Wednesday night saw the debut London show of – we’re saying it – our (and by extension, your) favourite new pop star, Bebe Rexha.
In a former musical life the 25-year-old New Yorker sang alongside Pete Wentz in his Fallout Boy side project, Black Cards. She also previously had a contract with Island, but it fell through. Island’s loss was Warner Bros. gain, but the emotional fallout from this let down has proved instrumental in the rise of Ms Rexha.
Succumbing to depression and self-doubt, Rexha’s time spent being prescribed pills and bad advice from a therapist feeds directly into her defiant single ‘I’m Gonna Show You Crazy’. In fact, raw, first-person narratives are what drive many of Bebe’s best songs to date. Her two-man band leave the stage whilst she concentrates on the fragile delivery of ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up‘ and she positively drowns the stage in energy and attitude when it comes to ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking About You‘.
Oh and then there’s just the little matter of ‘Monster Under My Bed‘ – just a little track inspired by Charles Darwin a quote she found on Tumblr (“We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realised that they were inside us”) that she co-wrote and donated to Eminem and Rihanna, which they re-named ‘The Monster‘ and took to No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic.
Bebe also performs the other major league chart hits she already has under her belt: Cash Cash’s ‘Take Me Home’, David Guetta’s ‘Yesterday’ and the Nicki Minaj featuring ‘Hey Mama’, plus Pitbull’s ‘This Is Not A Drill’. Whilst she performs these club bangers with aplomb and shows off that she can twerk, grind and slut drop as good as the rest, it’s when she performs her EDM pop-meets-actual sentiment numbers that she sincerely bursts with passion.
Opener ‘Pray’ sees her vocal chops and intensity immediately proven, and so excited is she about an empowering feminist anthem called ’24/7′, taken from her upcoming debut album, that she can’t stop herself from airing an A cappella preview (FYI it’s as sassy as anything on her ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ EP but sees her moving past the heartbreaks and disappointments of times gone by).
Bebe stomps her patent Doc Martens, thrashes and whips her hair tirelessly in an effortless display of confidence, as if getting up on stage is the most natural thing in the world – as any decent performer should.
Amongst the music, Bebe talks extensively and honestly with the audience and makes a quick connection, particularly with female members of the crowd who can be heard whispering to one another, “I love her” at the close of each song. And we’re inclined to agree. Bebe Rexha is a true talent and personality unafraid to say and sing exactly what she thinks and feels.
Bebe Rexa’s I Don’t Wanna Grow Up EP is out now.
Words: Kate Allen