- Cliff Vmir is known for his effortless wisdom and skills in beauty but now he's creating a new foundation in music and believes the rap industry is slowly becoming more open and acceptable to LGBTQ rappers.
Cliff is no stranger to the limelight and Hollywood lifestyle. At the young age of 19, Cliff earned his first million and years later produced and starred in BET’s first-ever original reality digital series, Wig Out.
Authentic to himself and his skill set, Cliff knows the sky is only the limit as long as you stay true to who you are. 21Ninety caught up with Cliff Vmir to discuss his journey to the top, realizing his worth as a stylist, facing backlash and stepping into a new rap career.
- Liz Smith: First I have to say congratulations on all your success so far! Literally been making history since age 19! I know you loved hair since a very young age, practicing your skill on Barbie dolls, so would you say that you chose the beauty and hair industry or it chose you?
- Cliff Vmir: Honestly, I feel like I chose it but then it chose me! I say that because when I was like two or three years old I was super attracted to Barbie dolls and anything that had hair. I would be in elementary school running my fingers through girl's hair and I use to get in trouble for always playing in people's hair. When I got older I was so intrigued with the thought of making money doing something that I loved. Once I realized how good I was that's when the hair life chose me.
LS: As a Delaware native you’ve made Atlanta your home as well as your place of business. Out of all the cities in America, why Atlanta and how has this city helped you get to where you are today?
CV: I chose Atlanta because at the age of 16 I use to fly out to Atlanta and be a vendor at the Bronner Brother's Hair Show and one thing that I really loved about coming to Atlanta was the beauty industry was so different and new. If you were a popping hairstylist you were basically considered a celebrity. I remember going to the hair show and experiencing girls coming up to me screaming, crying and wanting pictures and telling me how inspired they were. So by the time I got back home I just felt so inspired and Atlanta really made me realize what type of clientele I was attracted to. The money was never an issue in Atlanta and the customers were great. Moving to Atlanta really put me in grind mode and bossed me up completely.
LS: You appeared and produced in BET’s first-ever original reality digital series…like I said making history! Did you feel a lot of pressure when working on that project and is reality tv something you’ll consider again in the future?
CV: I didn't feel a lot of pressure at all because anything that I do I like to have fun with it. The only thing I really know how to do is be myself. When I initially met with BET and they gave me the whole offer I was literally at the table in the meeting just being myself, transparent and they loved that. So once we started filming it was easy, it didn't really hit me until the show aired. Now would I get back into it, yes! I'm actually about to start filming for another digital show of my own very soon.
If looks can kill then I’m making souls ill”
LS: Congratulations! Currently you’re stepping from behind the chair onto center stage as a rapper and we all know transitioning from one big career path to the next isn’t always the easiest. Are you nervous at all about how your fans and supporters will react to your transition?
CV: I am very nervous and that's because I don't like being compared to other people and what other people have going on. I just really don't like hearing comparisons. As long as I can be myself and just have fun with the music I feel like that's where the hits come in. Now I will say years ago when I had my show with BET, Marlo Hampton made a comment to me basically telling me "to stick to hair" and I'm not going to lie it definitely crushed me. Not only did she tell me that but I had the whole entire world trolling on my Instagram telling me "stick to hair". Just imagine having a dream and people telling you everyday not to follow your dreams. I dealt with depression and a lot of people don't realize the things you say to a person can and might hurt them. However, I'm not weak, I'm strong and I bounced back.
LS: LGBTQ rappers in my opinion are getting more exposure and I smile every time I hear Saucy Santana’s record on the radio. Do you think the rap game is more acceptable and open to LGBTQ rappers and if not does that make you want to go harder to pursue this rap dream?
CV: I feel like the industry is being more acceptable. We've made some progress! We have Santana, Lil Nas X, myself, Kidd Ken and a lot of talented rappers. We're just in that era where the women are on top and dominate but I feel like next will be the LGBTQ community and we just have to keep pushing and stay united.
LS: EP dropping this year, correct? What can fans expect to hear from this?
- CV: You're not going to hear just one vibe, I'm going to be very diverse with the genres. You'll hear hardcore and some twerk music but I love to rap hardcore. I'm currently deciding what name I want to go with. It's between two so we'll see and it's something I want to release before the summer. My new single, however, will drop either on or before my birthday on March 18th!