135 million views in three months for the YouTube video of Eminem singing Bebe Rexha’s Monster, but now the young Albanian-American is making her own mark as a singer and performer with her latest single: I Can’t Stop Drinking About You
By Ruben Avxhiu
Few Albanian-Americans are aware that a young, up-and-coming star in the music industry, from New York, is in fact of Albanian background.
Bebe Rexha has already written a song that was immediately grabbed by a world star like Eminem and features also Rihanna in the chorus (Monster).
Meanwhile, her latest single “I can’t stop drinking about you” is proving to be a success for radio audiences everywhere and her first recorded album is now in horizon.
It is easy to notice that the young Albanian-American artist has it all. Not only, she can sing and perform (we were lucky to interview her as she was returning from Los Angeles to New York), but she has her way with words in the lyrics and can produce melodies that will stick in your mind and heart. Imagine, she has a 5 octave vocal range (few singers, among them Mariah Carey, can claim a similar gift).
She was born in Brooklyn, New York, a cradle to so many artists, but her parents are Albanian. Her father was born in Dibra, an historically Albanian city, in Macedonia and his family moved to New York in the 80s. Her mother was born in New Jersey, but her family came also from Dibra, in the 70s.
Bebe Rexha was a musical prodigy from the early age of 4 and she does not remember a time when she didn’t see music as her only vocation and profession in life. “I wouldn’t say that I was discovered by one person. There have definitely been a lot of people who have contributed into my career and believed in me, but my success comes from a lot of hard work and perseverance”, she says.
In fact, she was continually involved in a project and has been part of the industry since she was 15 years old. Now she is unleashing monsters and gets to play with the big boys.
The video of Monster has been viewed about 145 million times in YouTube. And is an illustration of how those who make it in the music industry are not those who don’t fall, but those who know how to get up in their feet again.
As Bebe Rexha told me in an interview for Illyria: When i wrote “The Monster”, I had just gotten dropped from my first record deal with Universal/Island Def Jam and I was very sad. So my friends and I were working on new music for my album so that i could get a new record deal. When I went to the studio that day, I found quote on the internet about the monsters that live inside of us, so I was inspired to write a song about the monsters in my head.
The song was soon going to travel around the world.
“When we had finished the song, the producer, frequency played it for someone at Eminem’s record label and they loved it. They sent it to Eminem and he wanted the song immediately. Then they ended up getting Rihanna on the chorus and kept my voice on the post chorus (Oooh oooh parts)”, Bebe Rexha says.
Those who are curious to listen to her original version of the song can easily find it on internet. The original title is “Monster Under My Bed” by Bebe Rexha. Listen by clicking here: https://soundcloud.com/pigeonsandplanes/bebe-rexha-monster-under-my
She works hard for her songs, but she doesn’t mind giving them away if they fit better in someone else’s project. And even better if they are picked up by labels of the magnitude of Eminem and Rihanna. Yet, it is only a matter of time before the industry turns its head to the source of this latest success.
Here’s the rest of the interview with Bebe Rexha, a rising star of the music industry in New York, America and the rest of the world. She has already plans to travel to UK and Sweden and maybe in Easter Europe as well if the opportunity arises. We wish her the very best.
It seems sometimes from your tweets that you are often on the road. It comes with the territory, for most singers and music performers, but what is your take on this experience? Would you rather get the known selected proven fans or an untried and strange audience?
Yes, I am always on the road. I actually just got off the plane from Los Angeles to New York at this very moment! I love traveling, trying new foods and meeting new people. I would love to perform for both my current fans as well people who have never heard my music before. I want to spread my music globally.
Seems like the 2014 has started with the right foot (knock on the wood): what are your immediate plans?
I just released a new single called “I CANT STOP DRINKING ABOUT YOU,” so my plans are to start promoting this record and put out the new video. I am working on new songs with David Guetta for his new album. I am also opening up for Usher at SummerFest in Milwaukee as well as performing at a big festival in Chicago called Lollapalooza. I am flying to Sweden and London to finish my debut album.
“I CANT STOP DRINKING ABOUT YOU”
Unlike some other singers and musicians, here in America, you have made it first outside of the community first. I know you count many Albanian-Americans among your fans, would you consider a singing in some community or Albanian-theme event in the future? Or maybe a concert in Albania, Kosova or Macedonia?
I am very proud of my heritage and I would love to perform my music there. My culture is very important to me.
I was listening to “Take Me Home” (everyone has his/her own pick) while finishing the last version of these questions. So I will close with this: what is home for you nowadays?
Home is the comfort of my family in New York.