On the occasion of her birthday—which is tomorrow—Third Ward born-and-raised rapper Ingrid has revealed that she is the latest artist to be signed to Beyoncé's company, Parkwood Entertainment. "It's probably the most amazing secret I've ever had to keep in my life," she told The FADER yesterday, beaming a constant smile across her face and wearing an iced-out "Bow Down" bracelet dangling from her wrist while sipping D'Usse in Parkwood's boardroom.
Ingrid has been close with Beyoncé since their childhood Texas days—as a friend of the Knowles family first, and as a creative collaborator in more recent years. She has participated in writing camps (she has a publishing deal with Sony ATV) and honed her singing voice tracking demos for B. "You can hear my influence on songs like 'Bow Down' or 'Flawless,' tracks that have a heavy Southern influence," she explained.
Ingrid's first Parkwood release is a pensive track called "Double Pedigree," which is kind of like a personal statement delivered with some of that "classic Texas hip-hop feel." On the track she raps about maintaining role models like Michelle Obama and falling in love with her skin color, letting each thought hang for a extra beat before she spits the next. "It's one of my favorite tracks because its so slow, and it's a song I know everyone can hear every last thing I'm saying," she said. "I'm into embracing who I am and the skin I'm in. I grew up kind of the peculiar, awkward girl, people always want to place labels on me. I'm a grown woman, I like what I like. I'm Ingrid."
Over the past two years, Ingrid has hammered out a catalogue of new tracks that she will begin dropping in the new year, with the goal of releasing an album before summer. She credits Beyoncé as being an attentive manager, who has offered "detailed" feedback on everything from her tracks to her stage performance (B once kindly suggested she take up running to improve her breath control). But Ingrid does not have any plans to become the new Beyoncé.
"[Beyoncé's] seen me grow, she knows that I've always been this person it just needed to be embraced," she explained. "She understands the value of really embracing people for who they are. She's been allowed to be herself, and I can only hope that I can stay true to myself the way she's stayed true to herself."
Listen to "Double Pedigree" below.