Bibi Bourelly, the songstress who’s credited for penning a number of chart-reaching hits including Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” graced a San Francisco audience recently with belting bravado, raw confidence and heartfelt emotion. The 21-year-old Haitian-Moroccan artist recounted tales of lust, lost love, the struggles of growing in the industry, and the importance of being an unapologetic woman in 2016. Playful and charismatic, she engaged the crowd successfully and had each individual in the 400-cap room feeling like protagonists of her story. Countless cries of “Bibi I Iove you” were heard throughout the night, an undeniable show of loyalty and admiration her fans showered her with well until the end. Above all, it was Bibi’s impressive vocal performance that took the spotlight, something that too many artists these days are inconsistent with from studio track to stage. Her soulful voice and the power in her contralto, full of texture and range, is unmatchable. Bibi doesn’t just sing her lyrics, they seep through her pores and guide each sway of her body. Her presence in Rihanna’s sixth studio album Anti can be felt throughout the project. However, despite being a prolific writer for big names, she remains a humble stage presence as she single-handedly carves her own unique road to success.
We had a chance to ask Bibi a few questions and get a feel for where she’s at these days. Please continue reading!
How’s the tour going so far? Any highlights or favorite moments?
Its good! I’m tired, but it’s been going great. I get to meet everyone after the shows. I’m excited about Houston today. The tours almost over. I think we had 32 days total. A highlight was a prank we played on my makeup artist. We bought one of those fake turds from Zumiez. It’s disgusting, it was a disgusting prank I don’t know if you want to hear about it! Basically you can’t use the bathroom on the tour bus really, since its liquids only. We put one of these fake turds on the toilet and my makeup artist went off! She was like “that shit is so rude yo” – cursing everyone out on the bus. It was hilarious.
It must be really cool traveling with a bunch of your friends and making touring a lot easier.
The first week of touring is always difficult because you’re kind of getting to know everyone and getting use to everyone’s personality. Around the second and third week, it becomes really fun and you end up feeling connected to these people. They become like family because you spend every day with them and you know their imperfections.
Your honesty on stage is refreshing. Have your performances always been this raw and honest?
I don’t know if I’d label myself raw and honest, necessarily. I’ve always just been myself. I didn’t really start performing until about last year. The first performance I did was on Kimmel with Usher and Nas. I’ve never consciously viewed myself as raw and honest. I just make music and am myself.
You were raised in a very multicultural and artistic environment. What was it like being raised surrounded by so much music growing up?
I was born into it so I never really thought much about it, you know? I’m sure in many ways it did enable me. I haven’t consciously thought about these questions until recently because that’s just how my life has been and how it’s panned out. I suppose when it comes down to it, it did enable me in a way that I always saw music to be a possible path to follow.
Tell us about your recent music, mainly Free the Real: Part I and the anticipated follow up Part II – What’s the vibe you’ve been going with lately?
A lot of the records I did on Part II are finished. I’ve been touring so I haven’t been in the studio a lot. In a way its a longer version of Part I. In order to figure out what vibe I’ve been going with really I’ll have to go back to LA and work on more music. I’ve grown up a lot though. In Part II you can kind of except the same themes of not wanting to conform and wanting to be myself.
What’s been on your playlist while on the road? Any artists we should be listening to?
Noname Gypsy and PJs album who I’ve been touring with.
What has been the happiest moment since your career took off and you’ve gotten to showcase your creativity and soulful vocals to the world?
I have a lot of happy moments like when I get to meet the people that support me and when I get to hear their stories. I’m just like everybody else. I love what I do and I’m super grateful to be where I am. I love seeing what the music is actually doing to my fans and seeing the result of it.