The rapper is nominated for best new artist and best rap song for "Best Friend" with Doja Cat
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Saweetie x Jack Daniels
Credit: Jorge Meza

Saweetie is a Grammy-nominated "ICY GRL."

The rap star is still surprised by the fact that she's nominated for two Grammys — and she wasn't even awake when the news broke, she tells PEOPLE.

"I was sleeping, so when I woke up, I received the news and I was just so shocked because it's the Grammys. It's my first nominations, so I'm just honored to be a part of the conversation," Saweetie, 28, says after hosting Jack Daniel's' Icy Season party last Thursday.

Saweetie is the only female rapper nominated for best new artist at the Grammys. Her song "Best Friend" with Doja Cat is also up for best rap song.

For Saweetie, the nominations are also a big step for representation in the Filipino community. The rapper, who is half Filipina, is one of a handful of Filipino artists nominated for awards. Among them are Olivia Rodrigo, Bruno Mars with Silk Sonic, H.E.R. and Elle King.

"I think it's important to really highlight and represent all aspects of myself. And I think it's so amazing that there are so many Filipino nominees," Saweetie says.

"It's important for the Filipino community to see themselves represented in something that's so popular in culture, music, hip-hop, rap, because you don't [see it often,]" she adds. "You don't see too many Filipinos in that genre, so it's inspirational. I'm happy to be a part of that group."

Saweetie will soon release "pre-project" Icy Season on Jan. 7, which she describes as the "pretty bitch bible."

"I just know these songs are special," she says of Icy Season. "I just think that music became more fun and more meaningful once I realized my purpose was to inspire and to empower."

She adds, "I just felt like as women, as humans, we all need guidance, but through my struggles, mistakes and lessons, I'm kind of sharing what I wish was shared to me. I didn't have a big sister. I didn't have a big brother, so I grew up just learning things on my own. So if I can share my wisdom and my stories to help women out, I'd love to do that. That's the purpose of ICY Season."

Saweetie also speaks about her partnership with a company like Jack Daniel's.

"When it comes to Jack Daniel's, they're a leading global brand," she says. "I can see my company being that one day, so I love to surround myself with brands that are in places I want to be. I love Jack Honey, it's Saweet like me. I just think that we're the perfect partnership for a long-term run."

Saweetie started working with the whiskey brand last year when she hosted a virtual live stream with Jack Honey to preview new music, but her party last week was the first in-person event with the whiskey brand.

"I had a great time kicking off ICY Season with Jack Daniel's, my favorite whiskey," said Saweetie in a statement. "They've been in the business for over 150 years and have a long history of supporting culture and Black artists where it matters - which was really important to me."

She added, "Y'all know I do it big so get ready for more exciting things in 2022! Jack and I have big plans and we just getting started!"