Following her three Grammy nominations, Muni Long is feeling… well, she’s not so sure yet.
“I think everything that’s happening right now is surreal,” she shared with Billboard R&B/hip-hop reporter Neena Rouhani in a new Billboard News video interview. “I definitely have a delayed reaction.”
The “Hrs & Hrs” singer is up for three Grammys, including best new artist, best R&B song and best R&B performance for her breakout hit. “Watching the Grammys nominations on YouTube, I was like ‘yes!'” she exclaimed. “I was like, ‘I wonder when it’s gonna hit me?’ And then I just burst out crying for like five minutes.”
The 34-year-old artist saw great success with her 2021 viral hit “Hrs & Hrs,” following an already robust career as a songwriter for massive singers including Rihanna, Ariana Grande and Chris Brown. “Hrs & Hrs” spent three weeks atop Billboard‘s Hot R&B Songs chart, while her latest album Public Displays of Affection: The Album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200.
Long also set the record straight regarding the common mispronunciation of her moniker, which Olivia Rodrigo pronounced as “mooney” during the Grammys nominee announcement stream. “I tend not to correct people when they get it wrong because once they find out how you actually pronounce it, they’ll never do it again,” she told Billboard. “They mispronounced Beyoncé at first and now everyone knows who she is.”
Long expressed special excitement for her “coveted four” best new artist nomination, noting it was the one she really wanted. She says she was a little nervous, considering that everyone doesn’t consider the longtime songwriter to be new. “In this iteration of myself as Muni Long — it is a character, a persona that I’ve created, but it’s also the real me,” she said. “As a songwriter, you have to be a certain way in order to be invited back. You can’t take up too much space. I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to be liked and not really being myself.
“To be acknowledged by my peers as one of the best new presences,” she went on, “It was just like, ‘Wow.'”
Watch the full video interview with Long above.