It may seem like Awkwafina has risen to stardom incredibly fast, but the rapper and actress detailed her difficult professional journey in an emotional Twitter post on Sunday.
The artist, whose real name is Nora Lum, explained that her path started with the release of the viral hit “My Vag” and “NYC Bitches” ― a track she made while working at a vegan bodega for $9 an hour ― in 2012. She celebrated by listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” when record executives contacted her for a meeting, but things ended up not panning out with the label.
Fast forward five years: The “Crazy Rich Asians” actress found herself listening to the same song in an Escalade on the way to the film’s Hollywood premiere. She said she “became teary, thinking about this moment, what it meant.”
Awkwafina wasn’t supposed to exist, but somehow she does. And I think about it everyday, that she was born for one reason only — to show every person out there, that it is possible.
Nora Lum, aka Awkwafina
“Awkwafina was a dream I was chasing, and in some ways, I am still chasing her,” Lum wrote. “But we need to take risks. We need to go broke. We need to prove them wrong, simply by not giving up. Awkwafina wasn’t supposed to exist, but somehow she does. And I think about it everyday, that she was born for one reason only ― to show every person out there, that it is possible.”
Lum said she released “My Vag” knowing that the song could hurt her chances in future interviews, and she recounted being fired from jobs because of her persona “Awkwafina.” She even remembers getting kicked off line-ups as people told her, “Awkwafina is a joke.
Despite the ups and downs, Lum stuck with her craft ― and it all paid off.
“Thank you guys for believing in Awkwafina,” she wrote in her tweet.