Karlae is unlike any other artist in the industry at the moment. Her bashful, charming, yet hungry nature combine to become the same way the secret ingredients made the power puff girls. As the first lady of Young Thug/300 Entertainment’s YSL imprint, she knows that she has a lot of pressure to succeed. Luckily, her wonderful team supports her and pushes her to be as creative as she can be every day. Working creatively under an artist like Thug can be overwhelming, but it is a fun experience for her. His ability to ensure that she feels comfortable thinking out the box empowers her immensely. During our insightful conversation, I learned quickly that nobody will ever be able to marginalize the North Carolina-born artist/entrepreneur.
Not many people know that Karlae used grew up with music as an influence in the home. Her mother was a popular artist manager growing up that exposed her to various sessions, photoshoots, and concerts. As a teen, Karlae took a liking to poetry. Shortly after sharing it with a few people, she was inspired to just into music. After getting a few solid placements on some of Young Stoner Life projects, she dropped a single with Thug and Gunna entitled “Jimmy Choo.” Fast forward to today, she has two guest spots on the chart-topping LP Slime Language 2. Her standout track “I Like,” featuring platinum recording artist Coi Leray has quickly become a fan favorite. During our interview, we discussed the success of SL2, her upbringing, and her forthcoming project!
Take a peek at the interesting conversation below!
Ahmad: First things first, please introduce yourself to those who do not know who Karlae is?
Karlae: It’s your girl Karlae! I am a new artist signed to YSL/300 Entertainment, and I’m coming with a new sound.
AD: You were born in NC but moved to ATL a while ago. Your mom was a popular artist manager when you were growing up. What are some things you learned that stuck with you during your childhood?
Karlae: I think I learned a lot from here. Of course, I was doing many extracurricular activities in school, but I saw some of the things she does. I learned a lot about music and preparation within the business. I see a lot of things now in the game that I did not realize at first. She worked with Keyshia Cole, and honestly, I wanted to be like her when I got older. I fell in love with the whole persona.
I knew I was going to do something within music because I did vocal lessons and piano. I enjoyed the entertainment industry, and I wanted the best the world had to offer for myself. There was no doubt in my mind I would be a get-money female.
AD: In this industry, things can get catty from time to time but it seems like your main focus is always to uplift other women around you. Can you speak more to that?
Karlae: I don’t think about it really; I just do it. I have no intentions of getting anything back, and I am genuinely excited about the things these other women have going on. I always try to come from a genuine place. Staying positive is extremely important to me.
AD: My girl is always playing “I Like” with you and Coi Leray off SL2. To be honest, it is one of my favorite records on there. Tell us how the record came about!
Karlae: As soon as I finished the record, I had thought about her. After talking with my A&R, we knew this record was one she would love. We are actually cool, so I just texted the song to her. She can go into every lane, so it was bound to be a hit. Even with the Yung Bleu record, I knew it would be fire because melodic music is my favorite style of music.
AD: Outside of yourself & the rest of the YSL clique, who do you listen to?
Karlae: I listen to a lot of R&B. I listen to a lot of early T.I., Jeezy, and Rick Ross. Something with a storyline to it, to be honest. If I’m listening to rap, it will be something hard like Lil Durk, King Von, and Lil Baby. If I am not listening to some R&B, it will be something hard and gutter.
AD: If you had dinner and could only invite 5 people whose work you enjoy and inspired you(DOA), who would those people be?
Karlae: I would say Thug one, not just because I know him but because he inspires me a lot. Nicki Minaj, my cousin Samaya. She inspires me to work a lot, and I always have her with me. Yung Miami, for sure, is a vibe. Lastly, my A&R Jeff, I know he has all the ideas.
AD: Fashion is an obvious passion of yours. We know you have your Swimwear brand and we are wondering if you are dropping soon?
Karlae: I have been working on some stuff for sure. I got some things coming this summer, but I am also working on a collection with resort wear and some shorts and tops. Fashion is my heart, and I will always be doing something related to it. Everything you do is about consistency. So music is taking up a lot of my time, but I am always working. There are times I will be in the studio for like 11 hours. I am falling in love with the process, teaching me how to grow as a woman. I want people to know that it is not easy, but I will push through just like they are.
AD: You mention your project a couple times, when can we expect it?
Karlae: I feel like the world is waiting on me and I cannot put a date on it! I am excited and it can come any day now though. I just want to drop so everyone can see. I am the first lady of YSL and Thug tweeted that I am working on the project so I know they are going to be watching. I do not take it for granted because his two sisters and I are the only three women on the label. We know we all got to go crazy always.
AD: What do you want people to know about Karlae that they do not right now?
Karlae: I am hardworking, I want them to be blown away by my first project. It should be clear that I am in a lane of my own and I am getting better with time. It’s going to be dope and I cannot wait for them to hear it.
Follow Karlae on instagram and stay tuned for her debut project ASAP!