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Bebe Rexha: ‘I went through some dark times, but it was very therapeutic for me’

In his latest ‘At Home With’ conversation on Apple Music 1, Zane Lowe is joined by Bebe Rexha to discuss her new album ‘Better Mistakes.’

She explains how her definitions of success and happiness have evolved, talks about being inspired by Lauryn Hill and Alanis Morissette, the magic of Ty Dolla $ign, and how songwriting is the ultimate high.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music About The Therapeutic Process of Making Her New Album ‘Better Mistakes’…
I was finding myself. It definitely was a journey. I definitely had to go through it. Sometimes you go around things, I can’t even find the word. I guess I had a revelation on this album and it was, I went through some dark times, but it was very therapeutic for me. For me, it’s kind of been like this… In life when you go through things, and I kind of have this love-hate relationship with myself, where I’m constantly trying to accept myself and who I am and the stuff that I go through and the battles that I have within myself and my mental health. And accepting myself or thinking I’m good enough for things and accepting my past, the things that have happened to me, that affected the way that I view myself and the world around me. I think with this album kind of like, with “Break My Heart Myself,” or “Empty” or “Sabotage,” I think those were records where I could finally heal a bit and accept this is just who I am. But not in a reflecting way. Not in a victimising way, because I feel like I’ve done that in the past, and now I feel like I’ve come to the point where I’m like, “This is just who I am.”

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music Why Songwriting Is The Ultimate High…
Oh wow. Like an ultimate nirvana, like the best high in the world. When you have a couple, I mean, I don’t know if you drink, when you have a couple of glasses of wine or you’re having some tequila and the best night of your life that went out with your friends right before you got super drunk, that buzzed feeling, or you’re climaxing that high that’s like, “Yes”. That’s what I feel like. It’s like sometimes when you hit that chord and you’re like … Or you find that song that you love, that just speaks to you. It’s just like that feeling, or when you take a bite into the best meal of your life, or it’s just like the ultimate high, the most peaceful, even if it’s like a crazy song, the most peaceful moment, it’s so fast. It happens so quickly, but it’s worth everything. It’s worth all the bad moments and all the bad songs and all the bad feelings.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music About How Her Definitions of Success and Happiness Have Evolved…
It’s crazy because lately I’ve been thinking about it and it’s so insane to me how when I was younger, certain things equal success for me, and now my definition of success has changed. Yeah, it’s nice to have people like, have a number one record on Billboard. Yeah, it’s nice to maybe win a Grammy. Yeah, it’s nice to be rich and make money. Yeah, we all want it. Let’s be real. But for me now, it’s about a sense of peace and health and wellbeing, especially during this whole pandemic and my parents being sick for three weeks, my mum was really sick. And just seeing the people around me, when they start getting older, get sick, that scares me. And I’m like, okay, life is not… My album is dropping, and what am I doing this weekend? I have my mum’s three sisters coming over and I’m having a family mother’s day album moment. And it’s going to be us four or five, because I haven’t seen them. And I really want to be around my family. That’s what makes me happy. I want them to come over. I want them to enjoy my pool. I want them to order nice food. I want to cook them a good steak. I want to enjoy my family. That to me is where the happiness is now, is wining and dining the people I love and showing them a good time, sharing it with them.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music About The Title ‘Better Mistakes’ and Growing Up…
For me, when I was starting in the industry or when I was younger, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to turn 30. I’m going to get my life together. I’m going to have all the answers. No more anxiety. Get my own place. Live my best life.” And when you grow up, you’re like, “Oh, like I have no idea what is going on.” Still, I mean, I know more about life, but I still don’t have the answer to a lot of big things. So, we’re still making mistakes because we’re human, as you said, but we’re hoping that we’re making better mistakes, because we’ll always keep messing up. When I was younger, I looked at my parents. I was like, “Wow, my mum’s like a superhero. She’s got it down.” You look at the older people and you’re like, “Wow, I can’t wait.” Not to get older, but to know more. Yeah and I just figured out that I am the same person, just, I’m wiser, but I’m still the same person. I’m still scared. And when I see my mum’s scared and my dad’s scared now I’m like, “I get it.” They’re just human. They’re just trying their best.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music About Being Inspired by Lauryn Hill and Why She Envies Her…
I’m obsessed with her writing and her music, I don’t know, I just love how frank she was with her songs, and how she talked about sex and guys wanting things from girls. Just, she spoke about a real thing which I really loved about how people want to just use each other, where just a lot of women never really talk about, but she talked about everything in a very insightful way. And then when she spoke about her son and the industry telling her she couldn’t have her son, she just talked about things that I feel like a lot of people didn’t really speak about, and that’s what I really respect about her. The same reason why I always respect Alanis Morissette and her songwriting. I was angry for the longest time, because I’m like, I want another album from Lauryn Hill. I want another ‘Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’. Like why? Come on. Serious? Come on. Please. I respect her now because you know what? That album to me is perfection. I feel like she just said what she needed to say and artistry, I feel like we put so much pressure on artists to have to constantly stay relevant. To me, I envy her and am inspired by her because she was able to put together one album that was so focused.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music Why Amy Winehouse Is One of Her Favourite Artists of All Time…
There’s a pain in her songs, but then there’s a sarcasm. There’s a sarcasm in it that I really respect. I feel like I relate to that sarcasm that she has in her songs, like, “You know I’m no good,” but really, it’s coming from a place of, “I’m going through some stuff, and why are you messing around me? I told you not to mess with me. I told you I’m not 100% good.” I feel the pain in that, but when she sings, it’s like this sarcasm with a seriousness. I don’t know. It just all is just like it’s this perfect mix of the melodies and the lyrics and her and the style. It just felt like it’s so effortless. Yeah, she’ll probably be one of my favourite artists of all time as well, and her album is definitely up there with ‘Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ for sure, for sure, for sure.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music About The Magic of Ty Dolla $ign…
Ty Dolla $ign in general though, I believe just being in a studio with him and being in the studio with a lot of big writers and a lot of artists, he truly wows me. I’m just like, “How, where, what does it come from? What are you connected to? What planet?” He is, to me, obviously respected in the industry, but so underrated, and I’m like, “Who do I need to speak to?” Because I know we respect him and he’s incredible, but people don’t really know how much he has written for other people, what he has really done, his songs, his song writing, his melodies.

Bebe Rexha Tells Apple Music Why She Loves Radiohead’s “Creep”…
It’s so dark, it’s so depressing, but I find comfort in these lyrics. “I wish I had a beautiful soul.” It kind of comes from this place of not loving yourself, which I kind of relate to. And I don’t know, with music, I feel like a lot of people in my squad, they love me and they don’t judge me, but a lot of times, even with my mother, she’s like, “Why can’t you just write happy songs?” But I find, to me, these ones are dark and sad, they’re insightful, and they’re honest. And in my song writing, that’s what I love, and that’s what I think when I try to make songs and put songs out. And I do all the time because I’m run by fear a lot of times and overthinking. Like you said, I always win. For me, I feel like my fans love the records like “I’m A Mess” where I’m really being honest. I don’t know. I just find comfort in that, and I find honesty and truth in that. And when I listen to “Creep,” I can feel the pain and yeah, that’s where I love, and I live, and I thrive.

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