It’s been nearly three years since Latto broke through with her anthem “Bitch from da Souf,” and a lot has changed since then. In March 2020, the Atlanta native signed a deal with RCA Records, before dropping her debut studio album Queen of da Souf, which peaked in the top 50 of the Billboard 200 and included two platinum-certified singles. She also changed her name from Mulatto to Latto, and grew a massive following.
Now, Latto is walking into the release week for her second studio album with a lot more experience and knowledge. “I’m really growing as a woman, and it just reflects in the music,” she says.
Latto’s forthcoming album, 777, will be the first full-length project she’s dropped under her new name, and with it, she says she’s “reintroducing” herself to the world and hoping to make a statement. While she opted for a pop-leaning sound with “Big Energy,” she says the album will showcase her versatility, with all different types of vibes.
“I wanted to solidify myself and where I fit in the industry,” she tells Complex. “This is just the first introduction. ‘Big Energy’ is the pop sound from this project. I got an R&B sound. I got the rap trap sound. I got some rhythmic stuff that I did with Pharrell, just different swaggy stuff.” The album also includes features from major collaborators like Lil Wayne, 21 Savage, Childish Gambino, and more.
Ahead of Latto’s album release, she revealed that an artist featured on her album made it difficult to clear the collaboration when she denied their advances. Her comments shed light on what women in the music industry are constantly faced with. “People have always told us, ‘It’s better not to speak on that,’ or we’re burning bridges or we’re problematic if we do,” she explains. “But it really shouldn’t be how the game is.” Latto did not explicitly name the artist, noting, “It is something that you just got to tread lightly on when you do speak on those subjects, because sometimes people get invested for the drama of the situation rather than the fact that female rappers are being silenced in the industry and bullied behind closed doors.”
Latto is confident about where she is at in her career and what fans will hear on her new album. She declares herself the “female face for Atlanta,” and suggests 777 will further stamp her name in the history books. Complex spoke with Latto about making the album, navigating the music industry as a woman, and more. The interview, lightly edited for clarity, is below.