Singer Muni Long went from writing hit songs to becoming a performer in 2020, and the recording artist opened up about her transformational journey during a recent interview with ABC News.
Long, who has written hits songs for recording artists Mariah Carey and Rihanna, told ABC News that a small gesture from music mogul Jay-Z gave her more confidence. She revealed the “Run This Town” rapper gave her confidence simply by motioning for her to lift her head up at a party after he noticed Long being crowded by his large entourage.
“He just sort of like motioned for me to lift my head up,” she said this week on “Good Morning America.” “He came down to my level and said, ‘Hi, I’m Shawn.’ He’s letting me know that I’m not small, you know, don’t make myself small.”
Long began singing when she was 2 and wrote her first song when she was just 8 years old. The recording artist co-wrote songs for some of the biggest names in the music industry for more than a decade under her born name, Priscilla Renea Hamilton. Long co-wrote Rihanna‘s “California King Bed” and “A No No” by Carey. She has also written for Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande.
After finding success as a songwriter and being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus, she questioned if she was satisfied with her accomplishments and decided she wanted to perform. “I had a few scares where I thought, ‘If I die, would I be happy with what I’ve done so far?’ And at the time I asked myself that, the answer was no.”
The songwriter launched her own record label, Supergiant Records, in January 2020 and released her album “Public Displays of Affection” in 2021. A single from the album, “Hrs and Hrs” became a smash hit after going viral on TikTok in January. The song also reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 R&B chart and has more than 70 million streams on Spotify. The singer told Elle Magazine in April that not many believed she could have success as an artist on social media.
“I had a certain amount of success as a writer and nobody would have expected me to have to go on YouTube and find the beat, but I found that beat on YouTube,” she said. “Yes, I’ve written songs with Stargate, Rodney Jerkins, Max Martin, all these people, but I couldn’t go to them to get a track. You know what I mean? I really had to humble myself to be able to start over.”
Long dropped her new single about heartbreak, “Pain,” on May 12, and fans loved the new song on social media. One fan noted on Twitter that they couldn’t stop playing “Pain” despite not being heartbroken. “I ain’t heartbroken worth a damn, but can’t stop playing Muni Long x Pain,” they wrote.
“I was waiting the LONGEST for @munilong to release “pain” ever since hearing the snippet. I LOVE IT,” added another fan.
Another fan noted, “My Girl @munilong knew what she was doing with “PAIN” !!! this the one sis!!!”
Of building her own record label and releasing her own album, Long said she wanted to give herself a fair shot at her dreams.
“We live in a DIY world right now. If I didn’t do it, it would feel just like I didn’t try. It’s less about other people knowing who I am and more about me — like giving myself a fair shot at my dream.”