22 year-old artist Bibi Bourelly knows she’s brilliant.
Walking into the green room, she hands us hugs and compliments.
“You smell great!” she tells me, and we gab about clothes shopping as if music wasn’t even on the table. Incredibly stunning with long dark hair and piercing eyes, Bourelly gets right to the thick of who she is.
With two parents both in the music industry, Bourelly is clear that she was called to create.
“I was born into music,” she says seriously. “I’ve been doing this since birth. Music is a language right? I just understood the language since I was exposed to it at a very early age. I heard it before I was born, and by the time I got to the point where I could express myself, it was just a form of communication I naturally picked up since I was surrounded by it since birth.”
Already in the business, Bourelly has already made a claim in the industry, co-writing Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money and Nick Brewer’s “Talk to Me.” Signed with Def Jam Recordings, Bourelly has a studio EP, Free the Real. With tracks like “Ego” and “What If” on her EP, Bourelly has a voice reminiscent of Rihanna, and the passion of Amy Winehouse. Yet the woman knows the pros and cons of working in the music industry.
“I was jaded as a musician for a while, because when you enter the mainstream music world, it’s just very dark,” she says. “Business and music are the complete opposite things. But in order for me to be successful, I have to be in the music business. I fell into this sort of depression for a while because the industry is just a fucked up game of people in the creative world who shouldn’t be in this world, but are here to capitalize on art. But once I hit the road and started to establish myself in my career, I realized I could gain power and change the way certain things worked and create my own environment and hopefully with my success, this environment will grow.”
With a strong vocal range and an R&B soul vibe that hints at pain in her music, Bourelly carries herself with a strength and grace of more than 22 years. But as excited as Bourelly is that her career is taking off, she doesn’t see the claim to fame as anything important.
“I’ve been doing this since the beginning of time, since I was born, before I could talk,” she explains emphatically. So recognition is cool, but it’s nothing compared to what I do and why I do it. So all the fame doesn’t mean anything to me.”
And you can definitely tell that it’s just the music she cares about when she takes the stage. Closing her eyes and crooning soulfully in the microphone Bourelly’s vocals bring the audience almost to tears. Bourelly knows herself better than most 22 year-olds do. Her pain and relatability behind her song-writing process relates to all of us as she sings unheard tracks like “Sunshine,” that account her depression as a 19 year-old.
We finally ask her who her favorite person is to listen and she answers in an unwavering fashion, bringing a smile to all of the faces in the room.
“Me. When you make music, you’re obviously making what you think music should sound like. What you want to hear. So for me, that’s what my music does.”