There are few artists that capture the true essence of R&B like Muni Long does. Asserting herself as an uncompromising and unfiltered voice of the genre, her near decade-long journey from songwriter to established musician is finally unfolding before our eyes.
Prior to her newfound success with “Hrs & Hrs,” the Grammy-nominated singer established herself as one of the music industry’s most sought-after songwriters. Her list of collaborators spans across musical icons such as Fifth Harmony, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna to name a few. She also penned tracks like Big Sean’s “My Last,” Sabrina Carpenter’s “Thumbs,” and Demi Lovato’s “In Case.” Not to mention, the rising starlet worked extensively with the likes of Ariana Grande on 2019’s thank u, next cuts “imagine” and “fake smile” as well as “just like magic” and “six thirty” from her 2020 album Positions. Between multiple No. 1 records and several top-20 songs on the Billboard Hot 100s, Muni Long cemented her presence as a multi-hyphenate creative long before seeing success in her solo career as a musician.
Long’s introduction to the industry came under her birth name Priscilla Renea, gaining popularity on YouTube before she inked a deal with Capitol Records. The major label would later release her debut album, Jukebox, in 2009 alongside a number of singles like “Dollhouse” and “Pretty Girl.” Despite the project’s backing, it unfortunately failed to achieve the expected charting success, garnering a mere 1,200 album sales. From there, Muni Long embarked on her iconic songwriting before independently releasing her second LP, Coloured. The project, though only ten songs, contained a mix of classic R&B, country, and urban-Soul while simultaneously detailing her childhood in rural Florida, racial trauma, and love among other topics.
Under her new moniker, Muni Long formally reintroduced herself to the world with the Jacob Latimore-assisted cut “Mightnight Snack,” which released under her own label Supergiant Records. Signaling a new era in her career—an extraordinarily promising one at that—the single was followed by “Breakin Up” and “Nekkid” featuring YFN Lucci. All three songs appeared on her debut EP, Black Like This, which is comprised of seven songs that set the tone for her multi-layered R&B that meshes seamlessly well with the singer’s striking vocal style. Seemingly, this is the first time that labels caught wind of her vocal prowess after she was pigeonholed into the songwriter box for years.
2021 saw the release of Long’s sophomore effort Nobody Knows, an eagerly-awaited follow-up that introduces an array of both new and previously release songs. Leading up to the release, she unveiled “Build a Bae,” which finds the singer collaborating with Yung Bleu for the first time. Other tracks like “Thot Thoughts” featuring Sukihanna and “Sneaky Link” give fans a deeper look into Muni Long’s songwriting abilities both on paper and on the mic. Visuals for records such as “Nuttin Like This” and “Late Night Nigga” further increased the anticipation and acclaim of the project.
One of her strongest records to date, “Hrs & Hrs” was the big breakthrough that propelled Muni Long into a much-deserved viral triumph. Since the song’s release in November of that year, the sound amassed over 240 million video views to date on 1.5 million global video creations. The sultry love song inspired creators alike to highlight what they love about their loved ones through a number of cozy indoor date nights, compilations of candid moments, and footage of early Valentine’s Day proposals. “Yours, mine, ours / I could do this for hours / Sit and talk to you for hours,” she sings on the song. Celebrities such as Jordyn Woods, Te’a Cooper, Kelis, and Latto are among the many to embrace the record, which notably earned Long her first RIAA-certified Platinum song as the lead artist.
Not only that, but her third EP under the new alias dropped the same day in partnership with Def Jam Recordings. Public Displays Of Affection dons eight songs with a lone feature from Ann Marie, whilst songs like “IMU” and “Time Machine” support the project as well. Elsewhere, a live iteration of “Just Beginning” from her previous EP appears as the closer with production being handled by The Weeknd collaborator Charlie Coffeen. Currently, Muni Long is preparing to release the deluxe edition of the project, which will include her recently released offerings “Another” and “Pain,” both of which collectively amassed over five million YouTube views. She also dropped “Baby Boo” with platinum superstar Saweetie earlier this month.
Having been in music for over a decade and accumulating a resume that any songwriter would love to have, Muni Long is fittingly on pace to become of this year’s most celebrated musicians alongside the new wave of R&B artists. Now, at 33-years-old, the Grammy-nominated, RIAA-certified Platinum, bonafide R&B star is a testament to not giving up despite the industry telling you otherwise. Thus, there’s no doubt that she’ll take full advantage of her newfound stardom and continue to churn out more love songs and bedroom bangers.