Following a Thursday afternoon conversation with rapper and Compton native Day Sulan, it’s obvious she has a clear vision for herself, and she will never forget her past that included being homeless and stripping. Taking a leap into music some years back, and a chance meeting with rapper YG at the strip club, would eventually forever change her career trajectory. Now Sulan is basking in the recent release of her full-length debut project Crazy Girls through Epic Records and 4Hunnid Records.
The project, named after the Los Angeles strip club Sulan used to dance at, features current buzz-worthy singles, including “Gravity” and “Pro.” Full of modern strip club bravado blended with contemporary West Coast gangsta rap, she is creatively making a lane for herself that overwhelmingly feels authentic.
Speaking with BET.com, Day Sulan discusses evolving as an artist and why strip club culture plays a huge part in mainstream music.
BET.com: What goes through your mind putting out your first big project through Epic Records and 4hunnid, considering you have this big machine behind you now compared to where you started several years ago?
Day Sulan: It’s honestly insane. At my release dinner, it was like something that I really had to sit in and ask myself, “is this really happening?” It’s hard to believe sometimes cuz where I went from being homeless to a stripper to now I got a major label behind me helping me drop and push a project. It honestly feels surreal.
I wanted Crazy Girls to be my little “what’s up?” I’m here to make my little entrance. Y’all know me for this or know me for that and that’s cool. So I’m gonna drop this and then y’all gonna be like ‘she might be something to fuck with.’ I need people to take me seriously for my music and my craft and how much I love it. We just starting here and just kind of buzzing our way up.
BET.com: I remember reading an interview where you began your journey into music first through poetry. Do you have a favorite poet?
Day Sulan: I hope I’m saying his name right but I’m a huge fan of Vietnamese poet Thích Nhất Hạnh. I'm not gonna lie to you, he's written a lot of great like love poems, life poems and shit that’s just gotten me through so much shit.
BET.com: One of the things I noticed about the “Gravity” track is that fellow Compton-native Brittany B helped produce and write the track alongside others. Talk about growing as an artist in terms of collaborating with producers and writers.
Day Sulan: Being in this industry, it is a different type of ballgame. Like being a creative, you can't be so singled out in that mind of, ‘Oh, I could do everything myself. I could write everything myself.’ I think I started off really closed-minded. When I first started in this industry, my mindset was I don't need a writer. I don't need writers. I don't need help. Fuck off. I got this.
As I got older, the more I did it and the more I just started seeing the different lights of it, I chilled out. I had to lay back a little bit and be like, nah, it's okay to let other people drive the wheel. You just add your creative input and be open to get out of your comfort zone.
Sometimes more creatives means different sounds. It's like when people have stylists or hair stylists like, you know, same shit with music. Like music, you come up with different ideas with another person, like working with different creatives, I feel like it just expands you a little bit more and it helps you more in this industry to be different and stand out.
BET.com: Going into the “Teach You How To Play” track which also features co-writing credit from YG. What have you learned from watching him work in the studio?
Day Sulan: Honestly, when we worked together, I feel like it was really natural. He is very talented when it comes to like music. Watching him in the beginning before, I was really locked into this ship. He inspired me because I like the way he would sit down on his laptop and he was just writing different shit. How he writes and how he thought about it rhymes. At times I'm just writing shit and I get writer's block, he'll give me a topic and I actually do that now. Definitely like a dope creative. It’s dope to see him work and just do his shit cause it's definitely inspired me a lot.
BET.com: You have the “PRO” joint that samples T-Pain’s classic “I’m In Love With A Stripper.” There was an interview you did where you talked about having the advantage of knowing what works at the strip club. As someone who use to be a stripper, can you explain from your perspective how much strip club culture has influenced mainstream music?
Day Sulan: It’s insanely influenced mainstream music. I feel like a lot of the top songs, or songs people really play and listen to in their cars are songs that really hit in the strip club. I feel like the strip club can make or break a song. No cap. Cause a stripper is going to go harder and a good song gonna have you throwing money. If it’s not good a stripper is going to need that muthafucka to switch so they can go crazy. Strip clubs really gauge if people like a song or not.
BET.com: Where do your ambitions go from here?
Day Sulan: I’m trying to go out great with this sh-t. Well, I am going to. I’m gonna have my moments and I’m gonna have my peeps still. I’m still at my journey and it’s only the beginning. However, I’d definitely want to venture off and get into acting and other forms of entertainment. All of the above is just expanding my brand. I’m going to die a legend no doubt.
To learn more about Day Sulan, visit her website.