Making the leap from YouTube to music has long been slightly frowned upon (we’re looking at you, Jake Paul), but more and more artists from unlikely beginnings are proving they’ve got the skills to cut it in the music game, and Ivorian Doll is the latest to stake her claim.
Having made her name revelling in online drama with her story time videos, the East London artist was always interested in music, pretending to be part of The Pussycat Dolls with her pals at school and idolising the likes of Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott. However it wasn’t until she linked up with fellow rapper Abigail Asante in 2018 to drop tongue-in-cheek first single ‘The Situation’ that it all clicked.
Although the friendship went “kind of left,” Ivorian Doll was hooked on music, deciding to give it a proper go while honing her craft by listening to Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim, and trying to replicate the distinctive voices of the “old school” greats. “I was holding myself back [before],” she emphasises. “A lot of people were telling me that YouTubers were seen as a gimmick and not really seen as true artists, so I made the decision to come off YouTube and focus solely on music.”
"I wanna be getting awards! I want all of them!"
It was evidently the right decision, and since that first single Ivorian Doll has gone from strength to strength. She calls herself the “queen of drill” - a lofty proclamation perhaps, but one that she’s backed up with a string of fiery singles that see her spitting cut-throat lines over magnetic beats. Take hater-baiting banger ‘Rumours’ for proof, which sees IVD calling people out for talking shit. All together now: “I don’t top small dicks, full stop."
“I think maybe in the UK they feel like they haven’t seen something like that in a while,” she says of the reasons behind her explosive blow up. “I try and make my music really fun, and people like that unapologetic person - the person who doesn’t really care. That’s what I put out every day. I’m doing me!”
With an EP on the way that she promises will show just how much she’s grown since going viral, now Ivorian Doll is ready to conquer the next big milestone. "I wanna be getting awards!” she laughs. “I want all of them! I want every single one! I think it’s possible if I just keep my head down and keep going.”
Now, that’s an idea we can get behind.
As featured in the February 2021 issue of DIY, out now.