Meet the woman secretly in charge of pop.
Chances are you know more Bebe Rexha songs than you realise. Not only did she co-write Eminem and Rihanna’s massive 2013 smash ‘The Monster’, but she’s also co-written and sung on hits by David Guetta (‘Hey Mama’) and G-Eazy (‘Me, Myself & I’). Now, she wants to be known as an artist in her own right.
“It’s so tough. What I’m learning is I can’t really control when that happens,” the 26-year-old says today after performing an awesome acoustic version of her Nicki Minaj-assisted single ‘No Broken Hearts’ for NME. “I have some more great collaborations coming up – one with a very big DJ, one with a very big rapper. But my main focus now is to put out an album that’s an amazing piece of work.” The early signs are promising: Timbaland has called it a “special project” that he’s keen to contribute to, while Kanye West has complimented the track ‘The Way I Are’ by branding it “easy”.
Bebe wants the as yet untitled album to show people “who I am as a person”. She was brought up in Brooklyn by Albanian parents who’d moved to the US in the ’80s and says New York taught her how to “legit hustle”. She thinks it’s her “realness” that people will connect to. “I don’t beat around the bush. I could sit up straight more and not curse and change the pitch of my voice to make myself sound more happy. But I don’t do that,” she says. “What I’ve learned is just to be myself and people will usually like it.”
What to buy: single ‘No Broken Hearts’ (feat. Nicki Minaj) is out now
Fact: The original, unreleased version of Bebe’s ‘Me, Myself & I’ is a massive house banger.
Best track: ‘I’m Gonna Show You Crazy’ – A glorious roar of defiance set to bombastic pop-R&B beats