How Lady Gaga inspired Saweetie’s new single

Saweetie’s latest single “NANi” is aiming to become the next summer party jam, but it was created by looking to the past. The upbeat song is inspired by harrowing source material—Lady Gaga’s manic pre-fame lifestyle.

“Like plane, Sprintеr, glam, to the club/ Back door, section, shots, another club/ Two shows, one night, what’s that? A hundred-plus/ Whole room full of bad bitches, it’s a lot of us,” a verse in “NANi” goes.

It’s a direct reference to a 2011 Fuse interview, where Lady Gaga described her hectic performing schedule before her breakout success with The Fame. “I had to fight for a year, tooth and nail,” Gaga said. “Blood, sweat, and leather every night. No sleep, bus, club, ‘nother club, ‘nother club, plane, next place, no sleep, no fear. Nobody believed in me.”

Conversely, “NANi” is all about good vibes. The music video features a Barbie-inspired pink set, poolside lounging, dance parties, and the aforementioned shot or two (or twelve).

“‘NANi’ isn’t just a track; it’s the soundtrack to a good time,” Saweetie said in a statement following the release. “This track def gives main character energy! This single has been a labor of love, and it’s just the beginning. I’ve been working on this new music for a while, and I’m excited to share more of this journey with you.”

In addition to Lady Gaga and Barbie, Saweetie points to Grace Jones as a major inspiration.

But just because the song isn’t as depressing as Lady Gaga’s pre-fame hustle doesn’t mean Saweetie has no experience with that struggle. In an interview with Power 106’s Brown Bag Mornings, she recalled being near homelessness while trying to make it in the industry. “I remember I was too proud to tell my friends and my family that I had nowhere to stay and I was literally couch surfing,” she said.

“But it was cool because people always wanted to be around, so I didn’t have to worry about having a place to stay, but my homegirls knew what was going on. But I never wanted to take up space in someone’s house, so I would just keep my closet in my car.”

Now, even as she references Lady Gaga’s interview in a song, it’s clear she’s ready to trade those days for a Barbie aesthetic and poolside tunes—and who can blame her?

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