Coi Leray talks about "Players" and her viral success

Coi Leray Is Always 10 Steps Ahead

The “Players” rapper’s career took off on TikTok, but she’s not afraid to keep evolving.

In Elite Daily’s series At The Moment, celebs dish on their current projects, pop culture hot takes, and everything taking over their group chats. Below, rapper and singer Coi Leray shares what it’s like to have a song go TikTok viral, how she manages to write hits in multiple genres, and what’s next after Coachella.

As a first-time nominee, Coi Leray stood out on this year’s Grammys red carpet. Instead of blending in with the rest of the stars who decided to rock Old-Hollywood-inspired ’fits, Leray donned an archival YSL bodysuit with a bright green furry jacket that she held as an accessory. It made sense that she didn’t blend in. The artist was nominated for two different awards in separate categories, pop and rap — an indication that it’s impossible to put her in a box.

Over the past two years, Leray’s career has taken off from her small fanbase in her hometown in Hackensack, New Jersey, to worldwide fame with her TikTok-viral hit “Players.” Many of her songs, like “Players,” “Better Days” with Fetty Wap, and the aptly titled “Self Love” for the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse movie, are about honing in on love for yourself, and it’s a message Leray loves spreading.

“I am a firecracker,” the 26-year-old tells Elite Daily. “I am so passionate in what I do, and as I get older, it takes a lot of self-reflecting and self-awareness [to stay grounded].” Over the last year, she’s learned the importance of putting herself first. Speaking about her current era, Leray says, “It’s about becoming this young woman, being so in love with myself, having so much self-awareness, and tapping into my spirituality.”

I am the queen of my own content.

After the Grammys, Leray partnered with Axe, a fragrance and body care line for men, to help spread that message further to new audiences. She even created a song for the brand with Metro Boomin. When it comes to cultivating her own self-love, Leray says, “Dress in what makes you feel comfortable and what makes you feel sexy and nobody else.” It’s a sentiment she sees reflected in the Axe brand. “They stand out on the shelf, and it’s just got that independent feel like ‘Yo, what’s up?’”

Leray is just getting started, and in April, she’s about to play one of the most famous stages in the world: Coachella. Below, she discusses what’s next in her career, how she feels about TikTok removing her viral song from videos, and all of her tour must-haves.


Elite Daily: I know you’re a Taurus. What part of your zodiac sign do you relate to the most?

Coi Leray: Being an earth sign, we are very loyal. I’m definitely stubborn only because we are strong in what we believe in and super ambitious when it comes to love and money, and I’m a hard worker.

ED: TikTok recently removed so much of your music from the platform. Do you think that’ll change how you use it or how your songs reach people?

CL: No. I am the queen of my own content on social media, and I’m amazing in front of the camera. I was kind of one of the first artists to have a song to break on TikTok, and that was, what, three years ago? So now it’s a situation where I’m 10 steps ahead. Think about it — if I broke on TikTok years ago, then what makes you think that within these past couple years I ain’t already 10 steps ahead on the next situation?

That don’t take away the fact that I love TikTok and appreciate it, but I think TikTok is a way for me to show my personal side and the things that I do in my life anyway, outside of just promoting music. I’m bigger than that — I’m a brand.

Stop thinking about what will happen before the date has even happened.

ED: Speaking of sharing another side of yourself, what's the go-to beauty product you can’t leave home without?

CL: My skin care, I’m big on my skin. I have to have my face wash and my face cream. If I don’t, then I’m going to feel weird putting on anything else.

ED: What’s something you’re particular about when you’re on tour?

CL: Everything has a place and every place has a thing. If there is a can of soda, it belongs on a shelf, and if the shelf has things on it, then it belongs in a certain place on the shelf. No matter where I am, I need things to be in order lined up.

ED: What’s your favorite lyric you’ve ever written?

CL: From the song “No More Parties”: “I’m off to better things, I’m only doing that’s going to make me elevate. Only want people around that’s going to make me better.”

ED: On that note of having the right people around, what’s the dating advice you give to your besties?

CL: Stop thinking about what will happen before the date has even happened. Start to just live in the moment. Don’t think about what if or this or that. Just think about you going somewhere, linking great people, having a good time. Don’t think about him being your boyfriend. Once you start texting, don’t think about you guys getting married. Just have fun.

ED: What are you looking forward to after Coachella in April?

CL: I’m going on my first tour this year. Never went on a solo tour, so I’m excited.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.