Dondria certainly knows how to put on a show. Just check out her YouTube channel, which has nabbed 3 million views and counting. It’s the reason Jermaine Dupri signed her to his label, So So Def Records. The day she got the call, Dondria thought it was a joke.
“When he called my phone, he left a message,” she reveals. “I called everybody in my phone book! I put the message on three-way, like, ‘Oh my gosh, does this sound like him?'” It did, and Dondria flew to Atlanta and has been working with J.D. ever since. Two singles (“Can’t Stop” and “You’re the One”) and a mixtape of R&B remixes (Dondria Duets) later, and now the Sachse, Texas native is readying her debut album, Dondria vs. Phatfffat.
After flying home from Atlanta, Rap-Up.com caught up with the 22-year-old songstress to discuss what Phatfffat loves to eat, her ideal duet, and the first thing she does in the morning.
1. Your nickname is Phatfffat because of how much you eat, but your album is called Dondria vs. Phatfffat. Why is there a battle between the personalities?
Well, my name on YouTube is Phatfffat and it’s just that I’m more than the girl that you saw on YouTube, eating her pizza and joking around forgetting the words. I’m also Dondria, and when the album comes out, you’ll get to see the more serious, more artsy side of me.
2. What are three of Phatfffat’s favorite things to eat right now?
Number one, a burrito bowl from Chipotle. I am addicted. Also, I like the orange bag of Skittles. Third food, I’m just going to say spaghetti.
3. What are your pet peeves?
My pet peeve is when people stare. I really get annoyed. Sometimes my friends tell me I [get annoyed] too much. I just don’t understand why you’re looking at me! Number two is immaturity. That covers a lot of stuff. And three, I just discovered this one…when someone calls me and I don’t answer, and I call them back and they don’t answer. That’s very annoying!
4. What would you say to someone who wants to be a YouTube sensation like yourself?
I would say just keep at it. I didn’t get a lot [of views] at first either, but I think it has to do with your ambition, song choice, determination, and word of mouth. You have to start from somewhere. Everyone’s not going to start at a million views. It takes work and progression. Keep doing it and if it’s meant to be it will be.
5. What fashion staples do you need in your closet?
Well, I have to have L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani. I love, love, love her shoes. I have to have my UGG boots, and I have to have Genetic Denim.
6. You’ve done a mixtape of duets to popular R&B songs. If you could duet with anyone, who would it be and what song would you sing?
“Outta Here” by Esmée Denters.
7. How is your family handling your success?
I think they’re handing it quite well, my mom especially. She is like promo queen. She has this e-mail blast she sends out for every little thing. She really keeps my hometown updated on everything that’s going on. And my brother, he’s 18. [My siblings are] just like, “That’s cool.” They just want hook-ups. My little sister is always like, “Hook me up with $20!” So everyone is very excited and supportive.
8. What do you miss about being away from Texas?
When I’m away, I honestly don’t miss Texas at all, but I miss my family and my friends. In Atlanta, I just have two or three friends that I talk to or hang out with all the time. I just keep to myself. All of my [closest] friends are [in Texas]. My mom, my dad, and my family—that’s what I miss the most.
9. When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do?
I tweet! That’s the first thing I do even before I eat.
10. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
It would be to never run out of breath—to just have an unlimited supply so I could hold it for a long time.
Listen to Dondria’s new single “You’re the One,” produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, from her debut album Dondria vs. Phatfffat.