Newly Grammy-winning songwriter Starrah has long helped others to become stars. Now it’s his turn to shine.
Drake, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Nicki Minaj, Halsey and Katy Perry hitmaker recently released her debut album, a natural extension for the self-taught studio prodigy.
âI really love hearing new sounds and experimenting with music,â she says. “I just feel like a crazy little scientist in the lab when I put stuff together and see what it feels like.”
The 13-track “Longest Interlude” showcases her mastery of R&B, hip-hop and pop, all delivered in a painfully personal collection that she compares to opening her diary.
âPersonally, I feel like the one thing that a lot of music is missing right now is just raw emotion and honesty, like vulnerability,â she says. âEveryone wants to be cool. No one wants to be vulnerable.
Starrah brought in music royalties to produce help, including James Blake, Skrillex, Boi1da, and Nile Rodgers. She recorded some of the songs at Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded. She says it’s all a bit surreal.
“The only time I heard about The Beatles was in a music class, so it’s crazy to think I recorded my music in the studio where they worked, with Rodgers – a legend,” she says. âSometimes it’s hard to understand, but it’s really cool. It’s like a dream.
She has co-written songs that have streamed over 14 billion, including “Havana” by Cabello, “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5, “Fake Love” by Drake, “Now or Never” by Halsey, Maroon 5 and “What Lovers Do” by SZA and “Swish Swish” by Perry with Nicki Minaj.
Other songs include The Weeknd’s “Starboy” album “True Colors”, Rihanna’s “Needed Me” and BeyoncÃ©’s “Already” from “Black Is King.” She also worked on several tracks for Madonna’s latest album, “Madame X”.
Starrah won a Grammy this year for working on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix” with BeyoncÃ©. Previously, she won the ASCAP Award for Pop Songwriter of the Year 2018, becoming the first woman in nearly two decades. She also landed a spot in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 ranking in 2019.
Not bad for a black, LGBTQ woman in a male dominated field who worked in public storage when she first stood out. âWatching her move from public storage to the Forbes list is something no one can take away from her,â says manager Nick Jarjour.
She grew up as Brittany Hazzard in a small town in Delaware, the youngest of eight siblings. Music has always been a big part of his life. She would fall asleep to music and wake up the next morning. âWhen I was a kid, I just played with music all day,â she says.
Starrah has experimented with online music programs like FruityLoops and Audacity, watching YouTube tutorials and learning to loop instrumentals. âAnything I could do to try and learn to make rhythms or make music,â she recalls.
Jarjour remembers hearing Starrah for the first time while listening to an R&B show on college radio. His song “Drank Up” arrived and he immediately spent hours searching for his SoundCloud profile.
âFrom the first second I heard it, chills ran through my whole body and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,â he says. “It’s really amazing how far she’s come, but it’s not surprising because she had that motivation in her from the start.”
His appetite for music is wide. As a child, she was raised on a sonic diet of Britney Spears, Eve, Ruff Ryders and Lil ‘Bow Wow. Nowadays, she feeds her âeclectic palateâ with everything.
âI don’t limit myself to what I listen to, honestly,â she says. âSomeday I might listen to NBA YoungBoy or Kodak Black. And the next day, I listen to Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke or Coltrane or Skrillex.
Trust and mutual respect are essential any time Starrah decides to help someone on her song, not the popularity of the artist, and she just hopes for “good vibes”. She is currently working on Normani’s next album and the upcoming animated musical “Century Goddess”.
“When I write for an artist, I feel like it’s important for me to sit down and have a conversation with them and see where they are in life and what kind of music they are. want to do, âshe said. . âI am very empathetic, so I can put myself in this person’s shoes and write, if necessary, for them, from their point of view. “
Despite her impact, she generally avoids the limelight, even preferring to distort photo portraits or partially cover her face. She says she values ââher privacy and has not stepped into the music business for the fame.
âIf you think of anything other than music, that’s a distraction for me. If you focus on a personality attached to music, that just takes away from the music, âshe says. “I just feel like this should be the focal point.”