Claudia Feliciano, or as most know her, Snow Tha Product, is a 23-year-old music artist who has just been signed to Atlantic Records. Born to undocumented Mexican immigrants, Snow grew up in California and now makes her home in Fort Worth, Texas. With a new mixtape Good Nights and Bad Mornings about to hit the scene, we caught up with the young lyricist to talk about her music and where she plans on going next.
How’d you get into music?
“I actually just stumbled into it. My friends were all doing freestyling and doing music. I was really that girl that always had her headphones on, I really liked music, but I didn’t think I’d make my own. But then, I started freestyling, and then battling. Then I put my stuff on Myspace and people liked it, and I liked doing it, so I just kept doing it. “
Interesting moniker. Where’d the name come from?
“The name is kind of a random story. When I used to dream about making it, I would talk about it with one friend, and we would think it would be something like a fairytale. We joked about what princess we’d be, like what Disney one we’d be. I had dark hair and light skin so I became ‘Snow White.’ Some people think I’m referencing something bad, but no, not really, it’s from a princess! (laughs). ‘Tha Product’ was because I wanted to kind of make sure that this didn’t take on my whole life. You know, I’m still Claudia, I’m still down to earth. I’m not always like when I’m performing or rapping.”
What’s on tap right now? Are you doing shows?
“Well right now, I just finished my mixtape, which is cool. I did Latin Energy Fest, and I’m just doing shows. I’m working on putting more stuff out there, especially on the internet, doing more videos, putting out more visuals.”
In some of your songs, you sing a few hooks. Do you consider yourself a singer/rapper, or just a rapper?
“I’m an artist. I don’t just do those two things either, I have a lot to do with my videos and production – my brother and I do a lot of my videos, so I’m really involved. When it comes to hooks, I mean, yeah if I could get a girl [besides me] to do a hook, that would be cool (laughs). I don’t consider myself a true ‘singer,’ really. That standard is a little high for me (laughs). But I express myself any way I can.”
What do you want to bring to the industry or to your fans? Why’s your perspective different?
“I don’t from the whole ‘sex sells’ thing. But I also don’t go the whole other route, either, trying to be some sort of super-tomboy or not be comfortable showing that I’m a girl. I mean, I’m just doing me. I want to show girls – especially those into hip-hop – that you can be yourself and be good. People, especially girls, do some crazy stuff to call attention to themselves. They promote this super-sexual image, and then they’re wondering why young girls are more sexual and sexting and doing all this stuff. It’s like, that’s what we’re promoting, c’mon. It’s what we’re showing is okay. That’s not what I want to do, though. I just want to make those girls that feel awkward as hell that it’s cool to have ethics and morals, and show girls who want to do something that’s not ‘normal’ that it’s okay. I’m here to rep them.”
Where do you get your inspiration?
“I mean some of it, really, it's just ranting. My ‘Holy Shit’ video, that’s just me getting stuff off my chest. It’s sometimes very hard for a girl like me in this industry, whether it be because of gender, race, or something else and the fact that I’m not comfortable selling some sort of sex image. A lot of people, they see me and they are like ‘Oh, Latina? She’s gonna be the hot Latina in the [industry]’ and that’s not it at all. I mean, I write about relationships, I talk about different things, but it’s real and not some sort of thing they want me to be. It’s about having my own angle on life.”
Who are your icons and how have they influenced what you want to do?
“I love Missy [Elliott]. I really like Da Brat, other rappers from the 90s. I listen to a lot of R&B from the 90s. I mean, in the 90s most hip hop did have some R&B. I want to get to a point where I can be really creative, like Missy. That would be cool, not ever doing a cheap song just to get on the radio. I want to do some crazy stuff with my sound, that at least if it failed it was something interesting, not something wack.”
How has being Latina influenced your sound?
“I am very Mexican (laughs) so it’s had a lot of influence. I mean, it’s a part of who I am. I’ll throw references in there that Mexicans will get. I did a song in Mexico with Jaime Kohen, it’s under the name Claudia White, called ‘Alguien’ and it did pretty well. It played on telanovelas and radio there. I’m not sure why I used that name, exactly. I guess, in Spanish it’s like, a different thing. I don’t curse when rapping [in Spanish] because my family will hear it! (laughs)”
Do you prefer freestyle or laying down tracks?
“I like making tracks. Freestyle, lyrical stuff I did it more for the shock factor. To say, look I can do this, you remember that I’m good at what I do, but I do want to get creative and do my own songs and do some interesting stuff. Freestyle earns you respect. I don’t want people ever to think, after I start writing doing some other stuff, that I couldn’t hack it as a rapper or something.”
What’s next? What's on the radar?
“I have an all-original mixtape coming out. I do know that I’m going to be touring and doing shows. Really, just continuing to do music and getting it out there.”
To see more of Snow's projects and hear her music, check out her Facebook: Facebook.com/SnowThatProduct