being has if they really wanna get out of whatever they’re going through. That’s one thing about myself that I’m grateful for.

I don’t know how I do it to be honest. It takes a while though, a lot of inner work. I feel like whenever I’m going through something, everything is put on pause until I get right. I’m not one of those people that can just ignore whatever depression or anxiety they’re going through and just keep it pushing, I’m not like that. I like to deal with things head on and then I’m done, until I get to the fucking bag, until it comes again and that’s just how life is. It’s an ongoing battle.

But that’s really one of my greatest gifts, and just being aware of myself; emotional awareness.

Do you meditate?

Pfft, meditate? I don’t, I smoke weed. I don’t meditate, I should though. There’s a lot of things I should do. Max and I were just having this convo that we need to go to therapy.

What else am I grateful for? It’s a lot of things that I’m grateful for. I’m grateful for my friends and family, the genuine people in my life that love me, and I love them. I’m grateful for being able to make music whenever I want, whenever I feel like it. These are good questions to ask yourself sometimes, you gotta remember what you’re grateful for, it’s a lot.


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