Hackney born and raised, rap artist and singer Bree Runway is a force to be reckoned with. In a few short years Bree has amassed a loyal following of her ‘runwayz’, this London native has been hustling hard from the get-go. Bree went viral early on in her career, earning an insane amount of views and re-shares. Her critically acclaimed music has put this Missy Elliott-approved rising star on the map. But don’t get it twisted, Bree isn’t just another pop singer or one-hit-wonder. In her dynamic music, which is all genres all at once, Bree tackles difficult issues that those in the music industry are often too scared to talk about (such as colourism). During her teenage years Bree experienced relentless bullying, all of which informs her song writing and makes her the incredible artist she is. Miss Runway has been honing her craft, developing her sound, and serving us iconic looks since 2016. We were lucky enough at LAPP to catch up with Bree and discuss her newest single Damn Daniel, how she’s keeping creative during lockdown, and advice she’d give to girls who have their own fuckboys to deal with.
When and why did you start making music? Is there a moment in time where you can remember thinking ‘this is what I’m supposed to do’?
My major ‘aha’ moment was when I first heard Britney Spears I'm A Slave 4 U, I was at a sleepover at my cousin Tracey’s and I woke her up like “omg listen to this.” Hearing that song ignited a dangerous fire in me, I remember daydreaming into the future thinking “if I ever make music, it has to be some next level stuff like this.” She’s definitely one of the reasons why I’m not afraid to push the boundaries on my sound.
In a few short years you’ve amassed a devoted fan base and cult following using social media, would you say this has impacted and/or helped your career? Tell us about your fans - who are they?
Social media has been the GREATEST help in launching my career, I’ve used it to my advantage by dropping covers and achieving viral successes. From then to now I’ve achieved this crazy online buzz from my own original material, and I have to thank my AMAZING runwayz who really run shit and make it their duty to make my name circulate. They blow my mind all the time. It’s like my little internet family, and I’m really thankful for each and every one of them.
It seems your collaboration with Yung Baby Tate was destiny, the stans asked and you guys delivered! Tell us about yours and Tate’s friendship and how damn Daniel blossomed?
Funnily enough I knew about Yung Baby Tate from 2018. I was really impressed by her attention to detail, her creative on her projects are bomb, and her music is fire. So I downloaded all her stuff, and then when I dropped 2ON she found her way to me and we fell in love and our sisterhood was born from there.
How have you been keeping creative during lockdown?
At first when lockdown began, I was trying to do everything, trying to exercise every talent I have all at once. I almost began learning these mind wrecking TikTok challenges, but as I started to fully adjust to this pandemic, my focus adjusted with it. So I’ve just been focusing on creating mood boards for music videos as I did with Damn Daniel of course, as well as making mood boards for looks cause I’m planning to SLAY when I’m free from jail. I’ve been writing great music too.
DD is giving me such summer of 2000 and something vibes! What were some of the inspirations behind the song?
DD was birthed in such a funny way, I arrived in Sweden last year to write and for some reason was hooked on 90's TV shows. I was binge watching Fresh Prince, Gina, Moesha... you name it. And there was something amazing about the song selections for these shows. I had a funny thought, I said to myself before I went to sleep “what would your contribution be to one of these shows if you were asked to feature on a soundtrack?” The next morning Damn Daniel was born.
It’s so crazy to think you shot the Damn Daniel video during the peak of quarantine! What was the biggest obstacle you faced when it came to the DD video?
Looooooooool really annoying actually. I was actually supposed to shoot the video in LA and was about to get flown out, or I was going to fly to ATL for the shoot instead. Miss Rona said NOPE, and all of those plans got cancelled. BUT God works in mysterious ways, even with the obstacles we faced we still managed to get a smashing video that really captures the spirit of the song.
Give us a run-down of a shoot day during lockdown… How challenging was it to create something that didn’t remind people we weren’t allowed to leave our house?
Luckily, I had proper equipment dropped to me, so I was able to get the best quality for the Damn Daniel video. It was challenging not having a Director of Photography, and not having someone to talk me through the best shots to get, but I did my best and my brother was a big help!
What would your advice be to girls who have their own Damn Daniel fuckboy in their lives?
LEAVE HIM OUT! No boy is worthy enough to get in between two hot girls.
I know you have a very eclectic musical taste spanning from the likes of Freddie Mercury to Phil Collins, what draws you to an artist and how does it influence your process?
What draws me to an artist firstly is how they perform. I love carefree, BOLD artists who just really go for it, and artists who aren’t afraid to push the edge with production! It’s so inspiring to me.
Being an alternative black girl is only now becoming acceptable to the mainstream, what was it like for you growing up?
Uncomfortable as hell. I stuck out everywhere like a sore thumb without even trying, but it’s given me such a thick skin. Every bad and hateful comment about my style, my skin, or towards the way I express myself has made me stronger, as cheesy as it sounds.
Who would be your dream musical collaboration (we are still rooting for Paul McCartney to jump on that Christmas bop!)?
Omg Paul would be a dream; I’d love to work with Gaga as well - I think the song and video would be insane.
If you had to think of a phrase or sign off for the end of the Bree Runway talk show that is your life, what would it be?
It would have to be, “first they hate, then it pops off and they congratulate.”
It’s hard to believe that Bree’s music and passion all started in a bedroom in Hackney, London. After talking with Bree, it seems clear that maybe being the weird black girl isn’t so bad after all. Fighting back against the haters, making fun of society prejudices and stereotypes, and embracing her rebellious spirit have given us the feisty artist we’ve come to know and love. Miss Bree is a bold musician who doesn’t do things by halves, just what the world needs right now!
Watch the Damn Daniel video here.
Written by Leomie Anderson & J'Nae Phillips