How Self-Love & Ingenuity Powered Bree Runway's Rise To The Top

How Self-Love & Ingenuity Powered Bree Runway's Rise To The Top

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How Self-Love & Ingenuity Powered Bree Runway's Rise To The Top

London’s pop/rap polymath is a creative tour-de-force with global ambitions

London’s pop/rap polymath is a creative tour-de-force with global ambitions

Photography: Jack Bridgland

Styling: Anna Trevelyan

Text: Jessica Romoff

Text: Czar Van Gaal

Bree Runway has always been a DIY queen. She reigns with sparkling synths and big bass, all created with her £200 recording kit. It’s shocking that a mixtape like 2020’s 2000AND4EVA, with it’s bad bitch anthems and masterful textures of sound, was completed while in lockdown in a pair of pajamas. “Funny enough, I finished it the same way I started making music,” the London-based rapper and singer says.

Bree wears dressing gown, belt, dog bag MCM Boots Giuseppe Zanotti Rings and dog collar Tilly Sveaas On hair L’Oréal Elnett Satin Strong Hold Hairspray

“When I think back to 2000AND4EVA I’m like whoa, I really recorded this in my room!” Runway’s explosive talent is boundless. She flits between pop, R&B, and rap styles at will, using genre as an accessory to fit her mood. Runway is not some mass-produced pop star. Through every biting lyric and each choreographed shake of her oil-slicked hips, it’s no lie when she chants on last year’s addictive single “APESHIT” cannot steal my sauce, don’t got the same recipe.

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Whether her voice vibrates in a literal diamond in the video for “GUCCI”, or raps in a rumbling rasp on “Babylon,” from Lady Gaga’s recent Dawn of Chromatica remix album, or sultry and covered in suds on “HOT HOT,” Runway’s powerhouse genius is omnipresent. And the fuel to this spirit? Runway’s relentless self-love. “The root of my music is my confidence,” she says. “I am amazed at how far I’ve come. It wasn’t always like this.” Growing up in London’s borough of Hackney, her tight-knit family would put on eccentric talent shows.

Jacket, shorts, boots Gucci Watch Omega Rings, cuff, earrings Cartier Body chains Tilly Sveaas

From a young age, Runway had a hunger to be the headliner. She would spend hours studying Britney Spears’ music videos, mesmerized and mimicking every hair flip, dance move, and lively lyric broadcasted on MTV. Yet she struggled with a self-doubt that delayed her destiny to be a performer, and even considered shelving her dream of sold-out arenas to be an air hostess. But Runway eventually cracked the code to moving on from this paralyzing uncertainty. “As I have grown, I now don’t take bullshit from men, from business, from anyone,” she says decisively. “I love myself so much deeper, and in that self-love, I found my strength.”

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Runway’s spark and devotion to her music has scored her cosigns from industry veterans and legends like Missy Elliott, Runway’s collaborator on the uptempo banger “ATM.” “She’s always made me feel special,” says Runway of Elliott. “Missy let me know just because you’re different, it doesn’t mean you’re not gonna cut through or make it. You just have to keep going. If they don’t get it now, they will catch on later.” This year, Runway has been in the studio concocting her debut album—teasing just enough to leave us wondering what else she has up her sleeve.

Maybe a collab with gal pal Doja Cat? Or more of what we saw from her cameo in Chlöe Bailey’s “Have Mercy” video? A tight-lipped Runway grins, and lets V know, you’ll just have to join her flock of fans who are waiting in anticipation to find out. Though she’s still working out the theme of her debut album, she knows her audience will be blown away by her growth and honesty. “[The concept has] not hit me just yet. But right now, I’m making the music and marrying them together.” she shares. “I don’t want to force it either, because it’s my debut and you only get one debut...I am Bree Runway, and I’m gonna deliver some hot shit.” And you better trust and believe her when she says it.

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Listen to Bree Runway's latest single "HOT HOT":

Credits: Makeup Bernicia Boateng (AGM) / Hair Isaac Poleon (CLM) / Manicure Simone Cummings (CLM) / Production Dais Agency / Stylist assistant Hamish Wirgman / Hair assistant Tyeesha Taylor-Scot / Photo assistant Henry James / Retouching Kushtrim Kunushevci

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