First Look Friday: Brittany Barber Is A Force Of Melody
Compton’s own Brittany Barber is a talented singer-songwriter whose future is as bright as it is long. Get familiar and hear her new cut “Luckiest Girl” ASAP.
Ever wondered who penned some of Bhad Bhabie’s greatest hits? While the 15-year-old went viral on her own terms, it’s Brittany B (née Brittany Barber) who sits in the studio with the young star, with songwriting credits on standout records such as “These Heaux,” “Mama Don’t Worry,” and “I Got It.” So, who is Brittany B?
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Brittany B is a woman of soul, charm, and integrity. You might think, how does a soulful singer get to write for an “artist” like Danielle Bregoli? Well, with Brittany’s help, the “Cash Me Outside” girl became the youngest female rapper to make the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with “These Heaux” peaking at number 77.
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Brittany describes Danielle as her little sister, recalling a time when Danielle almost tried to test her. The result was Brittany grabbing her by the hair and reminding her she was really from the hood. From that day forward, Danielle had learned her lesson. A mere reminder that Brittany is deeply-rooted in the city of Los Angeles, which also serves as the origin of her “love wins all” mantra.
While Brittany has also penned records for some big names in music as well as film, she now focuses on her own artistry as an R&B songstress. In celebration of this week’s First Look Friday subject release her new EP Urban Nostalgia, we talk to her about being the “luckiest girl” in the game, her upcoming music, and more. You can also stream the acoustic version of “Luckiest Girl,” which makes its premiere debut on Okayplayer, below.
Okayplayer: To music snobs the world over, you are making an impact. What is it that those in music game are seeing and hearing that the rest of the world has yet to discover?
Brittany B: I feel like people are seeing and hearing [is] what’s new and fresh [and are] people who are relatable and are just like them. Back in the day, you had one guy group and one girl group. Now, you have the rocker, you have the lonely girl, you have the happy girl, you have the sex symbol, you have the boy group. I feel like now, what we’re seeing in the world today, are people that look just like you and I, that we can really relate to and that expresses the human conditions goes through every day. And I think that’s what’s really going on right now.
OKP: For those who have a passion for music, they honed their skills and practiced their craft. Who are your most cherished influences in music and why?
BB: Oh my god. My most cherished influences would have to be…I listened to a lot of soul music growing up — like a lot. Mostly Stevie Wonder. Marvin Gaye. I listened to a lot of Mary J. Blige growing up and a lot of Destiny’s Child. I held those songs really dear to me. I don’t know about anybody else but when I was younger, I was really going down with Mary J. Blige. I was really going down with her. I was really singing about “Bills, Bills, Bills” when I didn’t have a bill in the world at 13. I hold them to a high standard in my heart because they showed me what real music can do for the world [and] how you can impact someone in the world. And there weren’t that many African American artists making it on a global scale. We had our local artists, but they weren’t really making it on that global scale. So those are some of my influences.
OKP: Can you talk about how your life was while developing as an artist? How did you react to your first bits of press?
BB: Growing up in Compton, California, you were either gangbanging, selling drugs, you were stripping, you were going to school, or you were playing a sport. As I grew up and developed and understood that I had this gift and this talent that God gave me and what my purpose really was, I had to develop my confidence, if that makes any sense. And develop my center of what it is and what I’m supposed to be doing with it as a creative. Whether that’s writing for other people (which I’ve done), singing background for other people (which I’ve done also), touring or really just expressing myself. So starting to get recognition and doing shows and gaining fans – it’s just been really humbling and just really cool. It was more just like, ‘Damn, this is cool!’ And people are really connecting with it. They’re really feeling it.
OKP: With incidents involving people of color, police, and racist occurring almost on a daily basis around the globe — how can your music help to relieve the trauma that is being experienced by the masses?
BB: All my music is about love. Every single song is about love. I write from different creative spaces for whomever but when it comes to my legacy and what I want to leave on this earth—it is to spread love. It hurts my heart every day seeing black and brown and people of color, minorities being destroyed. Families are being torn apart. I have four brothers and all my brothers are incarcerated. And a lot of people don’t know that about me. I just have to hold on to the love that I have — hold on to the good times. And that’s what I want my music to invoke in people. I want them to remember that good time, remember that feeling, remember that love, that lost love, or that first love. Or the love for they grandma. Or just love for themselves if they feeling bad on a bad day. That’s just where I’m at, is just spreading love in the world so that hopefully that day, somebody who’s driving down the street getting ready to go curse their boss out and now they’re like, ‘Nah, I’m listening to this song, and it calmed me down.’ Or they just broke with they boyfriend or something, because he cheated or something. And he heard the song and he’s like, ‘Damn, I really do love her. Let me go apologize.’
There’s so much going on in the world right now, between racism and sexism and just general crazy shit that’s going on America, I just want people to listen to my music and just know that they need to spread love. Bottom line. Spread love and just know that love wins at the end of the day.
OKP: What have been the most definitive obstacles that you’ve overcome in your career thus far?