“Success to me is looking at the people like the Jay Z’s who come from the same place I come from, the projects, and just make it that big is incredible. It’s even beyond music now. Success is to be able to transition, it’s more than money to me. Success is building for the people after you and your family,” DeJ Loaf isn’t playing. Although she might have ticked the boxes that create the illusion of overnight success – the Vine craze, the Drake co-sign – the Detroit rapper/ singer is playing the long game and has been for a while now.
Her 2012 debut mixtape Just Do It, whilst not as melodic as the music that would be her breakthrough, set the tone for her very candid style. “I definitely put out my business on that,” DeJ admits. “It’s cool though, I want people to understand, I’m not trying to hide anything. I’m just giving you my story album by album. In these interviews they want to know everything anyway, so if you listen to the music you’ll know it all.” This diarist approach extends to her loner writing process. “I always stay to myself, so the majority of the time I get my best music from when I’m just alone. I listen to the beat and come up with a melody for it and from that point it just hits me. I’m really big on melodies. I like to work alone so I can focus better.”