HOT 97 touch down at Made in America 2022! Even though it was blazing hip hop and R&B (90+ degrees) we were able to talk to some of the lady performers who rocked the stages at the festival!
The two-day music fest was held on Saturday, September 3rd & Sunday, September 4th at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In true Philly fashion, cheesesteak and water ice food trucks were planted on the festival grounds. Performing artists ranged from Lil Uzi Vert to Snoh Aalegra. We had the chance to go backstage and speak with R&B singer Ambré and rapper Flo Milli who took over D'USSÉ’s VIP Lounge.
Flo Milli treats VIP guests to a celebrity cocktail making session with D'USSÉ Cognac at Made in America festival (📸 Shareif Ziyadat)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Flo Milli performs onstage during 2022 Made In America at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 03, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Roc Nation )
Niani: When you first started using Tik Tok, was your end goal to get signed or were you using it for leisure like everyone else?
Flo Milli: Honestly, I was just using it for fun. My first Tik Tok, I believe got 5 million views and from there it just started to grow organically.
Niani: What do you think it was about your content vs another rising artists' content that made you stand out?
Flo Milli: I feel like I was never afraid to step out of the box. Coming from where I come from, there isn't really a music scene so everything I created came from me being inspired by other artists I grew up listening to. It was also me not being afraid to take risks and leave where I am from. In order to grow you have to leave where you from.
Niani: What would you say to the person who says 'Flo Milli got it easy. She wasn't standing outside the record labels. She got this (rap career) handed to her'?
Flo Milli: Cap. Nothing ever comes easy. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. To everyone outside, it looks like a fast come up. But for me I;ve been rapping since I was 10 years old. A lot of people don't know that. It's been 10 years of me going into the studios.
Niani: Let's talk about "You Still Here, Ho?". 17 tracks. Each song has its own flavor. Can you talk about the process of putting this debut album together?
Flo Milli: I'm not going to lie, I've been working on this album for a longtime. Half of the songs I was going to put on it didn't even make the album. I was content because I did want it to sound like my last mixtape. I wanted it to sound like an album. I wanted people to feel like they were on rollercoaster ride.
Niani: You incorporate a lot of skits into your music and videos. Do you see yourself having an acting career in the future?
Flo Milli: Of course, I want every bag! I've been in drama clubs and modeling so absolutely.
Ambré treats VIP guests to a celebrity cocktail making session with D'USSÉ Cognac at Made in America festival (📸 Shareif Ziyadat)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Ambré performs onstage during 2022 Made In America at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 04, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Roc Nation)
Niani: Ambré you just wrapped up your first Made in America performance. How was it performing in this 90 degree heat?!
Ambré: It was lit. I had a whole group of people in the front who knew my music. That was my first time hearing people sing my songs back to me like that. It was a 10 out 10 experience.
Niani: You are a self taught musician. We know you play the guitar but what other instruments can you play?
Ambré: I grew up playing the trombone. I dabble into other instruments but I wouldn't say I know how to play them.
Niani: What do you have planned for the last quarter of the year?
Ambré: I am hoping to get be on the road and do my own tour. I want to get more practice performing.
Niani: There are people out here who have never listened to your music. Would you recommend that they start with 3000 degrees or with your earlier work from 2015?
Ambré: I am a perfectionist so I will say people should start with 3000 degrees and then go backwards so people can hear the progression.
Sporting a lavender pant suit, Jazmine Sullivan gave a soulful performance at the Rocky Stage. Her set included songs from all four studio albums. During the middle of her set she announced that she was bestowed an official Liberty Bell from City of Philadelphia. One of the city’s most cherished and symbolic treasures, it is given to only the most distinguished honorees. Past recipients include Patti Labelle, Michael B. Jordan, Mary J. Blige, Adam Sandler, and Sylvester Stallone.
The honor comes on the same day her Grammy award-winning album Heaux Tales was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. In addition to her RIAA-certified Platinum single, “Pick Up Your Feelings,” “Girl Like Me” and “On It” are now RIAA-certified Gold.
R&B singer & songwriter Victoria Monét opened the Rocky Stage for her Sunday set. Giving full choreo and live vocals in 90 degree weather, Monét continues to prove that she is a legend in the making. Her performance included songs from Jaguar , her independent singles "Coastin", "F.U.C.K" and a "Wipe Me Down" dance break.