It didn’t take long for Ivorian Doll (IVD to her fans) to rightfully claim her crown as drill’s leading lady. After a series of collabs with fellow rapper Abigail, IVD’s overdue coronation came at the end of 2019 with “Queen of Drill”, a single announcing her solo career and showcasing a hard-hitting flow and sharp lyricism. Earlier this summer, viral single “Rumours” silenced anyone who dared doubt her royal credentials. A merciless send-off to haters and slut shamers, the track blew up on social media, racking up 6 million streams and recruiting an army of fans, who Ivorian Doll tenderly refers to as her “Dollz”. Now, she’s back with “Body Bag”, a slick follow-up celebrating female empowerment. Full of quotable one-liners — “cut a bitch, animal cruelty” or “walking round in your big drip but I heard that shit’s on loan” — IVD exudes confidence as she leaves enemies quivering.
Below, she gives HUNGER the lowdown on her inspirations as an artist, her dream collab and the special love she has for gay fans who have pledged their loyalty. Since we can’t get enough Ivorian Doll, she’s also premiering exclusive BTS footage from the pink-drenched video for “Body Bag”.
Who are your musical influences?
Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown…I like old school rap!
You can definitely hear the influence! Here’s a question a lot of your fans will be curious about; are your lyrics reality or fantasy?
My songs are based on what people say, what I want, what happens to me, what I think about every day and where I want to be!
You’re getting a lot of love for your aesthetic and creative direction, where do you get your inspiration from?
Megan Thee Stallion is a strong influence in relation to energy and stage presence. Love her routines and the great dance moves.
Love Megan Thee Stallion! So, drill has been taking over the world over the past two years. I know it started back around 2012, so what do you think has changed recently to land it in the charts and spread it globally?
Drill has changed because it’s become more mainstream! It has more catchy fun hooks, memorable lines and great beats.
Fans love you for your charismatic personality, which is maybe not what we’d associate with UK drill — why was it important to you to keep showing your humour and charm through your work?
Online I see a lot of people complaining about how artists don’t really have a personality which makes them unrelatable, I don’t want to be like that. Fans need to feel like they can connect with the artist. I want people to want to meet me and listen to my music, not only because they love my sound but because they’ve fallen in love with my personality.
Agreed, nothing makes me switch off more than an artist who’s dead behind the eyes, and I love how actively you interact with fans. You’ve spoken on your Twitter about wanting to be the female artist that connects the UK and US drill scenes. Why do think this is needed and why are you the artist to do it?
The only connect the US seems to have with the UK drill scene is our producers but I want it to be more artist-based! My music has been able to travel globally and the US seem to love it, which has made them more interested in UK culture and music. Not a lot of female drill artists have been able to do that and I think US artists and producers will be more interested in working with the UK scene because of my influence.
Have you ever thought of creating a Doll army with Kash Doll, Asian Doll and Dream Doll? You’d be unstoppable.
I would love to create an army of Dollz! As I said to my fans, it would be a great idea if the Dollz all came together to make a banging track! Me, Asian Doll, Dream Doll and Kash Doll, as we all look like dolls! Real pretty, beautiful eyes and great music!
You’ve talked before about having a really vocal gay fan base — why do you think the LGBT+ community relates to your work?
My gay fans say I support them when other people are scared to, that I embrace them and treat them like everyone else! My main dancers are also gay so that just shows that I want to put gay people in the forefront and put my shine on them. I love to support the underdogs as I feel like I have been treated like one, so we can all relate. The gay community showed me love when I was being bullied on social media so now I’m in a position where I’ll always support.
You’re still unsigned at the moment — would you rather keep independent or you waiting for the right label to respect your vision?
I’m currently unsigned but I’m waiting for the right label. It’s all about the right partnership, I’m in it for the long run! I want my label to be like a family, not just a strictly business relationship.
Finally, what have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Releasing my album and shooting more videos! More holidays as well.
Check out exclusive BTS footage for Ivorian Doll’s latest video for “Bodybag” below.