New Jersey’s latest rising rapper, Coi Leray, is on a mission to blow past the competition. Hailing from Bergen County, Coi packed an impressive number of wins into her 2018: several hits under her belt such as “Huddy” and “By Myself,” a slot opening for Gucci Mane, and an upcoming tour with Trippie Redd. Today (Jan.18), fresh off the excitement of her new EC2 project release, she officially announces her deal with Republic Records, exclusively with Billboard.
“It’s just such a blessing to have. At the end of the day, I met with a lot of great A&R’s and great CEO’s, but what stuck out to me about Republic is how genuine it was,” Coi tells Billboard about her decision. “Monte and Avery [Lipman] are still in their chairs since they started the company. You got real CEO’s that have a real connection to this music because they’ve been doing it for so long.”
Authenticity and day one loyalty are always crucial factors in how Coi Leray chooses her every move, which has been key to propelling her music career to where it is today in such a short amount of time. She prides herself on rolling with the same support system since the day she recorded her first song. Her top piece of advice? “You need a strong team,” she says. “You need a strong team.”
In late 2017, instead of succumbing to the dissatisfaction of her living situation, Coi took matters into her own hands with full force. “I was working a customer service job. It was a 9 a.m.-7 p.m. job and I was living in my own apartment. I just couldn’t take it anymore,” she reflects. She dived head-first into her music dreams and recorded her first hit, “G.A.N.,” which took on a life of its own soon after she put it up on SoundCloud. By spring 2018, she released her debut mixtape, Everything CoZ. Since then there's been no looking back.
From the jump, Coi’s charisma was magnetic, as supporters instantaneously flocked to her social media pages and shows to rally her on. Her most recent hit, “Huddy,” boomed to over a million views in just three months. She even grabbed a placement on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse official soundtrack with the song “Save the Day” alongside Ski Mask the Slump God, Jacquees, and LouGotCash.
With her career moving at lightning speed, Coi refuses to buckle under the pressure and instead chooses to approach the journey with tunnel vision. “Honestly, it does get overwhelming sometimes, but I just don’t stop. I continue to do what I do,” she tells Billboard. “Now that everything’s moving, I’m always busy. I’m just excited to drop my project at this point.”
Her newest EP, EC2, which stands for “Everything CoZ 2,” is her way to show off the spectrum of her talents, including her dual talent as a singer. “I feel like this will show my full potential,” she says. Her “Everything CoZ” mantra (pronounced “cozy”), is a testament to remaining as comfortable as possible in one’s own identity. Coi explains, “It’s all about self-acceptance and not having to put on all this unnecessary shit. It doesn’t get any realer than that.”
At the top of 2019, Leray has a new record label to call home, a new EP and all the signs of a superstar in the making. “Things are moving so fast that it’s just going to keep going and going,” she says. “Looking back, I’m proud and I’m blessed to be where we are now. Back then, we knew what we were doing but we didn’t really have the resources that we have now. Now that we have now, we’re about to go off.”