Iggy Azalea is convinced the ups and downs of the past year have helped her overcome the "sophomore curse".
The Fancy hitmaker is gearing up for the release of Digital Distortion, the follow-up to her 2014 debut The New Classic, and she recently shared her first single, Team, with fans online.
The track, her first offering of new material since her Pretty Girls collaboration with Britney Spears last May (15), conveys a message of confidence and features lyrics like, "Baby I got me/Only friend I see/Playing on my team".
Iggy recently confessed she wishes she could "erase" all of her "crappy" 2015, after she was accused of cultural appropriation and became engaged in a series of social media feuds with the likes of African-American stars Azealia Banks, Snoop Dogg and Q-Tip.
The blonde Australian insists life as a celebrity "is tough sometimes", but she is learning to take it in her stride: "No matter what, if you're a rapper or an actress... if you're in the public eye, you get criticised and picked apart," Iggy reasoned, "and for me, that's the thing people like to pick out with me (cultural appropriation) and I just have to deal with it."
Iggy was at least able to channel her feelings over the disputes into her new music, and she believes the harsh criticism has prompted her to step up her game.
"I had such a good time making this album, and I think there's this thing called the sophomore curse that people talk about, where you have so much pressure after your success of your first album where you don't know what to write about, and then the second album falls apart, it can be a bit shambly (sic)," she explained on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. "So I think me having a rough year last year and taking a step away, it gave me the ability to have the space to just quietly create my little masterpiece, and I feel like that gave me the ability to have something really strong, and I hope I don't have the sophomore curse this time."
Meanwhile, the hip-hop star is also contemplating delaying the release of her new music promo for Team because a lyric dance video has proved so popular online. The footage, which features a group of dancers showing off routines to the new song, was released online on 18 March (16) and it has racked up 7.5 million views on YouTube.com in less than a week.
"I'm so excited about it!" Iggy exclaimed about the popularity of the Team dance promo. "It's only been out, like, four days!"
Explaining why she felt the need to serve up two versions for fans, she said: "It's been so long since I put something out so I wanted to have something that fans could look at straight away, so now I think I might wait a couple more days to put out the new music video because people are loving the dance video so much!"
Iggy previewed her official Team promo on Good Morning America on Wednesday (23Mar16). The full video is expected to drop on Friday (25Mar16).
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