Few things are as beautiful, as sought after, as beguiling as freedom. With over a decade in the game, California’s Snow Tha Product has always moved with freedom—and her fans—on the forefront of her mind. Between sour deals with indie labels, managing her own company, and wriggling away from a longtime deal with Atlantic Records, Snow has established herself as the pinnacle of an artist with a DIY mentality.
“I’m not that type of artist,” Snow tells me of her time at Atlantic. “I don’t need writers. I don’t need the whole fluff thing. I need to just be real with my fans. I’m not the type of artist you can put together and put into a box. I just fit better on my own.”
Not slotting into the major-label system, it only makes sense that Snow returns to her roots—roots that she essentially never left—and ventured out on her own. Parting with Atlantic was amicable, as the potential for a split was something she had previously discussed with the label.
“I just wanna be happy, and I realized to be happy I just wanna do what I wanna do with this music,” she continues. “That’s when it connects the most. When I finally let everybody be wrong, that’s when I realized I needed to do my thing.”
Snow Tha Product’s “thing” has resulted in two new songs, “Today I Decided” and “Going Off,” which she frames more like notes to fans than proper singles: “I was just letting a lot of people know: yes, I’m gonna move forward… On ‘Going Off’ I’m just so excited and I’m bouncing around. And I think those two energies needed to be put out. I am gonna get what I deserve, but I also am so happy to be doing my thing.”
Over the course of our interview, it became clear that second only to Snow’s happiness—a very, very close second—is the happiness of her fans. Ever mindful of her impact as an artist and the various identities she is representing in her music, Snow Tha Product is more fan-first than ever.
“At the end of the day, I’m just some Mexican girl that wants to impact other Mexican girls [laughs],” she jests. Without question, her impact is felt. With tours, tapes, videos, and a potential EP on the way, this new chapter in Snow Tha Product’s career may be her more exciting. At least, I’m excited.
DJBooth’s full interview with Snow Tha Product, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
DJBooth: When we last spoke, you said that you would “never shit on Atlantic,” because they changed your life. Now you’re label-free. What happened?
Snow Tha Product: I did always say that, and I still feel that way. I feel like everything happens for a reason, as cliché as it sounds. I feel like I did struggle at Atlantic. I feel like a lot of things could have been different, but I do think that because of the way that everything played it out, it made me, as an independent artist, that much stronger. I started building my own team. I knew nobody was ever going to take care of me. I always moved independently, even on the label. I do feel that learning everything not to do, is probably the biggest lesson I learned.
What were the conditions in order to get out of the deal?
It was just an agreement. Had I not been on the label this long, had I maybe not given them a real try at doing it their way… I gave them the chance to be like, “Alright, cool, let’s do a rollout. Let’s do a plan.” I kinda gave into a lot of their stuff, and we just realized it didn’t work. I’m not that type of artist. I don’t need writers. I don’t need the whole fluff thing. I need to just be real with my fans. I’m not the type of artist you can put together and put into a box. I just fit better on my own. There was really no struggle about it. I had already talked for years with different people there that if it doesn’t work, let me go. It was friendly.
Do you own your masters?
Yeah, for the most part. I didn’t drop very much music with them. They have a couple of songs, but that was my whole problem. I didn’t drop very much music. I’m free to do whatever I want. I always had the WOKE clothing line, and I always had my own merch and my own situation. I’m just happy to move forward from the whole situation.
Let’s talk “Today I Decided.” You sound out for blood. Where does that resilience to keep fighting come from?
I feel like “Today I Decided” goes very well with “Going Off.” They’re just songs that I’m putting out there in the universe. “Today I Decided” is more on some… Letting people know that fucked me over. Not necessarily Atlantic, because I got fucked over before Atlantic on an indie. Just shitting on a major label doesn’t make sense, because my first time that I got fucked over was on an indie. I was just letting a lot of people know: yes, I’m gonna move forward. Yes, I’m finally free to do whatever I want. I’m gonna make sure that everybody pays me back, regardless of the way they need to do it. But, then on “Going Off” I’m just so excited and I’m bouncing around. And I think those two energies needed to be put out. I am gonna get what I deserve, but I also am so happy to be doing my thing.
“Going Off” does have that similar edge, but you’re also celebrating. Have you always been able to let yourself celebrate?
I do take more personal time lately, and I’m putting more boundaries on business. It used to take up so much of my time because I was struggling. I did have so many people involved in my career, and now it’s so much up to me that I get to focus on what I really want and also celebrate. Live my life, enjoy my kid, my house, and all the benefits that come from all the hard work I put in over the years.
When did you get to a point when you had a clear vision for who you were, without external opinions?
