Bebe Rexha was in a relationship when the idea for her new single, “Baby, I’m Jealous,” came to her. “It’s based on a real story. I was dating somebody and saw some things on social media I didn’t like, and I got jealous,” she tells StyleCaster. “I got really jealous.”
“Baby, I’m Jealous,” which was released on October 9 and is the lead single from Rexha’s upcoming sophomore album, was inspired by insecurities she felt after she saw her boyfriend like and comment on Instagram photos of women who were taller and thinner than her. She recalled the incident to her producer, Justin Tranter, who motivated her to write about it in a song. Thus, “Baby, I’m Jealous” was born.
“I was like, ‘Listen. I’ve been dating this guy and he kept liking all these girls’ pictures on Instagram. Is there something wrong with me? Do I need to be like them?’ Cause I don’t look like that. I know I’m beautiful, but I feel insecure,” Rexha says. “We wanted to take the feeling of jealousy and put all my insecurities into a song. It became empowering.”
Once she finished the track, Rexha knew she wanted a feature for it, another woman who represented empowerment like her. Her mind immediately went to Doja Cat. “Our teams hooked us up and we talked on FaceTime, just because I wanted to get her energy and her vibe,” Rexha says. “From the start, I was like, ‘This girl is so funny and awesome.’ Ever since that FaceTime, she ended up doing the song and we’ve been hanging out. She’s hardworking, and she’s a fun person to work with. That was the most important thing for me about this collaboration. I wanted to have fun instead of it feeling like work.”
Though Rexha has been nominated at the Grammys, written songs for singers like Selena Gomez and Nick Jonas, and became one of less than 50 artists to have a diamond-certified song in August, she still remembers when she was a young girl with dreams of becoming a musician. Her success is one of the reasons her partnership with Cinnamon Toast Crunch—a cereal she’s been eating since she was a kid—is so special to her. The partnership encourages fans to post videos of themselves on TikTok singing their favorite songs with the back of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch box in front of their face as part of the brand’s #CTCVoiceBox Challenge.
“When I was younger, I was such a dreamer. I really wanted to be in music,” Rexha says. “It’s crazy how this cereal was a part of my whole life. To have everything in life come full circle is cool for me. These little things keep me going and remind me how blessed I am to do what I love.”
Ahead, Rexha talked about how she channeled her insecurities for her upcoming album and how she and Doja Cat almost got food poisoning on the set of the “Baby, I’m Jealous” music video.
On the inspiration for the “Baby, I’m Jealous” music video
“It was inspired by real stuff I go through as a female. In the song, I wanted to talk about how I’m not the thinnest and how I don’t look like a supermodel. I have a relationship with food. There might be a piece of egg on my face, but whatever. I love to eat, and that’s who I am. I wanted to put in that in the song. In the video, we have the girls put a waist trainer on me and tightened the waist trainer because, back in the day, a smaller waistline was a sign of being pretty. The song in general came from all of my insecurities. I think about that dichotomy, one day I love myself and one day I don’t and how I’m trying to let my insecurities go and become a better me.”
On how she and Doja Cat almost got sick
“The first scene of the music video we were shooting for a while. There was this food out. You could eat it. It was edible. But you shouldn’t eat it. It was sitting out. They were spraying this water, like glycerin. Every once in a while, when the director would yell ‘cut’ and we had a second to reset, somebody in the scene would eat the food. We all ended up eating the food. Doja had taken a bite of the chicken, and she was like, ‘Oh girl, I feel like it’s already getting to me. This food has been sitting out for a long time.’ It was so funny. The food actually didn’t taste that bad. But we definitely were scared we were going to get sick.”
On how she channeled her insecurities for her upcoming album
“I think this album has a very clear sound and a very clear identity. Most songs on the album follow this theme of taking insecurities and making them empowering. I’ve only put out one album, but this album is the clearest body of work. When you listen to it, you’re like, ‘Oh. This is what Bebe Rexha’s sound is. This is who she is. It finally makes sense.’ Because I’ve done a lot of collaborations and I started out songwriting, so this album is finally like, ‘I get it.’ It’s that ‘ah ha’ moment.”
On her dream collaborations
“There are a lot of people that I would like to collaborate with to be honest. “If I had a wish and it came true because I had a genie, I would love to work with Beyoncé.She’s amazing. Her visuals. Her music. Love. I love Kanye’s music. I think he’s very talented. I wish I could bring back Jeff Buckley and sing ‘Hallelujah’ with him. That would be sick.”