Missy Elliott, 48, and HER, 22, star in Pepsi’s Super Bowl LIV game day commercial that airs Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs battle for the league title.
Speak with PEOPLE about the collaboration on their commercial inspired by a music video for rap superstar Pepsi Zero Sugar – who performed with Katy Perry to 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show – detailed his enthusiasm to team up with ELLE
“When I first got the call for the Super Bowl commercial, I was honored,” she told PEOPLE. “I think this is my fifth. Each time it’s like the first one because it’s always a big deal. I always call every member of my family like, ‘Make sure you crush him this year.’ “
“When Pepsi reached out, I didn’t know who I was going to do it with,” she says. “Then they said, ‘SHE’, so I’m most definitely honored because I at least spoke to her a few years ago on Twitter.”
When the hip-hop icon reached out to her on Twitter, the singer said she couldn’t hold back her excitement.
“I really got mad when she tweeted me before we even met,” she recalls. “I was going crazy. I was like, ‘Yo, Missy Elliott tweeted me. She’s a fan. She listens to my music.
HER is also excited to star alongside the rap veteran in the commercial.
“Words cannot describe; it’s honestly surreal to me, ”she says. “Because it’s a Super Bowl commercial and it’s Pepsi and I can never believe those opportunities when they happen. I don’t know what it is, but there is something really special about it. in this specific commercial. Especially the fact that I worked with Missy for a really iconic song and Timbaland also. It’s surreal. It’s incredible.”
Although this is the first time the two have worked together, Missy Elliott says she heard of HER and became a fan of the musician long before.
“A friend of mine put me on his music. I didn’t know who she was. I’ve searched for her so many times on Google, because I’m like, “Who is this artist? I love his music. ‘ But at the time, she had only one silhouette, ”she tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t know who she was. There was no performance of her, but I just loved her record. I would take care of his files. I walked down the street and listened to this person I didn’t know. I found it on Twitter and tweeted it. I actually met her at Janet Jacksonhomage to Atlanta.
“We then talked and said how we should come together to do something,” recalls Elliott. “Then Pepsi said, ‘Hey, we’re doing a Pepsi Zero Sugar commercial and we want you to be a part of it, along with HER,’ and then I mentioned that Timbaland would come and do the beat.”
“It was the icing on the cake,” she says. “You have three brains coming together. It was amazing to be together in the studios. She plays the guitar and she is a musician. Not someone who is just an artist, but a musician. It’s unbelievable to me.
SHE says she has always been a fan of Missy Elliott also.
“Every video of Missy when I was a kid was memorable,” she told PEOPLE. “It was always unique. It was always different and that’s kind of what I got from Missy growing up – the individuality and uniqueness. She’s so smart and it was just mind boggling because you’ve never seen anything like the Missy Elliott videos. There is nothing else out there like it.
In addition to working with the music pioneer on commercials, HER has another special connection to Super Bowl LIV.
“It’s honestly a full loop moment because I’m from the Bay Area,” she tells PEOPLE. “The fact that it’s the Niners in the Super Bowl this year is basically like my home team. It’s kind of crazy that this is my first Super Bowl commercial. It’s a big problem.
Missy Elliott and ELLE, who joked about who the coach would pitch in the game at the last minute, are both looking forward to working together again in the near future.
“We most definitely know that has yet to happen,” Missy Elliott told PEOPLE. “We bought ideas and stuff while we were working. We most definitely know that’s going to happen, especially after the Super Bowl. Better late than never.”
The star has some tips for new artists.
“Never doubt yourself,” says Missy Elliott. “I always support artists. We’re human and there are ups and downs, the music industry doesn’t teach people that. Music is coming and it won’t always be happy and successful all the time. There are ups and downs ; just know you’re amazing.
In February, during the Super Bowl airing and commercial debut, the two will celebrate Black History Month.
“We honor each other every day, not just Black History Month,” HER told PEOPLE. “Everything I do, I try to be proud of both my cultures, my Filipino culture and my black culture. I just walk in it. I try to celebrate this every day and celebrate the others. We come to recognize what is and we celebrate each other.
“I celebrate every day of the year” Missy Elliott said to PEOPLE. “I am proud to be black.