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Summer Walker shares what song she is most proud of, and which rapper made her want to play guitar

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Soundtrack of My Life is a recurring column in which musicians recall their favorite songs, artists, and albums.

After a record-breaking debut, R&B star Summer Walker is back and Still Over It on her sophomore album (out now).

While the fiery record goes as far as telling an ex "I wanna start with your mama, she should've whooped your ass" on standout track "4th Baby Mama," Walker was cool, calm, and collected diving into some of the inspirations for her music that don't focus on her romantic ups and downs.

Hitting on everything from the music she played during her time cleaning houses in her native Atlanta, to the music she's now playing for her infant, the singer shares with EW the artists, albums, and songs that shaped her.

Summer Walker
Summer Walker

Ro.Lexx/LVRN/Interscope Summer Walker just released her sophomore album, 'Still Over It.'

The first music I bought with my own money

"Honestly, so many songs...I have no clue. I was, like, 12. I just know I had a lot from LimeWire," says Summer Walker, referencing the popular aughts era file-sharing site. "Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, one of their songs probably. I like everybody's music, but they had good jams back in the day."

The music that reminds me of my first crush

"Probably 'My Boo,' from Usher and Alicia Keys," Walker says. "Also a bunch of Bow Wow songs." (When it's suggested that music from those artists may have soundtracked her school dances, she counters: "Not where I went to middle school, but it was around — everybody was listening to it.")

The song that wrecks me

Per the Atlanta native: "Either 'Nobody Else' or 'Fun Girl' " off her debut album Over It (which hit No. 1 on the R&B charts and has netted more than a billion streams), citing their lyrics and the emotion she put into each of them.

The song I love that might surprise people

"I like a lot of gospel songs on Kanye's album. That was good," says Walker, referencing the Sunday Service leader's 2019 album Jesus Is King. In terms of what more conventional gospel artists she listens to, the musician says candidly: "I have a very, very, very large playlist and I do not know the names of anything. I just listen to it. I know Kirk Franklin's on there. It's like a bunch of gospel, but I don't know who sang it though. I think one [group] is called The Winans? Yeah, The Winans."

The song I wish I had written

Walker first shouts out "Time" by Snoh Aalegra but later solidifies Don Toliver's "No Idea" as her final answer. "I just love that song. It's so amazing; it's like, 'Damn, why didn't I think of it?'"

The first song I danced to

"Probably some old-school joint. My mom used to play hella old-school, all types of s---. Something from Con Funk Shun, maybe."

The first song I ever wanted to cover

"I'd say a Jazmine Sullivan song, like 'Lions and Tigers and Bears,'" responds the singer. While she would love to do a song with the powerful vocalist, she would prefer "something new" rather than a re-work of one of Sullivan's songs, like what Walker did with Usher on her hit "Come Thru."

The music I turn on when I clean

"Cameo," replies Walker, adding that the '80s funk band "just makes you want to keep moving." However, when she had her own cleaning business, it was a different story. "When I'm in people's houses, it's usually cleaning quietly."

The song that made me want to play guitar

"Maybe a Drake song," she says. "I used to listen to a lot of his old R&B stuff. Oh, and PartyNextDoor. I used to play a bunch of his songs." (Walker would later collaborate with both artists on Over It.)

The first song I played for my child

"I play a bunch of jazz for her. Let me see, I can actually find it..." says the new mom, searching her phone for the title of "My One and Only Love" by Jacob Baron. "She's just a baby and loves music, unfortunately," she jokes of her daughter.

The song I'm most proud of

"'BP,' " says Walker, referring to the opening track on her breakout 2018 mixtape Last Day of Summer. "I made that song a really long time ago, but the type of stuff I'm talking about, it shows I haven't changed, and I've still got that same moral system before and after success."

Listen to Walker's new album Still Over It below.

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