This girl is on fire: Touring from Buffalo to Bulgaria, collaborating, guesting on tracks and generating massive hits. With over 10 million overall single sales, one billion Spotify streams and 1.3 billion combined YouTube/Vevo views, she hit No. 1 on both the Billboard Pop and Rap charts with her platinum-selling smash, “Me Myself & I.” Featured as a soloist on Martin Garrix’s “In The Name of Love,” she released her debut All Your Fault: Part 1 in February of this year, launched her first headlining tour and now presents a six-song set, All Your Fault: Part 2, featuring collaborations with Lil’ Wayne, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and Florida Georgia Line among others.
On this morning, Rexha is in a car in New York, heading into Manhattan where she and her dog––presumably in different locales––will both be beautified. “She is going to be groomed while I get my hair done,” Rexha explains in her rapid-fire cadence as she delivers this exclusive interview for MC.
Music Connection: There is so much happening for you right now; the tours, travel, television, guest spots and of course All Your Fault: Part 2. How are you feeling about this latest project?
Bebe Rexha: Whenever I have music coming out I shut my brain off. I get nervous because I want people to like it. I go back to my roots and try to get into my lifestyle stuff, but it’s cool, you know?
MC: Part 1 tells about a breakup, and with titles like “Fuck Fake Friends” and “Bad Bitch” it certainly has an edge. In Part 2 you turn up the heat with significant lyrical empowerment.
Rexha: Yeah. A lot of the songs are “I don’t give a fuck.” The song “What I Want” is about myself. There’s a song called “Comfortable,” it’s like when a guy gets too comfortable in a relationship and I won’t take it anymore. I have high standards. “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)” [feat. Lil Wayne] was written about my prior record label, because they weren’t putting any of my stuff out because I wasn’t what they wanted a pop artist to be. The original lyrics are “I’m sorry I’m not the most pretty / I will never sing like Whitney / I am sorry that my lyrics ain’t cool and I’m not what you’re used to / But I still want to dance with somebody,” meaning I want somebody who accepts me for who I am. There is a lot more bite to the songs. They’re just kind of me doing what I want, making the music I want, and being ubiquitous.
MC: And not releasing a conventional full-length album.
Rexha: I think that’s what the future is, being everywhere and being able to be a true artist. I write my stuff and it’s me, and my voice and the way I say things and how I choose to release my music with the two parts. Music has changed. I remember my mom buying me my first Christina Aguilera tape. I don’t think people do that anymore unless you are a big artist, like Drake, Beyoncé or Rihanna. But for a new artist, it’s more about putting out pieces and giving those songs chances. We make playlists: with a country song, and a hip-hop song that’s what I’m trying to do with my projects.
MC: You have a track on the new project titled “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line. That’s a stretch.
Rexha: I had never worked with a country artist before. I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. I was scared; the pop and the hip-hop worlds are so different and everyone writes in different ways, you know? It was me and Tyler (Hubbard) who wrote the song together with another writer. It was fun––it flowed, it just happened, it wasn’t hard at all.
MC: Your hit single “Me, Myself and I,” with G-Eazy, was written with a songwriting veteran, Lauren Christy. What did you learn from writing songs with her?
Rexha: She’s done so much. She’s wiser, and she and I have this incredible chemistry. She’s calm and she doesn’t overthink things. I am more like a whirlwind. I listen to a chord, or a song, or a beat and just pour it out, while she knows how to take feelings and actually make them into songs. That’s been the hardest thing in my career, actually being able to write a song that means something, when it comes to a real situation instead of writing a song just to write it, or to make a hit. I think when I go with Lauren I am able to really pour out what I feel, and then turn it into a song. It’s one of the hardest things to do.