The “F.N.F.” rapper opened up to writer Nerisha Penrose and admitted that she initially tried to change her trademark voice to sound more feminine.
“When I first came out rapping, I was trying to sound like a little girl. I was saying some hard s**t, but just in a little girly a** voice. It was me trying to change my sound because I have a naturally deeper voice.” She decided to switch things up in 2021.
“That’s the year my voice started getting deeper and deeper.” It’s a shift that subsequently led to her 2022 breakout single.
Not only that but Glo admitted that despite the raunchy subject matter in her lyrics, she grew up in a Christian household hence her name; Gloria Hallelujah Woods.
The rapper, 23, told ELLE that she was on a praise and worship team at church and sang in the choir.
“We were a religious, Christian household,” said GloRilla. “We went to church every Sunday. My momma was real strict, and I feel like it played a part in how we used to act at school,” she notes. GloRilla was homeschooled until the fifth grade, when she began attending public school, and she struggled to acclimate to being around kids outside of church. She found relief in “acting like an a**” to shut down any narrative of her being “the quiet one.” Even then, she had a lot to say; it was only a matter of time before she found her voice.
See more highlights from GloRilla’s ELLE magazine cover story below.
On when she started listening to rap at 15 and the influence rapper Chief Keef had on her:
“When I used to do bada** s**t, I used to listen to Chief Keef while I was doing it. He used to motivate me to do bad s**t. But the s**t I used to be doing, he was rapping about, so I’m like, ‘D**n. I relate to everything he’s saying.’ I just liked his energy. He was just so young and turnt and he didn’t give a f**k. Nobody else sounded like him,” she says.
On how she started out rapping: Empowered by the support of her cousin—who also gave her the name GloRilla—and a series of jobs that funded her studio sessions:
(“I worked at Nike, FedEx, Checkers, Walmart. I had a couple jobs,” she says), Glo began to spend countless hours recording, unleashing songs aimed at establishing her reputation in the Memphis area—on screens. She quickly hit the tri-state—Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee—“That’s where my crowd was at,” she says. Her influences expanded to local legends like Three 6 Mafia, Yo Gotti, Moneybagg Yo, and the late Young Dolph and Gangsta Boo. “Memphis is rough, so that made us rough. You can hear the roughness in our music,” she says matter-of-factly. “It’s ghetto—super ghetto. There are a lot of bandos in my neighborhood. Out there, houses get broken into a lot. They break into houses a lot. Fights, you know, the regular ghetto.”
On her music formula consisting of sticky, chant-like raps about men, money, looking good, and hanging out with her girls and the message she is sending out with her music:
“Be independent. Have fun. Live your life. Don’t let no ni**a be the reason that you hate yourself. Have self-love.”
On her EP Anyways, Life’s Great… that was released in November 2022 and what is coming out next:
“You see [with] the EP, three, four of the songs I wrote before I got into the industry—that was me being me fresh into the industry,” she explains. “This [new album] is going to be still me, still raw and uncut. But just me knowing what it’s like being here and [experimenting with] different sounds. Because I was on my hood s**t the whole time. This go-around, it ain’t just me being hard. I got a couple of different sounds coming on this one.”
Read GloRilla’s full ELLE Magazine cover story HERE.