Her new solo single 'IBTC' is out now
Interview and Photos by Jordan Edwards
It's been a wild couple of months for Malibu Babie. Two massive tracks she co-produced, "Her" and "Super Freaky Girl," dropped on the same day. "Barbiegurl," her take on the Aqua classic, recently trended on TikTok and Instagram reels. Now comes her latest single, "IBTC" (stream below).
She started making music when she four, but didn't turn to producing until she was a senior in college. Just a few years ago, Malibu Babie was living in Nashville (she's a Vanderbilt alum and former All-SEC dancer). Now she's the coproducer of a number one hit with a surging solo career.
We caught up with her at Prescription Songs in Los Angeles to talk about her move to the West Coast, recent success, and building a career as a solo artist.
What inspired you to write "IBTC" Did the music exist first?
I really wanted to make a prideful party bop about small boobs! I wanted to make a song that 15-year-old me needed--something high energy that would make that girl feel confident about her body! We built the music around the energy we wanted it to embody. The chords in this song are actually interpolated from a '90s dance record, "Everybody Everybody," and they really encapsulated the feeling we wanted it to have. Once we had those two pieces, we went from there!
Why did you decide to pursue this solo music project?
I simply had to! I always say, am I chasing the dream or is the dream chasing me? It comes from someplace deep within. It's the drive--knowing that you're supposed to do something that honestly just lives in you. Since I first started doing music, I've always been an artist--writing and making songs for me first, and then others. I want to trailblaze for women producers, artists, and performers and show that we can do it all, be it all, and make the world twerk while doing so.
Did you know what you wanted Malibu Babie to sound like ahead of time, or did it form as you started making the music?
Not at all! It came together in the studio completely organically. Once I had created that first song, I knew something about it felt truly ME and continued to create from that place.
What’s the secret to a good interpolation?
Knowing how to reinvent it! Mixing genres, old and new, imagining it in a fresh way...that's the key!
You mentioned one of your favorite years for production is 2004. What is it about that era that you’re into?
Really 2000-2010 was such an iconic era for me! I could be biased because those were the songs that I grew up to and experienced those classic life moments to. But there was something about that time period that is so special. Music (at least what I was listening to at the time) was really bombastic, simple, anthemic--people committed to melodies and sonic tones that were just absolute earworms. So much of it was danceable. Honestly, it encapsulated a lot of the trends that I try to put in my music now!
In terms of production, how do you approach a Malibu Babie track as opposed to a song for someone else? Is it hard to step back from your own songs and see them through a producer’s eyes?
When I approach it for me, it is a totally different feeling and way of creating. I have to really get centered and channel the energy and intention I want that song to embody, whereas for others it feels more external. Sometimes it is tricky to have the objective distance with my own music, because it truly is an extension of me, which is why I love to bring in collaborators who understand and get me and will help to make tricky decisions! It definitely is magical, but also challenging, to be deeply embedded in every aspect of song creation, so it's great to surround yourself with trusted ears when you can!
Malibu Babie: Artist/Producer (Short Documentary) www.youtube.com
We discussed what it was like to work on “Super Freaky Girl” in the video interview (watch below). Why do you think that song got so big so quickly?
Two words: Nicki Minaj. Her writing, vision, delivery, and rollout of this song was flawless. I think the timing of what the world and audience wanted in that moment from music lined up beautifully too. But truly, Nicki brought a magic to it that was undeniable and her team executed it to the highest level.
Can you listen to a song and enjoy it without dissecting the production?
That is the fun part for me! So in short, absolutely not. Haha!
What do you have coming up?
In addition to working on records for a variety of artists I love and admire, I'm most excited about the rollout of my own artist career! The release of “IBTC” and the rest of the EP rollout leading into new music coming in 2023.