26-year-old Katorah Marrero began rapping when she was just nine, and began releasing music under the name of Young M.A 11 years later. Born in Brooklyn to Puerto Rican and Jamaican parents, M.A grew up moving all over the South before settling back in the New York borough when she was 16; a place made iconic within hip hop’s roots. She’s established herself as a rule-breaker as she tears down every wall and exceeds every expectation the community had of female rappers.
She was successful with her self-released debut mixtapes M.A The Mixtape and Sleep Walkin’ in 2015, with the latter referred to by MTV as “a thoughtful debut project”, however it was following single ‘Ooouuu’ which brought her the fame.The triple platinum single was the leading track from her 2017 EP Herstory and now has over 200 million views on YouTube and almost 160 million Spotify streams. It has been remixed and covered by many hip hop artists including Nicki Minaj, A$AP Ferg and French Montana. It hit number 3 in the Billboard Hot Rap Songs charts, making her the first female solo artist to enter that chart all year. Through this success, she gained support from many huge names including 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg to name a few, with Beyonce even championing ‘Ooouuu’ on her Instagram.
M.A’s debut album Herstory In The Making is due later this year and is said to be her most personal work yet. Keen on maintaining her privacy while being very much in the limelight in the past two years, she stated “People will hear this album and say ‘I had no idea she was going through all that’.”
What is so remarkable about Young M.A aside from her talent is her eagerness to use her platform for good. While not only co-founding the charity Kweens Foundation with her mother to help those affected by gun violence, she is quickly becoming a popular LGBT+ icon as she doesn’t shy away from expressing her sexuality in her lyrics. DJBooth said “Luckily, by sharing her story, Young M.A allows herself to be a light for her queer fans and anyone else struggling to accept themselves and bridge the gap between who they feel they are and who they’re expected to be.”
To highlight her grand influence even further, she has also featured on global adverts for Google, Beats headphones and Pandora radio, starring alongside infamous characters such as Dua Lipa, Rebel Wilson and Pharrell. This year she was also named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in the music category with the likes of Hayley Williams, Cardi B and Marshmello.
In 2016, she was invited to join Beyonce on the New York date of her Formation tour which saw the rising rapper go from performing in front of 200 people in clubs to suddenly over 50,000 at the MetLife Stadium.
To witness the showcase that captivated the likes of these huge names, see Young M.A perform at London’s XOYO on 21st August – tickets available here!
Tags: introducing / young m.a