iCandy Talks “Keep Dat” Virality, Signing To Columbia & Going To School w/ Kodak Black
Sitting down with iCandy in downtown Los Angeles, we immediately catch a vibe.
She asks me what my sign is (a Capricorn), as she tells me she’s a Pisces — meaning she’s emotional, a crybaby, but also incredibly creative. Which makes perfect sense, given her breakout single “Keep Dat” was inspired by a breakup. The record has since taken a life of its own, peaking to the #1 spot on TikTok with over 3.5 million views and over 800K videos to the song. Major celebrities have joined in on the fun, including Lizzo, Tia Mowry, and Chloe Bailey. But the biggest moment arrived when iCandy dropped her “Keep Dat” remix, tapping Glorilla, Kali, and Big Boss Vette. These are all female rappers iCandy looked up to, and to be on the same song with them is a true full-circle moment.
Hailing from Pompano Beach, Florida, iCandy been making music since she was 13 years old… and now her time is finally here. She states, “I feel like I’m the underdog. I’ve always been really overlooked, but I’m a fucking superstar.”
The Fox Magazine spoke with iCandy in downtown Los Angeles to discuss her journey thus far, her sound, her roots in Florida, her name, “Keep Dat” going viral, the remix, signing to Columbia, studio essentials, goals, and more!
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is fun, a little sassy, and a little hood. [laughs] I talk like I’m GICCI. It’s a way you talk because I’m country, in a sense. Sometimes, I can’t pronounce words. I say yala. You might say it the other way, it’s the color (yellow).
Being from Pompano beach, what was that like growing up?
It was in between. It was good days, it was bad days. You know, regular. I grew up what we do people consider the hood, the projects. It’ll be fights here and there, little shootings. [laughs] It’ll be cool.
I love that you’re laughing about it.
It’s life. It’s so funny. Because when you’re already accustomed to something, it’s normal. But when people aren’t from there, it’s a big deal. But to me, it’s not really a big, big deal, because I grew up around that part. It was really cool though. I’ve learned a lot. The people is country still, a little ratchet sometimes. But it’s dope. The music scene never really was that big where I’m from. But now it’s growing really big. A lot, a lot of artists are coming out of Florida. Girl, I’m happy to be one of them.
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, who or what inspires you the most?
I don’t think it’s a person in particular. Life just inspired me so much. Coming from where I come from to not having nothing, literally. It’s so crazy, my mom used to make us go get stuff off the trash pile. [laughs] It was crazy. We’ll go and see something off the trash pile, it’s like we almost going shopping. We’lll see something, we’ll go and have to get stuff off the trash pile. It was crazy, I’m telling you no lie. It’s not having much, just working working working to get somewhere.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
My name’s always been Candy. That was my nickname that my mom gave me. Because she used to say that I never wanted to eat, I just want to eat candy. But as an adult now, I don’t even eat it that much. But before, I did used to eat it all the time. My name used to be iCandy Davis. Davis is my last name. When I got old enough, I took the Davis off. Because when I was younger, I couldn’t just be iCandy. They’re like “girl, they gon’ think you a dancer.” My mom and sister and them were like “nuh uh.”
What was your favorite candy when you were younger?
Snickers. I love Snickers. Snickers are one of my favorite.
How does it feel to be signed and all that?
It feels good, it feels great. I’ve been doing music for a while, for 13 years. Now finally to have a great song, a big song — and it keeps growing, I’m super blessed. I’ve never been signed. This my first time signing and having a real team behind me. Then me just working, trying to do this and figuring everything out by myself. Now, I’ve got a team. Everybody’s pushing the track and I’m real happy.
We definitely want to talk about “Keep Dat”! How’d it come about?
“Keep Dat,” I had went through a breakup. Of course.
How does he feel about the song?
Girl, he called me! He’s like “oh, my family said you dissing me on the song.” I’m like, fuck you and your family. [laughs] It was dope, he was laughing about it. He’s like “oh, you’re gonna have to write me a check.” I’m like boy, ain’t nobody talking about you. What you talking about? But we laugh about it. It’s crazy because for a while, I did not like ass. I wouldn’t speak, but now we done moved on. I forgave him. We cool.
That was another big step of not holding grudges. Letting stuff go, moving on. Just getting in a better spot. Even when I made that record, I wasn’t really in a dark place. It was more so releasing it. So I took that situation, I made it fun. I’m happy that people literally be reaching out to me saying like “oh my God, this made my day. I just went through a divorce. You made me finally leave him.” Damn, I made you do that? I’m happy my music can really touch people in that way.
Did you think it would blow up?
Of course not. I didn’t even know. I knew I liked the song, but I never knew okay, this was it. You never know what the hell is it. You can think you know, but I done put out a million songs I thought was it. But it never happened. I’m just gonna keep putting out music. Whichever one goes, they gon’ catch on to something. And they finally did.
What made it pop, do you think?
I had put it out for a month. A month later, I dropped the visual. When I put a visual on it, people really started gravitating to it a lot. Of course, I went on TikTok and I put the visual on TikTok. For a while, I’d start seeing motion. Different people doing little videos to it, then it started picking up.
