“Organic” may be Max Gousse’s favorite word. The founder and CEO of Artistry Worldwide Management, home to Saweetie, says it more frequently than a Whole Foods employee, and with valid reason. Not only did he discover and sign Bay Area native Saweetie, Gousse also helped to breathe new life into her hit “My Type,” thanks to a series of remixes starting with a collaboration featuring City Girls and Jhené Aiko.
“Plans to make these remixes grew organically from artists loving the record and reaching out to see how they could support us,” Gousse tells Variety. “Fans can see through label-manufactured records — they’re smart enough to know whether somebody is really into a record or not.”
A last-minute addition to Saweetie’s “Icy” EP that dropped in March, “My Type” just this week reached No. 1 on radio’s rhythmic format and is now headed to Top 40, logging more than 94,000 combined spins as of Sept. 23, according to Mediabase. On the streaming side, BuzzAngle Music records 160 million U.S. streams to date; her label, Warner Records, counts over 315 million global streams.
“My Type” had instant nostalgia appeal thanks to a sample from Petey Pablo’s 2003 hit, “Freek-A-Leek.” “She chose that because the energy of the record is what she was trying to convey in this last song,” says Gousse. “It’s very much about the vibe. When this record comes on, it changes the mood. It’s infectious: It makes everyone want to dance.”
And then, of course, there are Saweetie’s NC-17 lyrics about what she looks for in a potential partner: eight inches of manhood minimum. “The hook is fun, especially for women,” says Gousse. “She’s speaking to people’s inner desires to be as sexy as they want to be, whenever they want to be, no excuses.” In a recent interview with Variety, Saweetie addressed the frequent use of the N word in the track, cautioning, “Don’t say it if you ain’t black.”
Saweetie also encouraged fans to express their inner desires on video with the #MyTypeChallenge on a variety of social media platforms. Fans flocked to TikTok, Triller, Instagram and Twitter to upload their interpretive dance moves for an opportunity to win $3,000 and a pair of tickets to the Bay Area’s Rolling Loud music festival at the end of the month. “I know the power of dance to help break a record via social, and so we created this challenge,” Gousse elaborates. “We had Saweetie do a really dope promo — I think she did it in her bathroom, if I’m not mistaken — and she really delivered. The concept is basically: Do what you feel. We’re still getting so many videos and she has to pick a winner.”
But the song’s tipping point can be traced back to the video Saweetie shot in July and, specifically, her spontaneous twerking ten feet off the ground, according to Gousse. “Do you remember the basketball scene?” he asks rhetorically. “When you’re doing those kinds of things, you generally have a stunt coordinator on set to make sure that the artist is harnessed in properly. Basically, she was just supposed to be sitting on the basketball rim and rapping. But in that moment, she just felt like, ‘Hey, I want to be free’ and took off the harness. Then she jumped on the basketball rim and did her thing.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
“I just knew it was going to be an iconic moment that would set the tone for the campaign,” adds Gousse. “And it really did. After we released the video, everything kind of snowballed: The feedback was fantastic, all the reviews were great, it spread like wildfire on social media. The record caught at urban, then at rhythmic it just blew up, and now we’re on a path to having a major top 40 hit.”
The runaway streaming success of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remixes may have played a part in his plan, too. “I don’t know if that specifically influenced us, but it definitely gave validation that remixes were something that fans would consume,” he says. “The remix helps to extend not just the radio life but also the streaming life of the record. It also opens up other markets, too,” he said. For example, L.A. DJ Dillon Francis is working on a dance remix while Beck G. and Melii recently delivered a Latin remix that could help expand Saweetie’s fanbase exponentially — and globally. “She does have support in that community, but she has never really done anything specifically for the community,” adds Gousse. “This will be the first — the introduction.”
Gousse is quick to point out that all credit goes to Saweetie. “Some artists, you know, they have to be coached,” he said. “She’s very much the driver of the ship and the creative force behind everything.”