In an interview with New York magazine, Saweetie addresses questions about having embattled producer Dr. Luke as a collaborator on her upcoming album — suggesting she probably won’t do it again, but expressing no desire to not have the tracks on her album.
Interviewer Hunter Harris first quotes from an interview he did with the rising star in the summer of 2020, when she had just released “Tap In,” a single co-written and produced by Dr. Luke. At that time, Saweetie said, “I’m so green. Maybe that’s a double-edged sword because I’m coming into the studio and I’m not knowing who these people are. I was able to learn about all of his achievements, and all of the allegations as well, after a couple of sessions.”
The writer notes that subsequently Saweetie has worked with the producer again, on “Best Friend,” a hit collaboration with Doja Cat, who is signed to his Kemosabe Records. “When I was put in the position to work with him, it was a bundle deal,” Hunter describes Saweetie as saying after a long pause. “I had those songs for over two years. So what do you think? Do I compromise my artistry, do I keep them in the vault, or do I release them?”
Hunter describes “an even longer pause” after he asks Saweetie whether she would work with him again. “What do you think?” she says, throwing the question back at him. After they volley back and forth, she finally says, “I think you have a good sense of my character by now.” She then suggests a desire to just stay out of sticky scenarios as her star rises further: “Hopefully, we keep ourselves out of any controversial situation in the future.”
Saweetie has been releasing singles since 2017 but her album debut, to be titled “Pretty Bitch Music,” still remains unscheduled, with the New York article suggesting that she still plans to continue working on it indefinitely until she feels it’s right.
As Variety reported in May 2020, Dr. Luke — aka Lukasz Gottwald — has had something of a career resurgence in the last couple of years, mostly working with up-and-coming artists like Doja Cat, after seemingly being “canceled” by a lot of more veteran acts in the wake of allegations of rape made by former protege Kesha in a 2014 lawsuit. Lawsuits and countersuits filed by the producer and singer-songwriter have led to little resolution in the intervening years. Some of those who’ve worked with Dr. Luke in recent years believe he should be allowed to continue his career given the lack of any court of law affirming Kesha’s allegations, but it’s clear that anyone who does align with him will face considerable scrutiny, in the press and elsewhere.
Saweetie’s Dr. Luke-produced singles two of her highest-charting songs to date, both going top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and top 10 on the R&B/hip-hop chart. Both also reached either No. 1 or No. 2 on the rhythmic airplay chart. The article doesn’t say how many other collaborations might be in the can and destined for the album as part of the “bundle” she worked on with Dr. Luke.
She was more eager to talk about her relationship with Cher, although there was some secrecy involved there, too. The article says Saweetie and Cher are “collaborating on a project she can’t talk about, and Saweetie says they had a deep discussion on set. ‘She gave me so much wisdom, and it made me really want to reflect and go back to my album and figure out what type of artist I’m going to be. She inspired me,'” it quotes her as saying.
Saweetie is surprisingly candid at numerous points in the interview about her own limitations to date, saying that she was about to begin an intensive program of “vocal lessons, stage presence (and) body movement” after weak notices for a recent performance. She describes herself as having been more of a tomboy than a natural dancer, saying, ““I think that’s why people get so let down, because they’re expecting me to be this sensual person onstage, but if I can, I’d rather play a sport in front of you.”
“I don’t like arrogance,” Saweetie tells the interviewer. “One day, I want to say, ‘I’m the best to ever do it.’ I can’t do that without identifying my weakness. I can’t do that without realizing what’s holding me back.”
She also describes a desire not just to perfect the album but make it feel more individual to her before finally releasing it. “I do think that there was an urge and a push for me to get a hit without defining what the Saweetie sound was — is. I want to be that artist to where you play a beat and you’d be like, Oh, that’s a Saweetie beat. Like, it needs to be distinct. And that’s why I really want to be careful with this release,” she says in the article.