After writing for other stars like Rihanna, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Britney Spears and more, and releasing a few solo EP’s (Sincerely Yours Stacy Barthe, In The Inbetween, P.S. I Love You), Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe has finally dropped her debut full-length album, BEcoming.
Her songwriting style is emotional, soulful, and sobering as she tackles real life, relatable topics such as self-love and acceptance – but this time, as her own artist, it’s coming from a deep place of self-expression and self-reflection. On this journey, she’s “BEcoming” the best person and artist she can be – it’s all about growth.
In this Q&A with Singersroom, Barthe gets personal about her upbringing, her insecurities, even her on-going battle with alcoholism.
Purchase BEcoming on iTunes above and check her interview below:
Where are you from and how did music shape your upbringing?
I was born in Brooklyn; then my mom sent me to Haiti where I was raised for three years, and when I came back I was in Queens, then Long Island.
Well, me living in New York City during the height of hip-hop and R&B, being like, you know everybody was pretty much from the East Coast. I didn’t grow up in a household where my mom was introducing me to music. She really hated when I played the radio really loud. Music just wasn't her thing. She's a foreigner so hip hop and R&B, she just looked at it like “What is this?”
I think growing up not having access, the radio really molded my love for music. It was my escape; when I was getting stressed, I would just put on my Walkman and listen to the radio. Most of how I got to see and get into music was because of music videos. I didn't have cable so we had this local access channel that I would watch after school, and that's how I learned about all of what was going on in music.
What song are you most proud of writing for someone else and why?
I think it would have to be "Cheers (Drink To That)" for Rihanna because when I wrote that song I didn’t have gas to get to the studio. It was symbolizing, like, this Rihanna session for me is like "Oh shit, this might be my big opportunity." I looked at it like a saving grace kind of thing.
What song are you most proud of writing that you kept for yourself and why?
I truthfully haven’t written it yet, but on this album, I would say, "Find It." "Find It" is track number seven and represents for me, a time of change and wanting change.
It’s been a long time coming since bringing forth your debut full-length album, BEcoming. Tell us about its creation and inspiration.
I was creating this album not knowing that it was going to be my album since like 2012-ish. The inspiration behind it was mental health and self-esteem. All the things I've been battling with all my life, all the things that have plagued me all my life. The first and second half is the journey to wanting more. So unknowingly, I've been experiencing things and going through things all to make this record, and I didn't even know it.
Your song and video for "Here I Am" touches on your personal struggles with alcoholism. What advice can you give fans about overcoming addictions and vices?
Well honestly, I'm still in the thick of it, so my advice would be advice to myself. Once you figure out the why, you can get to the how. Often we are using these things to numb whatever we're trying to escape from. So once you get to the why, you can get to the how. I'm still trying to get to the why. I'm still in the thick of it.
On the album, you address your struggles with weight loss and body image, especially in the highly image-driven industry. How do you deal with pressures?
I feel like I'm a circle in a square world, and I'll never fit in and so I don't even try anymore. Music was the thing that everybody wanted me for; everybody loved me for. So it didn't matter what I looked like. I sat down with the Jimmy Lovines, the Craig Kallmans, the Puff Daddys of the world — the LA Reids, who have praised me for my talent. So when those guys who I've respected, respect me…now I'm just fighting myself because I want to be someone, and I want to look better than I do now. So this battle isn't between me and the industry, this battle is between me and me because I was never really happy with the way I look.
What’s your songwriting process like?
It depends on the day and situation really. I could come up with a melody and go to a producer and be like, "yo, I got an idea." Or he could start playing his guitar and come up with something that inspires me to sing my thing; it's just really whenever I feel It. I come up with the song wherever, whenever; I don’t really have a set process.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I’m a combination of everything I’ve ever been Inspired by from rock to jazz to hip-hop to R&B. I’m a fan of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Biggie, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Celine Dion. I’m just a fan of anything amazing, no matter what genre.
What other artists' music do you listen to?
I don’t really listen to much. When I’m home, I listen to music with no words like jazz, classical, and afro beats. I really love Kendrick, I really love Drake. J.Cole and I went to college together so I’ve been a fan of his. That was like the homie. I’m just a fan of everything awesome. I don’t go searching because the search for music is very different from when I was growing up. So I have filters, friends that I trust, and if they say to listen to some shit I’ll be like okay, play it for me. But I don’t search for music.
Who would you like to work with that you haven't?
My dream would actually be… well you know how Bruno Mars did that performance with Rihanna and Sting and all that at the Grammys. I would want Sade to sing one of my songs, and I sing one of her songs and for us to come together with her being honored. That would be like a dream situation.
Other than music, what do you like to do for fun?
I like to cook, I paint, I draw, I write poetry, I design, I love movies, I think that’s going to be my thing. I'm going to graduate into the film worId. Writing has always been my thing, I’m not just a music writer, I'm a writer, so I want to develop films and I’m working on a children’s book.
Now that you’ve released your debut album, what’s next for Stacy?
I don’t know, I have to wake up first.