'I love all genres, I love music and I love to express myself,' Leray told PEOPLE
Don't put Coi Leray in any boxes!
The rapper and singer cited her versatility while speaking with PEOPLE's Janine Rubenstein exclusively at the 2024 Grammy Awards as part of the Women In The Mix initiative to amplify the voices of female musicians.
Leray, 26, has been on the music scene since 2018 and released her first studio album, Trendsetter, in 2022, but Sunday was her first time attending or being nominated for a Grammy.
She was nominated in the best rap performance category for her hit "Players" and for best pop dance recording for her work on "Baby Don't Hurt Me" with David Guetta and Anne-Marie.
"It's a blessing. I got nominated for the pop category and then the rap category so I feel like my versatility is something that I really would love everyone to continue to appreciate and admire," she told PEOPLE. "And for the ones who are still discovering me to notice that, 'cause I don't want to be locked in a box."
She said that her goal in the studio is always to "make what comes to the heart."
"I love all genres, I love music and I love to express myself," Leray said, adding that "it's lit" to be nominated in two different genre categories for two different songs.
Related: Women In The Mix
"This is what I do, I'm an artist," Leray said. "I love that I'm a fashion girl and I can cook and I also love fishing, but I'm an artist. I came in this as an artist first," Leray said, calling the recording studio "my number one baby."
The rapper is becoming known for her bold outfits that sometimes feature minimal fabric, but she admitted to PEOPLE that as she gets older she's learning what it means to be a role model.
"I do take criticism and I take it and I learn from it," she said, "And someone said, 'You know, at the end of the day, regardless if you don't want to be a role model or not, you are.'"
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Leray said the comment made her become more self-aware and realize that as she gets older she should "put some clothes on now."
"I love being sexy, twerking and all that, but as I get older it's just a different respect level and I'm realizing I'm really a role model, you know?" she added.
Leray wore an archived YSL black body suit with tights to her first Grammys.
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