In the bougiest Nando’s in Soho, HoodCelebrityy reveals her mantra for success while digging into chicken and chips. “You’ve got to believe in yourself, everything starts with you. You gotta make you pop because no one is gonna do it for you,” she says of her hustler persona. “When I first came to New York from Jamaica, I never expected to be living the life I am now.”
As we speak, that life includes touching down in London for her live UK debut at Notting Hill Carnival. HoodCelebrityy, real name Tina Pinnock, is a perfect fit for an event borne from a melting pot of cultures. Born in Jamaica’s Portmore neighbourhood, Pinnock moved to New York when she was 12 years old and credits her cross-cultural upbringing for her incendiary sound – a blend of dancehall, trap and reggae.
Living in The Bronx, she also formed a tight friendship with a young Belcalis Almanzar, now known to the world as Cardi B. The stars rose together: Pinnock jumped on Cardi B’s song Back it Up and Cardi returned the favour by featuring on Pinnock’s Island Girls. Nurtured and inspired by her close-knit community, Pinnock’s stage name suggests that HoodCelebrityy isn’t just an artistic outlet, but an ode to her home.
This summer, Pinnock repped her neighbourhood by performing at Summer Jam, Hot 97’s iconic hip-hop festival. “It was a big thing for me and my family, just seeing how New York supports me. Summer Jam was something I always wanted to do.” And while the epic glory of Summer Jam might stand in stark contrast with the view from the stage at this year’s mud-splattered Carnival, Pinnock was hyped over the rowdy crowd dutty wining in the pouring rain. “People out here in the UK just don’t give a fuck, everybody’s just living their best life,” she tells me, before doubling down on her ambition. “My hope is for dancehall to be the biggest sound in the world.”
Sounds Like: Dancehall riddims over hard trap beats
Soundtrack For: Power anthems for kicking men to the curb
Fun Fact: HoodCelebrityy used to play the violin in high school and meditates daily
Stefflon Don / Popcaan