I did everything people’s ways on purpose so I could see if maybe I’m wrong. Sometimes, you have to check yourself. Maybe it’s your ego. So I literally let there be a rollout. Before my last tour, I let everybody [else] be in charge. "We’re gonna do it y’all’s way." My last tour, I realized I was the unhappiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. I didn’t like how everything went down and I realize that I’m never again letting anybody tell me anything about me, my life, my fans, my career… I need to do this for me. I just wanna be happy, and I realized to be happy I just wanna do what I wanna do with this music. That’s when it connects the most. When I finally let everybody be wrong, that’s when I realized I needed to do my thing.
Was there any fear there?
Hell yeah! [Laughs] I was scared as shit. Also, on this last tour, I let everybody know: “When you guys fuck up, I’m the one that goes in front of those fans onstage. I’m the one that has to meet up with those fans and have them tell me, ‘I don’t like this.’” Everyone gets to have their two cents when it comes to your career. Everybody gets to tell you, “Don’t do this,” but when it comes down to it I need the fans. I give a fuck. Since before a label, since before anybody. But, this was something that needed to happen and I’m so grateful for it.
With that, is there a new album?
I wanna drop a ton of Snow Tha Product. I feel like I’m making up for lost time. I’m getting as creative as I can with everything. I’m dropping a super awesome song next month that I just shot the video for. I’m trying to drop an EP on my own. And the Vibe Higher mixtape, we’re revamping the whole thing and adding a few songs and putting it up for the fans.
Has it been easier to create?
Yeah! It’s a lot easier. I’m at home, you know what I mean? I’m back to the feeling that I like. At the end of the day, there’s this weird, hippie undertone with me. It’s about my life and it’s about me being happy and living the life that I want to live. Thanks to the music, I’m able to buy a house and be comfortable, and have my friends comfortable and never struggle about that type of stuff. Other than that, I just wanna be free and create.
What’s the most important story you want to tell in this new chapter?
Now that there’s no “We gotta have a single like this,” now I can just make whatever I want. There is some stuff that is very specific to me and very specific to my fans. It’s mostly about that, about mental health and how I feel about certain things. It always has a funny undertone, I feel, because I don’t wanna depress people. I wanna just do what I do [laughs].
I appreciate that you want to be coy with your mental health talk.
I don’t wanna glorify it. There’s a lot of people out there that are making songs about being depressed, and they’re not really depressed. They’re doing it to bank off of [mental health]. I feel like those are the people that are fucking it up a little bit more for the teenagers because now you’re making it them wanna sulk and wanna stay in, some of those feelings that we should be trying to get out of. Me, someone who’s suffered with depression for so many years, I’m trying my best to get out of it. That’s what I want for my fans. I think sometimes that type of music… Yo, some of us really struggle with that. We should try to make it better.
Also, just talking about bisexuality or being Mexican. Companies try to bank off of… Like that “Girls” [by Rita Ora] song, it was fucking dumb. I feel like talking about [bisexuality] in a real sense could be cool. I’m tired of people banking off shit that really matters to us.
Are you always thinking about your impact when you’re creating?
I have my moments where… I said that recently on Facebook because somebody was talking shit about me being with a girl. I am nobody’s role model, and I never want you guys to think that. However, I do impact people’s lives and it does matter. Me representing and being a little more open with my life… I do get a lot of girls that are like, “Thank you so much for being okay.” You know, the whole weird thing about two “girly girls” being together, that represents something, too. Just because we’re two “girly” girls doesn’t mean we can’t be in love. It doesn’t mean we’re doing it for the 'Gram. It just means we are in a relationship and people need to respect that! A lot of girls find that admirable. Stuff like that, I do know that I impact people.
I am very specific, I guess, because I’m one of the only Mexican-American artists that’s really out there. In my culture, people do hold you very accountable for shit.
I appreciate how mindful you are.
A lot of it has to do with me being Mexican, because, in our culture, it was so difficult. The gay thing was so difficult. My culture affects how I do things because, at the end of the day, I’m just some Mexican girl that wants to impact other Mexican girls [laughs]. You know?
I want to end by giving you a “Last Call” moment to say what you need to, to fans.
I’m free! [Laughs] I feel like that’s the biggest thing. I’m free; I’m excited. The level of feeling free is crazy. I went through a divorce. I got myself, finally, dropped from my label, and before I fired a manager. I feel like so many things that were affecting me are gone and now I’m in a moment when everything just feels like I can do whatever. That’s the best feeling because I haven’t had that feeling for, I don’t know, fucking years. I feel like what fans should be excited about is, just know that everything I’m doing from now on is completely me. Also, let people know: stop with the comparisons because I’ve been doing my shit for years and I don’t like people comparing me [laughs] to anybody.
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