Iggy Azalea (born Amethyst in 1990) is an Australian songwriter and rapper. Azalea started rapping at 14 and moved to the United States of America in 2006. As of November 2011, she is managed by Interscope Records’ George Robertson and Neil Jacobson but still unsigned officially. She is perhaps better known for her promotional songs “Pu$$y” and “My World” whose music videos went viral on YouTube. Her debut studio album “The New Classic” will be released in 2012.
Iggy Azalea was born in Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia and moved to Miami, Florida, USA right before she turned 16 years old to pursue her music career. She told her parents she was going “on a holiday” with a friend but eventually decided to stay and told them she was not coming back home shortly after. Her father was a comic artist and painter and her mother cleaned holiday houses and hotels. Azalea says her father “made her look at [art] as a teenager” which has always influenced her life and work. “I was drawn to America because I felt like an outsider in my own country, I was in love with hip-hop, and America is the birthplace of that, so I figured the closer I was to the music, the happier I’d be. I was right.”
Her birth name is Amethyst (she hasn’t disclosed her last name) but she started using a stage name, Iggy Azalea, after moving to the United States. Iggy Azalea was the name of her family’s dog while growing up. She has also lived in Atlanta before moving to Los Angeles in 2010. Azalea didn’t graduate from high school because she’d rather earn and save money by cleaning with her mother to pursue her desire of moving to America.
After moving to the United States, staying in Miami and a brief stint in Houston, Azalea settled for a few years in Atlanta, and eventually in Los Angeles, where she currently resides since 2010.
She started rapping at the age of 14 but was obsessed with rap from age 11 when she heard “Baby Don’t Cry”. She also regularly mentions her early influence by Tupac in her interviews, “I was sickly obsessed. I had every picture of Tupac ever printed on my wall”. Azalea also draws and paints as an hobby. She also mentions Andre 3000, Kanye West, Gwen Stefani and Grace Kelly as some of her inspirations.
In 2011, Iggy Azalea started uploading several freestyle videos that went viral on YouTube. In early September, Perez Hilton discovered and posted her first music video “Pu$$y”. The visuals, featuring Iggy and friends suggestively slurping ice creams, were filmed in the territory of street gang Rollin 60s.
She’s currently managed by George Robertson and Neil Jacobson from Interscope Records, but hasn’t officially announced signing a deal with a record label yet.
On September 27, 2011, Azalea released her first free mixtape, “Ignorant Art”, saying she made it “with the intent to make people question and redefine old ideals” . She performed live in her first shows ever on October in New York City, as a part of the CMJ Music Festival and Perez Hilton’s “One Night In…” concert series, alongside Mary J Blige and Boyz II Men.
In November 2011, she released a music video for another promotional song “My World” featuring a cameo from character actor and former wrestler Tiny Lister, which earned her more attention due to its rising popularity online. “It’s supposed to have like, all the ridiculousness of a big-budget ’90s video, but then chopped and screwed,” Azalea explains.
Azalea revealed in December that she will be releasing her debut album, “The New Classic”, in the first quarter of 2012. She also said she will be signing a record label deal soon and “once thats sorted out and I establish an over all sound and direction for the album I will be able to know what artists would make for a dynamic collaboration”.