But one day, and nobody gave me credit for the dance. Because I made the foundation of the dance. I literally sat in my house and did the shit 30 times in here, literally. Trying to figure out a hood dance, something to do to it. The song had already started taking off, I was just trying to catch onto a dance. For a while, it was still going viral off of people liking it. Somebody redid the dance, it took it to the next level.
Really, was it someone big?
I’m not sure, but I know they had to be good because they took what I did and made it a lot better. It started going viral again. But with the dance, it went crazy crazy.
Was it TikTok that blew it up?
TikTok. I literally could not get on my phone without seeing it. Still to this day, I’m like damn. The song was TikTok #1 for two weeks straight, in the world. Forreal, damn this shit crazy. I couldn’t even be on TikTok without seeing it. Every time I scroll, it’s somebody playing the song, doing the dance. Shit, this shit is viral.
Were you on TikTok before that?
No, I wasn’t. I didn’t even know how to work TikTok. When they put it out, I didn’t think nothing. I just know this is my music and I gotta promote on all the social medias. Every social media I had, I put it on there. TikTok just did what it needed to do.
How’d to feel to get that fire ass remix with these bad bitches?
[laughs] It’s real nice, I’m not gon’ lie. I’m in that moment where six months ago, this was stuff I’d be like oh my God, I barely have… Now, I got a fucking song with Glorilla? This is crazy!
How’d that happen?
I really wanted to do something with the girls and put something together. I already had knew Kali. We both were on this show, the T.I. and Cardi show. We never made it. I don’t know, they cut out time. That’s how we met, four years ago. She of course popped off before me. Now that it’s finally my turn and we meet back up, like bitch heyyyy! Girl, can you believe this shit? She’s like “yeah, they didn’t know what they had!” Crazy. Because I didn’t get to go on the stage or nothing, and now we’re both doing something.
How did it feel when you heard that remix all the way back?
I honestly got emotional. I am a crybaby, the Pisces know. We’re crybabies, but we feisty at the same time. Don’t get our TIMING wrong. I’m a sweetheart, all the way until bitch, you piss me the fuck off. Then it’s fuck everybody, I’m finna burn the house down. [laughs] Other than that, I was emotional because I done did this for a long time. Now to be like damn, really got a song with Gorilla. She one of the hottest out right now, and Kali and Big Boss Vette. They all embraced it, they all liked the song. It didn’t even take up nothing. The song went out, they were sending their verses back. The song’s fire, so damn. Happy.
How’d it feel to get signed to Columbia?
It was exciting. It was great. Even the whole Columbia family, I definitely feel like they here with me. I really feel their presence, as I am in this journey. As far as pushing the record and helping me get to the next level, it’s really dope.
Was that the goal, to get signed?
My goal really wasn’t to get signed, it was more so to build a fanbase. That’s still the goal right now, a solid foundation. This one song, but it’s a lot more to come. That’s my mindset. So getting signed is a plus, because now I have a team of people to help me accomplish it.
What is it you want people to get from your story?
Don’t give up. Boy, because I had some rough days. You gon’ always have those days, where you feel like giving up. Is this even for me? Can I do this?
I want people to know this is possible, but you gotta stand on what you believe in. Keep going, you can’t stop.
Three things you need in the studio at all times?
I always, always need a bottle of Hennessy. Bring the fucking Henny out! That’s my drink of choice. I used to drink white liquid like tequila and vodka, but girl it started hurting my head. I couldn’t do it anymore. I need the Hennessy. I’m always fucking hungry, so order me some pizza and wings. Something to bite and keep going. What’s the last thing I need? Probably a blanket. I like to sit down, put the blanket on and start writing.
How was it meeting Kodak Black?
[laughs] Me and Kodak went to school together. I knew this man forever. We went to high school together around each other, we grew up around each other. I’ve been in the music scene, especially from where we from: Broward [County]. We from the same [area], Pompano Beach. He’s from one neighborhood, down the street from me. He’s from 1800 block, I’m from CB County. It’s across the highway type vibe, so I always knew him.
It’s amazing now still, to see him do his thing. He’s always been a good inspiration for me too, because he’s totally talented and creative. I always looked at him as another inspiration too, from where we from. Because nobody ever really makes it out, unless as a musician. Unless you’re an athlete or something, and that’s still so rare. But nah, we really cool.
Did you know he was going to be a superstar?
I always knew he was talented as fuck. Even when we was kids, I promise you. I used to work at this store. He’s one year younger than me. At the time, I was really, really hot. Because I was the teen rapper in the neighborhood. I was on tour with Mindless Behavior. I remember him coming in and putting the headphones in my ear. He’s like, “Candy, listen to this. What you think about my song?” I’m like yeah, that shit slide. It really used to be sliding though! [laughs] At that time, we were so young. He was young, so people didn’t really look at him like that. But he always been talented. I’d be like yeah Yak! That shit hard.
Any goals for yourself?
Yes girl, the goal is to get a Grammy. That’s the top goal. I gotta win a Grammy and bring a plaque back to the house.
Anything else you want to let the people know?
Just get ready for new music. I want to bring the people into my world, let them understand who I am and the music that I make. I definitely believe it’s fresh, it’s new. I just can’t wait for everybody to come into my world with me.
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