Bebe Rexha On 'All Your Fault,' Harry Potter & Cardi B
If you think you haven't heard of singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha, think again.
As a songwriter she has co-written hits such as GRAMMY winners Rihanna and Eminem's "Monster," David Guetta's "Hey Mama" featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack, and Selena Gomez's "Champion." You can also hear her signature vocals on the Top 10 hit with G-Eazy, "Me, Myself & I." But that's not all.
Rexha released her latest EP, All Your Fault: Part 1 in February, spawning the hit "I Got You." She released a sequel, All Your Fault: Part 2, on Aug. 11, which features artists such as 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne and country duo Florida Georgia Line.
In this exclusive GRAMMY.com interview, Rexha dishes on her EPs, her favorite recent collaborations, including Florida Georgia Line and Wiz Kahlifa, why Cardi B is dope, her Harry Potter obsession, and more.
Is there one song in particular from All Your Fault: Part 2 that is really speaking to you right now, that you're really emotionally connected to?
I'm definitely connected to "Meant To Be," which is with Florida Georgia Line. And I think it's just funny because I think I wake up every day kind of being like, "Why isn't this working out? Why isn't this guy texting me?" Or, "Why didn't this situation pan out the way that I want it to be." And my mom always actually texts me, and she's like, "Well if it's meant to be." She's like, "Listen to your own lyrics." So I think that's the song that I'm the most emotionally connected to at the moment, my favorite song.
"The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)" looks like it was a fun video to shoot with all the dancing. What was the process of shooting that video like?
I think dancing is another form of like expressing yourself, and that's the reason why I love music and writing and performing. And I love dancing — I may not be the best dancer. … And shooting the music video for "The Way I Are" was a memorable time in itself because it was my first time working with director X, and he's done so many incredible music videos and has worked with so many amazing artists. And being on set with Lil Wayne is definitely a moment you can check off the bucket list. He's been such a big influence on me and my career, and he's been around for so long and has started record labels and signed off on Nicki [Minaj], signed off on Drake. He's done so many great things, so that was really cool.
What was the inspiration behind the track "I Got You" from the first EP?
The inspiration behind the track "I Got You" was knowing that when you've had your heart broken, you kind of have this wall up. And it's like, after that … you meet somebody new and you're kinda trying to dance with them but you can't seem to get the right step in. And you just meet them and you think they're awesome, but they kind of have their wall up, and you have your wall up and you just can't seem to get on the same wavelength. And I think that's where I was, and I was just in the recording booth and I felt kind of stuck in this relationship and this situation, and I was just literally just saying, "I can see that you're hurting. I've been through the same exact thing, I've been hurt too. I don't want to hurt you. I got you." And that was just as simple as that, and I don't think that guy will ever know that song was for him, because it never worked out. But at least I tried and I wrote that song, and it was a fun song.
You've worked with or written for many different artists across many genres. Is there a particular memory of working with or writing for one of these artists that really stands out for you?
I will say that I've loved working with so many different artists. I think working with Florida Georgia Line was incredible. Martin Garrix, David Guetta ... I mean, I think all of them have their own special memory or place in my heart. But recently I got in the studio with Wiz Khalifa. And the one thing that I loved about the session was that it was fun and it was like a party. It was like 10 people in the studio and we were dancing. And I remember just leaving, being like, "Man, he had a candy section in his session." And then he had Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles catered for 50 people — there was only like 10 of us, 15 of us. And I was like, "I want my studio session to be like that.'" He was really awesome to work with, and he's so talented. We were writing this song, and Wiz just literally walks into the booth, the recording booth, and just lays down a whole verse in five minutes. And I'm like, this is not human. He's just amazing.
You have a Recording Academy tie in your past. Could you talk a little bit about that?
Yeah. So the first time I ever heard of The Recording Academy was when I was 16 and it was for GRAMMY Career Day. I remember my teacher coming into choir class and being like, "Well everybody, there is some type of contest or whatnot, it's called GRAMMY Career Day, and you have to submit a song that you have written and recorded." So I was in a little girl group at the time, and we wrote a song called "Let Me Know." And it was the first song I ever recorded. And we submitted it and we won. And it was really cool because I got to meet Chris Brown before he was Chris Brown and all these managers and label people and it felt like I won an award. It felt like I won a GRAMMY. It was funny. It was like my big thing that I was going around telling everybody about. But it was really cool. It definitely helped kick-start my confidence into really going into the music business and that's why I feel like that the foundations and a lot of the stuff that The Recording Academy does is really important also. My mom also was like, "Well maybe my daughter can do this now," you know, "The Recording Academy noticed her."
Everyone has a music guilty pleasure. What is your current guilty pleasure in music?
My current guilty pleasure in music right now is Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow." I've been listening to that nonstop. And I remember she had a song called "Lick." It sounds so dirty, but I remember when she came out with "Lick," I was like, "I'm obsessed with this girl. I love her so much." I was like, "She's so dope." And I was telling everybody, "Watch she's going to blow up," and now "Bodak Yellow" is so big, and … I love this song. So, yeah. That's my guilty pleasure. I listen to it all day.
In an interview with Music Freaks, you said you've watched Pride & Prejudice on repeat. Do you have a current favorite movie that you've been watching repeatedly?
I've been watching Harry Potter every night for the last six months, all eight movies back to back to back and that's the only way I can fall asleep. So I love Harry Potter, like so obsessed it's not healthy. Like obsessed with Harry Potter. I watch it every night.
If you could pursue a career other than music, what would it be?
If I could pursue a career other than music I would … I don't know. I have three options. I would be either a nutritionist because, I don't know why. I just think it's fun. I would maybe own a restaurant, an Italian restaurant. And then … I would be an interior designer. I think that would be cool.