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Muni Long on New Music and Life Since Winning a Grammy: 'I've Had to Turn It Up a Bit' (Exclusive)

The 'Hrs &Hrs' singer is back with her latest sultry offering 'Made For Me'

<p>Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage</p> Muni Long performs in Sacramento in August 2023

Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Muni Long performs in Sacramento in August 2023

Singer Muni Long isn't resting on her laurels. These days she's not resting at all.

Earlier this year Long, 35, won the Grammy for best R&B song, for her sexy viral hit "Hrs & Hrs". "From the outside looking in you may say, ‘Well, now you've accomplished some amazing things you can take a back seat and let your business run'," she says of life after the major accomplishment. But, "it's actually the opposite, I have to be more involved."

Long's back with sultry new tune "Made for Me." "The feeling behind this song is love and connection, feeling you met this person in another time," she says. With her new music, "I hope that people are inspired. I hope that my peers hear what I'm doing and realize it's not hopeless. Music is not dying, you just have to put a little bit more elbow grease and passion into it. Stop trying to compete with anyone or chase the sound, just be who you are. I think that's enough."

Lately, she says "There are more people feeling like they should have a say in my career, but at the end of the day I'm the only one who has to stand behind the decisions. So I've had to just turn it up a bit."

Rebecca Sapp/Getty Muni Long in Los Angeles in January 2023
Rebecca Sapp/Getty Muni Long in Los Angeles in January 2023

The saying goes, 'more money, more problems', but for Long, who is married to her longtime collaborator, songwriter and producer Raysean Hairston, the biggest challenge she's faced recently is finding authenticity in the music business.

"I'm working through the realization that most things are not what they seem," she says. "Sadly, the industry and the world at large is not used to people being straightforward and transparent, which I endeavor to be."

Related: Muni Long Says She Hasn't Yet 'Processed' Earning 3 Grammy Noms: 'Everything Is Going So Fast'

<p>Def Jam Records</p> Muni Long

Def Jam Records

Muni Long

She continues, "It can be frustrating for someone who just wants to get the job done, who wants to create the best possible content and music that I can possibly make. It doesn't really matter whose name goes on in it but you would hope that people would have the integrity to not take credit for things that they didn't do."

Long isn't new to the workings of the industry, having spent years inking hits for superstars like Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson and Mariah Carey. And despite her recent success as a solo artist, she says not much has changed in terms of how she lives her life.

"I'm very, very normal and I do everyday things. You don’t see me at parties or things like that unless it’s work, unless I have to be there," she says. "I prefer to be around my loved ones, my family and friends. Sometimes I get recognized, but I'm still just me."

<p>Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy</p> Muni Long and Raysean Hairston in Los Angeles in February 2023

Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Muni Long and Raysean Hairston in Los Angeles in February 2023

As for how she and Hairston celebrated her big win, "We went on a beautiful vacation after the Grammy’s which was much needed. I was so exhausted," she says. "But we're always celebrating. I'm always popping champagne, going to restaurants ordering the most expensive wine. We've always done stuff like that, even when my bank account only had exactly enough to get a glass of wine. I’m getting it."

That said she's not showy when it comes to her most impressive hardware. "I keep my Grammy in a safe place tucked away because I'm not into bragging," says Long. "I feel like when you put it in a place where everyone can see it, it's sort of like a big banner like ‘I won and you didn't.'" Every now and then, "I'll bring it out for family, especially the ones who've never seen one before."

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