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

Muni Long attends Celebrating GRAMMY Nominee: Muni Long at The GRAMMY Museum on January 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Muni Long attends Celebrating GRAMMY Nominee: Muni Long at The GRAMMY Museum on January 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Rebecca Sapp/Getty Muni Long

Muni Long has waited more than "Hrs and Hrs" for her first Grammy nominations as an artist.

After releasing music and writing hit songs for artists like Fifth Harmony, Rihanna and Ariana Grande for more than a decade under her birth name, Priscilla Renea, the R&B musician relaunched her career as Long in 2019.

"Working behind the scenes for so many years felt like I just had a job," the 34-year-old musician tells PEOPLE. "When I unplugged from that way of thinking, I really started to see a shift."

She's since dropped an album titled Public Displays of Affection, scored a massive hit with "Hrs and Hrs" and earned three nominations at the upcoming 2023 Grammy Awards for best new artist, best R&B song and best R&B performance.

Ahead of the ceremony, which airs live on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, Long spoke to PEOPLE about her nominations, preparing for the big show and how she's looking forward to celebrating.

RELATED: Muni Long Releases Debut Album After 'Hrs & Hrs' Goes Viral on TikTok: All About the R&B Singer

How are you feeling leading up to the Grammys on Sunday?

A little bit detached. I'm just floating, you know? There's so much stuff happening. It's like standing in the middle of a freeway where everything is going so fast. But I'm super excited for Sunday, and I'm just trying to keep it together until I get to that moment.

For more on Muni Long, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

How has it felt to experience your biggest solo hit to date with 'Hrs and Hrs,' which is nominated for best R&B performance and best R&B song?

It's surreal. I definitely have not, in the fullness that I could have, processed what is happening because there's so much stuff going on from day to day. I have so many tasks I have to check off that I actually haven't even really celebrated the song going No. 1 [on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Chart]. I haven't celebrated anything yet because I haven't had time. I've just been jumping on each new opportunity.

Wow, you should take some time to celebrate! But maybe that's after Sunday.

Let me walk away with a couple of those trophies, I'm probably gonna be on bulls—. I'm not gonna lie. I'm definitely going to be toxic on Sunday night.

RELATED: Grammys 2023 Nominations: Beyoncé Earns 9, Ties with JAY-Z for Most of All-Time — See the Full List

Muni Long album photos. Full credit line – Bonnie Nichoalds 
Muni Long album photos. Full credit line – Bonnie Nichoalds

Bonnie Nichoalds  Muni Long

How does it feel to be nominated in the best new artist category, especially given all the time that you've spent in the industry?

Song of the year, record of the year, album of the year and best new artist are all really difficult to get, but you can only win best new artist once. It's the most coveted, especially in a climate like today. When I was starting [as Muni Long] three years ago, there were 30,000 new song releases every week. Out of all of the things that exist out here in this vast, massive ocean, my peers decided that myself and the other nine nominees were the best from this year. That's huge, especially because I know how we talk about things in the studio. When somebody puts out a new project, everybody has an opinion. Everybody's super snooty, so it really means a lot.

I know people question the system of how people are voted for, and the word 'politics' gets thrown around a lot, but I vote every year. It's a very painstaking process to scroll through all of the submissions, listen to music, find the artist's picture and really try to understand why they're nominated in whatever category. In my opinion, there's no way to cheat — you have to actually really dive in. You really have to vote with integrity for what speaks to you. Knowing that my peers have voted for me with that same passion, I've already won. I'm happy with whatever happens. It's historic. It's gonna be a great way to start off Black History Month, if I do win.

This isn't your first time being nominated. You were up for album of the year last year as a songwriter on H.E.R.'s Back of My Mind album. How do these nominations feel different to you?

When you're a writer, the Grammy nomination only exists to sort of validate that you were actually working that year. I don't want to speak for everybody, but we don't really put that much care and concern into it, because you don't actually get the trophy. You get a wonderful certificate that you put on the wall, and so it just becomes another decoration of like, 'Look at all this stuff that I've done.' When you're actually the one who's going to take the trophy home, it's so different. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into the studio working with people — for example, John Legend. You go into his studio, and he's got all his Grammys up there above his piano. It never gets old, 'cause you don't get to see them in person. It's such a rare thing.

I'm just really excited. If that's going to be my reality in a couple of days, that I get to have this award in my hands to say, 'Look, guys, I did it,' you know? It's totally different. It's the difference between — this might be a horrible analogy — but like, being a sous chef and being a chef. As a sous chef, you're just making other people's recipes. As a chef, you are the person creating the recipe. At a Michelin-star restaurant, as a sous chef, I didn't really do anything. I just made what you told me to make. It's not the same.

RELATED: Muni Long Says She Hasn't Watched Back Her BET Awards Performance: 'I Don't Want to Ruin It'

Muni Long attends Celebrating GRAMMY Nominee: Muni Long at The GRAMMY Museum on January 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Muni Long attends Celebrating GRAMMY Nominee: Muni Long at The GRAMMY Museum on January 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Rebecca Sapp/Getty Muni Long

In both of the R&B categories you're nominated for, you're up against Mary J. Blige, who you've previously co-written for. If she were to win over you, would there be any hateration in the dancery?

Oh my God. [Laughs] No, no. She's amazing. She's a legend.

Ahead of the ceremony, you're going to perform at Spotify's Best New Artist event alongside Omar Apollo, Anitta, Domi and JD Beck, Samara Joy, Latto, Måneskin, Molly Tuttle, Tobe Nwigwe and Wet Leg. Are you excited to spend time with your fellow nominees?

If there's room for that! To be honest, I don't know if there will be. We might see each other in passing, but the way that the show is set up, we're going to be, like, rapid-fire. I typically don't interact with people before I sing because my voice is super delicate. A lot of talking before I have to sing sometimes makes my voice super raspy, and it's harder to hit certain notes. But if we see each other afterward, and there's time to hang out, why not?

Do you anticipate that being like a competitive space, or do you think you could all hang? 

Maybe the other people might be like that, but I ain't competing with nobody. We're gonna have a good time. Life's too short!

What are you most looking forward to about Grammy night? Do you have any plans in your head of who you want to meet, or what you're going to wear?

I had a fitting last night. Still working through the 'fit. I'm most looking forward to after the show, when I can just relax and have some champagne, because I have, like, six performances this week, so I'm very strict. I don't drink alcohol, no caffeine, nothing that's going to dehydrate. No bubbly anything, no soda. So, I'm excited to wake up the next day and have a coffee — just little stuff that I can't have, like pizza, because I can't have dairy.