Bebe Rexha Returns With Reinforcements: New Management, ‘Jealous’ Jam, Squad Featuring Doja Cat and Charli D’Amelio
Bebe Rexha celebrates her freedom. Not necessarily from a relationship (which is complicated) or politically speaking, she's still glowing from a video shoot with Doja Cat that enabled her actual human contact and the chance to leave the house for the first time in months.
Like practically every citizen in the world, COVID was an adaptation for Rexha, who normally traverses the country or the globe daily in times without a pandemic - performing, writing songs, giving their names to causes and brands, and usually working fairly around the clock.
The Great Pause, in hindsight, is an unsustainable pace and did 31 year old Rexha's creativity good as it opened the door to a kind of introspection and self-reflection that produces great songs. Her latest, "Baby I'm Jealous" (Warner Records) is a confessional that exposes Rexha's own insecurities on social media - the kind that would lead her to dive deep into a lover's Instagram, draw conclusions, and herself Adding paranoia.
For "Baby, I am jealous", written with Justin Tranter and Jussi and produced by Jussi and Jason Gil, Rexha brought reinforcements: A guest train from Doja Cat came through Rexha's new management, SAL & CO, and Cameos in the video. Directed by Hannah Lux Davis, it includes social media personalities Charli D'Amelio, Nikita Dragun and Avani Gregg.
"It's the most colorful song on the album," she says of her as yet unnamed and planned second release. "It's uplifting, like the video, which was a lot of fun. You know me, I love my sad, dramatic, fearful songs - we'll make it on the album."
In fact, Rexha's track record is the pop realm. Chief among their hits: "Meant To Be" with Florida Georgia Line, recently certified as diamond-marking sales of more than 10 million units. Rexha's canon also includes collaborations with David Guetta and Nicki Minaj ("Hey Mama"), G-Eazy ("Ich, ich & ich"), and their own "I'm a mess". Variety caught up with the singer.
"Baby I'm jealous" - who is baby and what causes your envy in the song?
I've been in that one relationship and got into the deep dive because I got a fishy feeling after seeing a weird st on this guy's Instagram - some comments and likes, then I see the same thing with this other girl and another girl . And they're all like models - super fit, long, beautiful, blonde hair, blue eyes. It really started to affect me. I know that I am beautiful and I love myself, but I am not a king 5'9 ”. I am a woman; I am a human; I got so insecure. Anyway, I went into the studio with Justin and said, "I'm so excited about it. I love social media, but I hate social media. It's difficult to have a relationship on social media because people are just in DM now can get in and everything is accessible.
Justin does this thing where he just relaxes me and says, “Take a deep breath; let's write about it. "And I thought, okay, I don't know how this is going to come out without being cheesy, and then we just did it. It's so funny that I wrote a song that was based on being very insecure and am jealous but in some way laugh at it and do this empowerment.
There's a reason we all feel this way, and it's natural, and even healthy, to be jealous, as long as you understand where it's coming from, and then don't let it overtake you. Because it is precisely in this society that women are taught to be competitive with one another. When I was in my early 20s, it was always a competition - do or die. Now when I see a girl and think, “Wow, I wish I had her body; I'm a little jealous, "I say," she looks like fire, "and try to focus on myself, doing my best to be healthy and happy on all levels, from eating healthy to exercising to one real self-love.
The video shows a journey through time until the dawn of man. What was that thinking there?
I wanted to show that as women we have been jealous throughout history. ... I originally wanted to shoot a 19th century video because I love “pride and prejudice”. Hannah suggested we jump through time. I finished that and said, “Can we go into the caveman age? [Because] I want to eat a big turkey leg. “And my team said," No, that's not cute. " And I said, "Yeah, it is." So I had to eat a big turkey leg on set. Like one of those from Disney World, they're so good. In all honesty, I just wanted to have fun with it. I feel like I always think over everything.
Charli D’Amelio appears in the video. How did it come about and why do you think she is as popular as her?
I know Charli and have followed her journey from the start. We've talked for a long time about having her in a video since the Jonas Brothers tour . I think Charli is as big as she is because she is just herself. She is the girl next door - her young, real me. And she's actually an amazing dancer, like beyond the TikTok material. She studied contemporary dance as well as hip-hop and ballet. She is unbelievable!
How did you manage to make a video with all COVID restrictions?
We needed a bigger budget, that's the first because we had to pay for testing for everyone [before we were on set]. Then, when everyone was on set, they were retested and their temperatures checked. There were people on set just there to see and make sure that everyone was wearing masks and that they were three feet apart. We all had to be very careful, but it's worth it because, God forbid, someone gets sick. And then the fittings were different - with seamstresses we had to do it in a safe way where we had a certain number of people in the room - and glamorous too.
You were led by Sarah Stennett at First Access for several years. Why did you move to Sal Slaiby in 2020?
I think I just needed a change. [Sarah and I] did a lot of great things together, but I felt like I grew up in my career and needed to get to the next level. I was really ready to do more. And I met Sal with a friend of mine at his house and we started talking. I played him this one song "Sabotage" and he fell in love with it. So we talked and I asked a lot of questions about music and advice and what he thought. And then it became quite natural for me to call him and ask for documents and he would give me his honest opinion. It felt like the right step at the right time.
In addition to The Weeknd and French Montana, SAL & CO also manages Doja; are you two so connected?
Yeah, I really love Doja. I just find her so cute, I love her style and everything she brings. When she did her part, I said, "Wow, that's amazing." She is very easy to work with and she works super hard like no Diva Bull-t. It was a fun experience that is very important to me right now. I just want to have a good time and enjoy the moment.
Can you tell us something else about the new album?
The whole album comes from my insecurities. Whether it's the song "Sabotage" or "Break My Heart Myself" that talks about my insanity, or songs about my jealousy and trust issues with relationships, or I think I'll brush everything up in my life - most of the album follows this topic. It's fun and it gets a little darker. I have a song with Lil Uzi Vert called "Die For A Man" that I wrote after a breakup and that was more of a powerful song for me.
"Meant To Be" just became a diamond, congratulations!
I don't know where to put the badge, it's too big! But wow, what a cool moment. Little did I know there weren't a lot of songs going to be Diamond. When they gave me the number, I felt very emotional. People really connect with this song. It has this magical feeling.
What song is your jam these days?
I've heard a lot of red hot chili peppers. "Other Side" is my favorite jam. This song makes me feel a certain way. I love it so much.
You were in LA during quarantine. Do you miss the east coast?
I really do. I miss my family very much. My grandma and mother had a little meeting at the house [recently] and the pictures brought tears to my eyes. I miss new york. I miss autumn weather and that certain smell in the air. I can't explain, but I know I miss it.
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