Interview

Stacy Barthe Dishes On Depression, #LoveWins & ‘BEcoming’

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stacy-barthe-becoming If you’ve never listened to Stacy Barthe’s music, you will definitely go through the archives of every project she has ever done after listening to her debut studio album, BEcoming. The intro of the album starts with a daring track channeling depression—“My Suicide Note,” an ode to people suffering from self-shaming. BEcoming is not just a collection of sad songs and unhappily-ever-after stories, however; it’s an intervention of life for anyone who has ever felt alone. It’s an audio reality tale of Stacy Barthe’s journey into her constantly evolving being. The album is packed with vibrational instrumentals and an even deeper message. Without a doubt, Barthe made it known that her newest project is a work of art for anyone to appreciate—an album that she has been preparing for her entire life. When I first met Stacy Barthe, I didn’t know what to expect and she turned out to be the total opposite of what I thought she’d be like. Waiting in the lobby of her mid-town hotel, I was ready to speak with this gentle and gospel-esque being, but instead I got a down to earth, quirky and spiritual artist. “Gospel? Why, because I’m fat?” This was her response to my novice assumption of the Grammy-nominated singer. After a good laugh, we discussed her thrilling performance from the night before, her plans for her 30th birthday, and her busy schedule for the rest of the afternoon. Stacy Barthe was born in Brooklyn and moved around to Haiti, Queens and Long Island from the time she was 3-years-old until she was in her early twenties. For the most part, Barthe had a pretty ordinary childhood, going to public school and soon attending St. John’s University to study pre-law, but in the back of her mind she always knew that she had a higher purpose. About 9 years ago, Barthe took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the music industry and the rest is history. Combining amazing production from Hit-Boy and James Ryan Ho with features from John Legend and Common, BEcoming has a unique take on modern R&B and soul music. Get to know Stacy Barthe on the following pages and learn about her inspiration behind BEcoming, her thoughts on depression, and her support for gay marriage and the #LoveWins movement. Photo Credit(s): Getty, BET Watch Stacy Barthe’s “Here I Am” visuals below: 2015 BET Experience - 2015 Community Impact Awards Presented By Dennys What is BEcoming about? It’s the story of something truthful. It’s about my journey and me becoming who I want to be on this road. What’s your favorite song on the album? I have a few. “Here I am,” “This is Real.” This album is a self-reflection. It’s basically an intervention for myself and everyone around me. I find that in the urban community, we like to dance around issues like depression and sweep suicide and similar issues under the rug. I wanted to tap into that sensitive area and really shed light on issues that are going on. With all that’s been going on, how do you feel about the black lives matter movement? I believe that all lives matter and there’s so many other issues that people aren’t talking about, but when a cop shoots someone there’s another protest and another big story. There’s a way deeper issue. The black problem is an isolated issue. There are people getting burned and thrown off of buildings because they are gay or different. Although the things that have been happening are race-driven, they are also a human issue. No matter what race, color, or gender you are; these issues continue to happen. <> at The Cecil on February 3, 2015 in New York City.

I want to be immortal. I know I’m going to die one day—hopefully not soon. I just want my music to live past me. As long as people are still listening to my music, I’ll live forever.

Where did you grow up and how did that affect your musical influence? I was born in Brooklyn to a 19-year-old, 130-pound Haitian woman who didn’t speak English. I was shipped back to Haiti when I was a child and we lived with my grandmother in Haiti for a little while. My mother listened to Lite FM. I listened to whatever was on the radio. I got in touch with music through visuals. The first time I experienced music that I loved was on a video. When we got cable in 1991, I saw “I’m Every Woman” for the first time and I was instantly interested in that kind of music. What are you listening to right now? I don’t know what’s going on right now. I’m listening to a lot of music without words and instrumentals. As far as artists in the industry, who would you say inspired your niche in music? Everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Bjork and Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill, Biggie, Pharrell, Jill Scott, Sade—that’s bae. I’m a combination of so many people. I don’t want to pinpoint because I’m a combination of everything that I have ever heard. What would you say is the most important thing when creating your music?  I want the particular individuals who vibe with me and get me to enjoy my music. Of course, I would like everyone to understand my music, but not everyone is going to be on the same page as you. I don’t want to exclude anybody because I think anyone can become a fan of me. I’m talking about a lot of common issues in the world on this album. I just want to make sure that everyone knows that there is something for everyone on my BEcoming. What are your feelings about the legalization of Gay marriage and the #LoveWins movement?  I think it’s amazing. I can’t imagine my God being judgmental and hateful towards anyone because they are different. There are too many people who are homosexual for this be a case of an illness or a disease. Love cannot be a sickness. Love is love.   HBO Bessie 81 Tour Being born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, What is it like living in LA?  At 22-years-old, I left my mother to live in Atlanta and then Miami. Since then, I have been living in LA for about 9 years. LA is strangely depressing, but the weather is amazing. That’s the only thing that keeps me there. Hollywood is a fictitious place. They planted the palm trees there; it’s not a natural habitat. LA is weird, straight up. You just performed, what was that like? Concerts scare me. It feels like it’s me against the schoolyard. However, the more I perform, the more comfortable I become, it’s really all in my head. To the mainstream, it seems like you just came into the industry out of nowhere. What would you say your journey has been like to get to where you are? It was unexpected. I wanted to be a lawyer and a manager. I was a pre-law major at St. John’s University, and then I interned with an entertainment company and represented an artist. I didn’t choose this path, it chose me. I’m like the student in the back of the class that knows all the answers, but doesn’t like to be the one to raise their hand. I was writing all these depressing songs because that’s what I felt like, but nobody was trying to sing them. One day me and Hit Boy were like, “let’s put them out on the internet” and one thing led to another. I always felt that people didn’t want to hear a fat girl sing, but I guess I was wrong. I sing songs that relate to the human condition. Everyone has felt unwanted and confused before. I’m that voice of reason. What do you want your legacy to be? I want to be immortal. I know I’m going to die one day—hopefully not soon. I just want my music to live past me. As long as people are still listening to my music, I’ll live forever.

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