Do you fancy yourself a fan of Rihanna‘s 2011 hit ‘Cheers (I’ll Drink To That)’? What about Britney Spears’ ‘Blur’ or Brandy‘s ‘I Don’t Care’? Well, thank New York songbird Stacy Barthe for that.
Indeed, the Brooklyn beauty has seen her name listed aboard credits for a number of top artist hits including Spears, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, and so many more. Now looking to take flight with her first LP (due via Motown Records this fall), Miss Barthe chats exclusively to That Grape Juice about her latest ventures, eyeing a Beyonce collaboration, and so much more.
As always, we ask the questions you want the answers to. Get into it all below:
Stacy Barthe Shouts Out That Grape Juice
That Grape Juice: Good afternoon Stacy! Thanks for taking the time.
Stacy Barthe: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
That Grape Juice: We’re definitely excited to talk about your latest project ‘Hell Yeah’ with Rick Ross. How did that collaboration come to be?
Stacy: Well, the song was actually done about two months before Rick heard it. And, I didn’t even know that he was going to get on it because honestly ‘Hell Yeah’ came toward the end of me being done with the album. Rick ross was down in Hawaii with Kanye [West] and John Legend, but he was played the song and got on it.
When I heard it I couldn’t believe he actually did it. It was a total surprise. And, then he showed up for the video and he was so cool. He genuinely liked the song and it didn’t do it as a favor.
That Grape Juice: How is its parent album, ‘P.S. I Love You’, different from its previous efforts?
Stacy: I was broken and hurting before the album, so it’s a brighter take on things. It’s more like “p.s. i love me” or like I’m coming full circle to me and to my physical and spiritual transformation. Each album represents a different period in my life.
In ‘The InBetween’ I was literally “in between” – in transition from becoming what everyone knew as a songwriter to artist, from being unsigned to signed, and other ways. ‘Sincerely Yours’ was coming from a deep dark place where I was, and now ‘P.S. I Love You’ is the silver lining.
That Grape Juice: Ok! So, what about your Motown debut due for later this year? What’s the latest with it?
Stacy: The official release is coming in September. There isn’t a title yet, but I know what it’s going to feel like. I think it’s [the title] going to come toward the end of me working on the entire album. This is the first time my album doesn’t have a concept.
This is the first time I’m just working and doing what i feel without a theme.
That Grape Juice: Given the absence of theme, how would you say the creation process is going so far?
Stacy: I’m just doing what I feel and it’s going amazing because mentally I feel different. This phase that I’m in now is like my “cocoon phase”, but by the time the album comes I will emerge a beautiful butterfly (laughs).
That Grape Juice: Well, we certainly look forward to it! Now, as with many interviews, we have a segment called “Five From Fans” where we received five questions from our readers for you. Are you ready?
That Grape Juice #1: Given that you’ve collaborated with a number of artist already, who would you like to see featured on your debut LP?
That Grape Juice #2 For everyone who doesn’t know you yet, if you had to liken your sound to any artist – old or new – who would it be?
Stacy: I would say if Sade, Bob Marley, and Lauryn Hill had a threesome and somehow had a baby, it would be me (laughs).
That Grape Juice #3 – As you’re known primarily as a songwriter, were there ever any fears on how people would receive in you in the forefront as an artist?
Stacy: Kind of, especially because when I was signed I was 315lbs. I’ve always been sure of myself and was hoping people just received the music. The weight loss thing wasn’t done for music, though. I did it so I could live. It was really important to get that point across.
That Grape Juice #4 – What’s your favorite song that you’ve written for another person?
Stacy: “Cheers” by Rihanna. Well, actually I have two. First, “Cheers” because I was dead broke when I wrote that song and didn’t even have gas to get to the studio. I wrote a letter to myself explaining how distraught i was, but the silver lining was that it was the first day of Rihanna’s writing camp and I had a feeling I would actually get [a song on] on the record.
Two days later I wrote it and knew instantaneously that due to the energy, I would make the record.
Stacy (continued): The other one, though it didn’t make the album, was when I was working with Alicia Keys in Jamaica. It was Friday, the 13th and I didn’t know it was also a full moon. Because, for some reason, no more studios were available we found an outdoor studio area where we set up a studio. I wrote this song called “Supernatural” and Alicia heard it and loved it.
She recorded it outside like she was singing to the moon on Friday the 13th. It was so surreal and was one of my most memorable experiences.
That Grape Juice #5: The music business is just that – a business. Commercially speaking, what does success mean for you?
Stacy: I don’t think like that. And, yes it is a business, but I just feel like art is trust. You have to trust in yourself that you’re doing what you feel and what’s real and the world will follow suit. Anyone who has only been in it to chase commercial success may see it, but it won’t last.
My whole thing is being authentic and I’m never going to compromise that for commercial success. I’m just asking the fans to ride and grow with me. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum even as a songwriter. I’ve written for Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and others.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I’ve done for them, but the whole “what everyone is looking for in a song to be a hit record” just all sounds the same to me.
Now, I only want to work on people or things I believe in.
That Grape Juice: Thanks so much for participating in that. Now, Stacy tell us: with EDM [electronic dance music] being such a driving force in the industry these days (due to some degree by your own contributions), where do you fit in it all? What are you bringing to the table that wasn’t there before?
Stacy: I’m bringing me. I’m not chasing a trend. I honestly feel my music, though it will take time, is going to break through. I’m in no rush, so when people catch it they do. The trend is just not my thing. I can write it, but it’s not the music that moves me.
I would much rather do what i love than to chase something that isn’t me.
Interview by: Quinno Rashad (That Grape Juice US)