For this week’s “How It Went Down,” Billboard caught up with Bebe Rexha to find out the story behind her song “I’m A Mess,” as she talks through the inspiration behind it, the recording process and how she felt when she first heard it played back.
Speaking of the events that influenced the track off of her debut album Expectations, Rexha tells Billboard that she was seeing a guy she really liked. One day, she was sitting in her apartment in West Hollywood, stalking him on Instagram because he hadn’t responded to any of her text messages.
“I see that he’s dating another girl and it was like the worst feeling ever,” she tells Billboard. “And of course, the day I find out about this guy is the day I have my session with [songwriter] Justin Tranter.” Although she was in no mood to write music and would have preferred staying home and eating pizza while watching sad movies and crying, she knew it would look bad to not show up at the studio.
Rexha arrived at the studio, apologizing to Tranter saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m a mess.” He replied, “Really? That’s perfect. That’s the name of the song,” asking her to explain exactly how she was feeling. “It just kind of came and we wrote the song super quick,” Rexha adds. “It was like literally two hours. And the second I heard my voice on the record, I just knew it was magic.”
After taking a dinner break, she returned to the studio and listened to the track on the loudspeakers, revealing that everyone around her started dancing around the studio. “I totally forgot about that dirt bag,” she says. “I just felt so happy and I was like, ‘Yeah…I wrote an awesome song.’ I walked into the studio really emotional and a total mess, but then, I left the studio happy.”
You can watch the video above to hear the full story of how Bebe Rexha wrote her song “I’m A Mess.”