30 Days in LA: Q&A with Bibi Bourelly

By Amanda Jolicoeur-Louis
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Living in a society that values the fake over the real is tough shit, we know. That’s why we tend to get excited when we come across true artistry. Bibi Bourelly is one of those very few new-age performers who embodies that enigmatic persona so many people have tried to emulate yet fall short of. She naturally has an aura of defiance and truth about her that resonates through her music. Her debut EP “Free the Real Pt.1” made waves across the music world and her recently released project “Free the Real Pt.2” is set to rock it to its core. We sat down with Bibi for an epic Q&A where she reveals her passions and gives us the greatest tips on how to ball out on a budget.


LA CANVAS: Describe your first time playing in LA.

Bibi Bourelly: It was actually pretty wack. The first show I played in LA was on some industry shit. Hella fucking suits came through so that shit was dry, but as my fan base began to grow I began to see more kids and shit. The last show I played in LA was at Society Session, which is an event that me and my team have curated where a bunch of young artists come and perform. It’s about diversity and putting new fucking artists on the map. Jesse Boykins was there, Ye Ali was there and I performed at the end of the night and it was just crazy. It was the sickest energy.

LAC: What song are you most excited to perform at the Bootleg Theater for 30 Days in LA, why?

BB: So for my ‘Free the Real Pt.1’ tour there wasn’t a lot of promo, but I had an hour set to fill so I’ve been performing a lot of the songs from ‘Free The Real Pt.2.’ The songs that are always the craziest from Pt.2 are Poet, people go crazy for Poet and I have a new song called Fool that people really like when I perform it live.


LAC: Your latest single “Ballin’” really resonates with us because of how real it is. Have you ever been as broke as you wrote about being in the song?

BB: Fuck yeah. What?! I used to be broke as shit. After school I used to ask all my friends for 20 cents to get some cigarettes or some weed or some shit. I used to be broke as fuck.

LAC: If you have any, what’s one tip you might give any readers who might be ballin’ on a budget as well?

BB: If you ask everyone around you for a quarter for like an hour…by the end you’ll have around 5 bucks and you can stretch that money. Go to the dollar store! The dollar store is the move. Get the necessities like water and shit and then when you want to get Takis or Doritos and shit, make sure you get the off brand because Doritos are lowkey like $1.45. I remember in HS when they used to sell us bags of chips for 75 cents.

LAC: How have you evolved since being catapulted into the limelight after “Bitch Betta Have My Money” was released?

BB: I feel like there was a period where I went backwards mentally. My career was moving forward, but all of these other things came with the successes of my career. All of a sudden people were commenting on me and I know that’s only going to get worse. They were commenting on my character and you start to look back at yourself in interviews and become hypercritical. Growing up I was never that person. I think I was hard on myself, but I wasn’t always the topic of conversation when it came to my everyday life. I grew up around artists and around a lot of love as well, but getting into the industry and being surrounded by all this fake love made me go backwards and I was stripped of my ego in a weird way. I hit a really low point, but something within me wanted to persevere and I built myself back up from that low point. Now I’m definitely stronger than I was before, but it’s just a part of following your dreams.

When people say “following your dreams is hard” they don’t mean the WORK. Making songs is fucking easy for me, that’s not what people are talking about necessarily, they’re talking about all of the revelations and lessons that you learn while following your dreams and understanding that there’s never an end. You never reach a point where you’re completely satisfied and that’s what’s hard. The struggle of trying to constantly improve yourself, constantly improve your body, constantly trying to improve your fucking mental state, your skills and all these different things. But once you accept that you gain this sense of certainty that makes you unstoppable, you know what I mean? I think it’s made me a better person.

LAC: Name one thing that you do in LA that you can’t do in NYC?

BB: LA is the best place to come out and work. I can technically do it in any other place, but when it’s time for me to work, and by work I mean create content and songs, network with the people that I love and collaborate with my peers, LA is really the meeting point for that primarily because everyone’s fucking here. So I always come to LA to work.

LAC: So when you’re here for work, what’s your favorite food spot?

BB: I eat at this spot in the valley called Iroha Sushi. I feel like I’m putting everyone on right now. You don’t understand, Iroha Sushi is BOMB. If you don’t take shit from this conversation… Take this. I’m blessing you right now.

LAC: Can you share something your fans might not know about you.

BB: I’m not as much of a badass as everyone thinks I am. I just say what the fuck I think–that’s really it. I’m about power and that’s what I’m really trying to master. Inner power, inner love, hope. It’s not just about “Fuck everyone! Middle finger up and fuck it,” it’s about overcoming the things you’re confronted with in life.

I think there are a lot of fucking problems in our system and with the way that we deal with each other. My only interest is to unify people. That’s all I care about. Especially with the way our world is right now. Fucking Donald Trump is going to be our President. People don’t understand how bad that is. It’s serious and it’s really fucking bad.

I consider myself part of the new generation. I did not grow up on racism. I did not grow up on racism from people my age, that’s not how we communicated with each other. Systematically, yes, but amongst each other and within our culture, we did not face those issues. For the majority of my life, my President was black. I saw the legalization of same sex marriage. I witnessed the legalization of marijuana. My generation grew up on the internet engaging in conversations with people from across the fucking world. In terms of racism and the way that we treat each other we are the biggest improvement from the way our parents and grandparents treated each other. It’s not fair that my generation and the future generations have to now deal with fucking issues that we could have overcome.

I just want to tell the new generation that at the end of the day we should all be unified. We need to come together and support the people and the artists who are trying to help improve the fucking world because if not we’re in trouble.

LAC: If you could have been a musician in any era, which would you chose and who would you open for?

BB: Jimi Hendrix for both. Ha ha. I’d want to be Basquiat too. I’d be Basquiat and open for Hendrix.

LAC: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

BB: My second EP drops on 11/11 and after my EP there’ll probably be a couple of albums and some visual stuff. I’m just taking everything day by day. I’m super excited about my EP though. I’ve had these songs forever and when everyone hears this second EP they’re fully going to understand who I was at 19. Who I still am…just a certain part of me. In order to understand who I am and to understand my album you have to get a feel for who I was with both of my EP’s. I’m very open about myself and my life and it makes me a little vulnerable, but I choose to make that sacrifice in order to inspire people to be who they are.

You can catch Bibi Bourelly performing live with  Red bull Sound Select at The Bootleg Theater on 11/12 or learn more about her latest EP,“Free the Real Pt.2”, here

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