Singer/songwriter Angela Hunte has been quietly collecting huge checks from superstar artists for quite a while. She had a hand in writing Jay Z‘s first number one song “Empire State of Mind” and has since worked with other musical heavyweights like Jennifer Hudson, Ledisi, Mario, and America’s favorite “twerker” Miley Cyrus. Hunte’s profile is really starting to rise now that fans have seen her in Snoop Lion‘s documentary “Reincarnated.” The documentary follows Snoop’s journey of recording his reggae album in Jamaica and his introduction to Rastafarianism.
The Urban Daily caught up with the talented artist when she was in New York for the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards. We got a chance to talk to Angela Hunte about being the go to female songwriter for rappers and male R&B singers, being a strong woman in a male dominated industry, and if she’ll put out her own album. Vibe with Angela Hunte.
TUD: I saw you in the Snoop Lion documentary, “Reincarnated.” Was the experience of working with him as cool as it looked in the film?
AH: It was probably cooler than it looked in the film. It was pretty amazing. I was just telling somebody that all of these rappers seem to keep trusting me with their music. So I was shocked to see how open he was and how open he was to the things I wanted to do. And to spend three weeks in Jamaica with him, I mean, I don’t think you could ask for more than that.
Why do you think rappers are drawn to the way you write and create music?
Well, someone told me I write a lot like a man. The are a lot of men who can write from a woman’s point of view and I just think I’m that girl who can write from a males point of view. I think I understand men because I grew up around all men and most of my friends are males. It was like I was always one of the guys. So I feel like when guys get around me they get comfortable. Plus, I try to put myself in their shoes as best as I can.
Are you ever going to step in front of the camera and put out your own material?
Actually, I’m done with my project and I’m getting ready to shoot the first video in September. I’m excited because I think it’s gonna be different. It’s gonna be fresh Nd not like anything that’s out there.
Is it going to have the reggae vibe like the vibe you created on Snoop’s project?
The project has a little bit of reggae meets London. I call it Gully Pop because I am gully. In just really excited to see what people think because people always talk about writers turning into performers, but I’ve always been a performer. I’ve just been getting sidetracked because I’ve always been writing for someone else’s project.
As a woman in a male dominated industry, how do you navigate that world confidently without being called anything negative?
Quality. It’s the quality of music. I’d rather have one quality song a year than to have 17 songs out that no one will remember two years from now. And I’m strong and resilient.
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