*warning this feature contains strong language, that readers may find offensive.
Our May Issue Debut girl is Berlin-born, currently LA-based, 21-year-old Bibi Bourelly the talented singer and songwriter behind many notable songs and a ton of collaborative credits. What stood out most for us about BiBi is her real, raw, bad-ass attitude yet extremely humble, hard working ethic. She says “I’m just a fucking girl from Berlin who was misunderstood and loves to make music!”
As the daughter of guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly, BiBi has been surrounded by music her whole life and wrote her first ever song at the age of six. Undoubtedly, music was natural to her from the get-go as she mentions in an interview for Rolling Stones “To me it’s like a language, it’s so relevant in my life and happens in my head as much as we speak English”.
Although she had the support of her father, BiBi lost her mother to cancer at the age of six and used music to help guide her through the pain and grief:
“When I lost my mother, it was an extreme sense of loss, I can’t even explain it, at six. Music got me through the night, I would lay down in bed at night and it would be the thing that was mine, and people need that. What made me a fighter is that people didn’t understand my need to express myself, I needed to express myself creatively and I dealt with a lot of disapproval and eventually I stopped caring”
It was Kanye West who discovered BiBi thanks to producer Paper Boy Fabe who arranged a session for BiBi and Kanye in LA. Out of that session, Rihanna’s Higher was born and it was that song that led the Bajan singer to become a fan of Bourelly and take on Rihanna’s platinum-plated single “Bitch Better Have My Money”one of the lead tracks on her album Anti and the hit single that would shoot BiBi’s career to land the recognition it deserved.
The rest is history in the making, speaking to Universal Music in Canada, BiBi explains how her song writing went on to become a full time career and the importance of having a plan. “It’s all a blur, I’ve been making music my whole life 24/7 and eventually I started making money for it.. There was a plan in the sense of ima get mine, 110% ima get mine.. and I think if you think like that, you’re bound to be successful period.”
But Rihanna is not the only hugely successful name Bourelly’s written for, previous ventures also include working with Selena Gomez (Revival), Lil Wayne (Without You) and Usher. (Chains) When asked about what it’s like to work behind the scenes and not be recognised although be equally talented, she says “I love creating things that come from my gut and my soul, I don’t give a shit about money, I love it when it’s really about the music and about purity. My goal is to change the art industry. She goes on to explain that although it’s a huge achievement it’s still a bitter-sweet feeling.
“My songs are personal, and take a lot out of me, it’s awesome because it’s a legend singing it, and someone I grew up listening to and it hurts because it’s a song I wrote.”
As well as writing, Bourelly mentions “I’m an artist, not a songwriter. Mentally, at heart”.
Bourelly is about to step into the limelight, now signed to Def Jam Recordings she’s been working on her debut album, which is to be released later this year. And we’ve already had a first taste of what’s we can expect from her, via her debut single ‘Ego’, a powerful, bad-girl ballad and most recently Sally the rock and roll, up-tempo and uplifting track that we have on repeat all day, everyday!.
Bourelly tells Live In Limbo how personal Sally is to her:
“I wrote that song after I packed my shit and left for LA, I had beef with my parents and got kicked out of my fucking house, I was five hours away from home by plane, I was on my own with grown people in a completely different world”
She continues “I wrote Sally before I was successful, whatever the fuck that means!, or when I was still unknown, when no one knew me and I was still unaccepted, I think every individual in the world has the desire to be liked, to be loved and to be accepted, the difference is, some people will conform to be accepted and others can’t and they get mad that they’re not liked, and I think that was Sally.. I was just like fuck everyone, it’s kinda like a song to myself, it’s also for everyone that needs to think fuck it, I’m awesome!”
Speaking about her future plans and what she hopes to achieve with her music she says:
“I’m just here to try to make a difference and hopefully the people listen and trust me enough to contribute. I’m here to spread the truth, which is so obnoxious and preachy, I want my brand and Bibi Bourelly to represent honesty”
We’re certainly excited for her to step into the spotlight and if the projects she’s previously worked on are any indication of what her album will sound like, we expect something unfiltered, raw with plenty of unapologetic vibes.
Bring on more Bad-ass Bourelly!