After big success as a songwriter for Rihanna, Ariana Grande and other vocalists, Priscilla Renea rebranded herself as Muni Long and scored a huge streaming hit with “Hrs & Hrs.” Long’s breakthrough single, from 2022’s Public Displays of Affection: The Album (Def Jam), is up for Best R&B Song and Performance, propelling the skillful singer-songwriter to a Best New Artist nomination 13 years into her career.

Check out a flipbook of interviews with Best New Artist nominees from our Grammy Preview: Part 3.

As an award-winning songwriter with hits under your belt, what does Grammy recognition mean to you?
Recognition from the Grammys confirms what I had already known—knowing yourself and remaining steadfast is the key to success. After being a songwriter for so long, it means the world to be recognized by my peers as a creative force worthy of a place in history among so many other titans of the industry.

What did you listen to growing up? What acts influenced you the most?
DeAngelo, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Spice Girls, Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters, NSYNC, Whitney Houston, Faith Evans, Celine Dion and Dolly Parton, to name a few.

You were previously nominated for your work on H.E.R.’s 2021 debut album. Why would a Grammy for “Hrs & Hrs” be especially meaningful?
“Hrs & Hrs” was the first song that introduced the world to Muni Long on an international scale. Moreover, it would show the significance of viral platforms. Although the song wasn’t explicitly “made for TikTok,” it gained traction and blew up from there. I hope it would inspire other singers and songwri-ters to share their work using the resources they have, because they never know how far it can take them.

What are you looking forward to in 2023?
I’m looking forward to making more music, connecting with fans and being a touchstone for the dreamers out there.