Meet St. Barthe — actually, many music fans already have. St. Barthe is the new moniker adopted by singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe.
Barthe, whose songwriting credits include Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That),” Miley Cyrus’ “Adore You” and Katy Perry’s “Hummingbird Heartbeat,” released her solo debut album last year: BEcoming. Now she’s back with a new EP, FKA Stacy Barthe, and video for lead single “Virgin,” both released Friday (May 27).
“Virgin” is St. Barthe’s take on Madonna’s 1984 hit “Like a Virgin.” Explains St. Barthe, who has returned to her New York home base after 10 years in Los Angeles, “I’m basically talking about the men I’ve been involved with and how I never got out of those relationships what I was looking for.”
The seven-song EP also includes the tracks “Live to Tell” and “Lose My Mind.” The former, which St. Barthe describes as “tribal EDM,” samples Fela Kuti’s “Water No Get Enemy.” Of the latter track, she notes, “It’s about literally wanting to take my brain out and get a new one. Mental health has been my passion for the last year. It’s something we don’t talk about in the urban community, but it’s important to talk out what you’re going through on the inside.”
?St. Barthe’s personal struggles with body image, attempted suicide and the journey to self-love provided the wellspring for BEcoming, her first studio album for Motown. No longer with Motown (“I learned a lot and have no hard feelings”), St. Barthe calls FKA Stacy Barthe “pretty progressive in terms of its themes and genres. This is closing chapters and opening the next one.”
Which prompted her name change. “I’ve made it past the depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts,” says St. Barthe. “You know that song that says ‘We fall down, but we get back up’? I’ve forgiven myself for all the destructiveness I’ve done to myself over the years. St. Barthe is the representation of the woman I’ve become.”
Featured on Tchami’s EDM track “After Life” last year, St. Barthe is already looking ahead to her next project. It will be a jazz album (“my favorite music; the instruments are like lyrics”) incorporating Afro house and Haitian kompa music that she plans to start in July. In the meantime, she wrote and is featured on “Stay Up,” which will appear on Fantasia’s new album, The Definition of…, coming July 29. In addition to working with Mary J. Blige, St. Barthe is collaborating with Cyrus again.
Declares St. Barthe, “Onward and upward … that’s definitely what’s about to go down.”