Coi Leray is authentically herself. The Blick Blick artist, who found mainstream success with her Lil Durk-assisted song No More Parties, has successfully navigated a lane she carved out all her own. Often making headlines for her athletic frame, trendsetting braids, or superstar collaborations, Coi continues to push past her haters with a newly improved smile (sis just got her braces removed).
Coi is one of three artists recently announced in the Sprite Limelight initiative, spearheaded by Grammy-winning super-producer James Blake. With Blake lending his vocals to a hook, Coi, Nigerian singer Omah Lay and Chinese singer Hua Chenyu created their own remixed rendition of the Sprite “Heat Happens” mantra-inspired track.
“Sprite Limelight is a program that I feel was designed for artists like me,” explained Coi over e-mail. “I love surprising my fans with unexpected collaborations and pushing creative boundaries. James Blake made a fire hook and I re-imagined it alongside some really awesome artists from all around the world. But what really drew me in was Sprite putting a spotlight on my story. We are all dealing with so much pressure all of the time and Sprite is allowing me to connect with my fans on a deeper level through music.”
Coi hopes the lyrics to her respective rendition resonates with fans. “Basically, don’t let the negativity or self-doubt stop you from getting to your next level.”
The Boston-native knows a thing or two about maintaining an optimistic outlook. Her natural body shape is often the topic of harsh criticism. “Not everyone understands me- that’s a part of life. I try not to let the negative comments sink in because people change their narrative all of the time. I take the hate and I apply more pressure to give people something different to react to,” she said. She takes into consideration constructive criticism and implements it into her artistry.
“When people were saying ‘dead crowd’- I got a movement coach, I stepped up my choreography- and then they had something to talk about when fans were going wild for my performances. I work hard to stay true to myself and I work hard to perfect my craft. I’ve been able to accomplish so many things in this body as a dancer, an artist, and an entertainer- I try to be kind to myself.”
While taking her own advice, she encourages other young girls to define their own beauty standards. “We live in a world now where the definition of beauty and strength is so many different things. I would tell little girls that look like me that it’s up to you to define your limits.”
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