Barbee: Dancehall’s Fetish

Growing up I always played with Barbie dolls; I didn’t know years later I’d actually be able to speak to one. Up and coming artist Barbee is truly a doll who enjoys taking on the persona of every little girl’s best friend. Some may have heard of her through the Dancehall scene on tracks with Beenie Man or her own singles. Interestingly enough she and another blossoming artist choose to portray the Barbie image which leads to a lot of comparison. Yet Barbee seems to take it all in stride and continue to focus on her music.Only 4 years in the game and right from the beginning she was making waves. Now she’s trying to make some waves in the U.S. With a recent single being “Come See About Me” featuring Trina, which you’ll hear about throughout the rest of the interview, it seems she’s making the right connections to at least create some kind of buzz.AllHipHop.com: How long have you been involved with the music scene?Barbee: I’ve involved with the reggae and Dancehall scene for 4 years. I took a trip to the Caribbean for a summer vacation. I ended up in the studio recording with Junior Kelly. We recorded a record and within two days the record was on the radio and it started charting in Europe and took the Caribbean charts and it became a Dancehall classic. I then got to work with the “King of the Dancehall” Beenie Man on two different Dancehall records. We went number one overseas and in the Caribbean. I did some other records like “Feel so Good” which went to number 1 on the charts as well in the Caribbean. The Caribbean treated me really well. I also have this new feature single featuring Trina called “See About Me.”AllHipHop.com: You’re not originally from Caribbean?Barbee: Actually I was born in the Bronx and later on my mom sent me to Spanish Town in Jamaica to go to school. I lived with my grandmother there for a bit. My dad felt I needed to understand my African side as well and thought I should live there for a while and I ended my schooling in New York.AllHipHop.com: With Dancehall being a very male dominated scene, how does a female hold up?Barbee: It’s very important that you don’t forget who you are as a person. You have to do what’s comfortable for you as a person. There’s a place in the market for everyone’s talent, it’s just how you push it and your comfort ability with yourself. You have got to be creative.AllHipHop.com: Which moment made it apparent that you should sing for a career and not something to do on the side?Barbee: That is so funny because I really started singing when I was about five years old. I would sing in the mirror with my mother’s high heels. I would sing the songs I heard on the radio or saw on the television. I just loved music from when I was a child. I always found ways to make sure I was apart of music. I joined a traveling church choir and later went on to form a group that was kept secret. Right after high school I recorded this record and it was just like something I was always doing. I love music. Modeling is fun and everything, music is my true passion. It really just moved me. When teachers were in class speaking I was writing down songs. It’s just something I love to do and it comes naturally.AllHipHop.com: What’s the reception you’ve gotten in America towards your music?Barbee:  I’ve been getting really great feedback from the DJ’s. The Affiliates are going to be doing my mixtape also. It’s been playing at different clubs and getting a great response. Especially since I have a certified diva on my record which is “Come See About Me” featuring Trina.AllHipHop.com:: Speaking of your new single, talk some more about your current projects.Barbee: I’ve been releasing quite a bit of singles at this moment. My next single will be coming out but right now I’m concentrating on this record “Come See About Me” featuring Trina. There’s no album yet, just singles. I’m also doing my mixtape with the Affiliates, yay.AllHipHop.com: How was it working with Trina?Barbee: Working with Trina was really fun. I really enjoyed it for what it was. She dropped a really important jewel on me actually. She said “never care about what people say, just do you and have fun.” Coming from a certified diva to a upcoming diva, that was the best thing she could ever say to me. It made me really happy that she said that and it stuck with me. I loved working with Trina.AllHipHop.com: Do you guys plan on working with each other in the future?Barbee: Yea, I plan on doing a couple shows with her actually.AllHipHop.com: What direction are you planning on going in with your music?Barbee: I would like to classify my music as world music. I remember when I was in Japan at a show. I noticed the people really engaging in the music and singing along. They don’t even know English and they were touched and moved by the music. I would just like to take my music in any form or any way that it feels right. If it feels good I do it. It’s feel good music. It is world music. I would classify it as that. If you listen to it, it sounds like Reggae/Pop. It’s accepted in Jamaica where the sound is so authentic. It’s just me being me. AllHipHop.com: What happened with the Sean Kingston video you were supposed to be in?Barbee: Well I thought it was really cool that the video was capturing the true essence of the Dancehall. My part in the video was a real Jamaican “hot girl” love interest. Normally I wouldn’t do other videos; I would just do my own videos. I was invited by Sean Kingston’s mom and it was being done in one of my most favorite places in the world, Jamaica. It was a bit strange what happened out there. Especially since there was other Jamaica artists like Shaggy and Ding Dong made the video and I was cut out of it. Yet its show business and it is what it is and it happened. I’m totally over it. You guys can just check out my new video “Come See About Me” featuring Trina. It’s something that I just put behind me, it’s a part of show business.AllHipHop.com: How was it working with Beenie Man?Barbee: It was cool working with Beenie Man. He’s an excellent performer and entertainer. Getting to work with him was actually really cool.AllHipHop.com: Have you worked heavily with Beenie Man?Barbee: I’ve done a few projects with Beenie Man and another with Trina, while the rest I’ve done solely by myself. I have this one track I’d love to do with Rick Ross. He would be perfect on the record right now. Other than that I mainly do my records alone or with my writing team.AllHipHop.com: When you write where does your inspiration come from?Barbee: I always try to do records people can relate to. This way no matter where you are in the world people can relate to it. Love is always a good subject. Everyone can relate to anything regarding the heart because it’s such a strong thing. I always try to keep it positive with my music.AllHipHop.com: Any last words?Barbee: I would just like to say you can check me out at www.barbeeplayhouse.com and check out my facebook, Playhouse Barbee. You can check out me performing for the Nelson Mandela Tribute for the United Nations. Just check out my musical side of things overseas and look forward to my new single coming out “Come See About Me” featuring Trina. Also check out my Affiliates mixtape and contact me at treadaypr@gmail.com for anything else.

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