You think you don’t know who Bebe Rexha is, but you probably know her more than you think—at least through her songs. She happens to be one of the most in demand songwriters out there. Before she even makes it big with her upcoming full-length debut album, Expectations, Rexha’s already made a name for herself in the music industry. She’s written for and collaborated with some of the industry’s biggest artists including Eminem, Rihanna, Pitbull, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Afrojack, and many more. She’s certainly one to look out for, and if you wanted to know more, here are 5 things about Bebe to urge you on.
It’s certainly an unusual name, but being that she is of Albanian descent, it isn’t all that crazy. She was born Bleta Rexha in Brooklyn in August 30, 1989 to ethnic Albanian parents. Her name means “bumblebee” in Albanian, which is where “Bebe” comes from. “Bebe” became her nickname, and she decided on “Bebe” to be her stage name later on. When she was only six, she moved with her family to Staten Island, where she eventually spent most of her childhood.
Musicianship doesn’t always start out when you’re young, but in the case of Rexha, her talents manifested at a fairly young age. When she was in elementary school, she began taking trumpet and stuck with it for 9 years. This was also the time when she taught herself piano and guitar. In high school, she joined the choir and started dabbling in songwriting after being inspired by a close cousin who got sick.
Just like Mariah
In high school, Rexha discovered that she was a soprano—but not just any soprano. She learned that her voice was coloratura soprano, a type of operatic soprano voice that refers to a certain ornamental style of singing—kind of like Mariah. In fact, Mariah’s voice is also coloratura soprano. It’s the highest register for any human voice, and it’s certainly something that Rexha can pull off.
Born to write songs
If you’ve heard any of Rexha’s songs, you can easily distinguish her writing skills and style. It may come naturally, like it does in her case, but it also comes from the amount of time she’s already put in songwriting. When she was just a teen, she turned in a song at a “Grammy Day” event for one of music’s largest organizations. She beat out 700 other songwriters to get the title of Best Teen Songwriter. Before she knew it, she had a contract with Samantha Cox, a talent scout. Cox urged Rexha to take songwriting classes in the city.
When she was just starting out her career, Rexha met Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz at a recording studio. The two eventually started a duo called Black Cards, with Wentz playing bass and Rexha singing lead vocals. It was a short-lived experimental project that started in 2010 and ended in 2012. The two played live events and released mixes and singles along the way. While it may have been a short-lived stint, it was a good enough practice for her to venture out eventually.