Artist Feature: Malibu Babie
April 30, 2023
In 2021, only 2.8% of producers in the U.S music industry were female, and Malibu Babie was one of them. Malibu Babie is a producer, solo-artist and dancer based in Los Angeles. Within the music industry she’s coined the nickname Beat Barbie for her ability to seamlessly blend her hip-hop sensibilities with a sweet, pop aura. Recently she co-produced not one but two hit singles, Megan Thee Stallion’s “Her” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl”, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and sparked one of the biggest TikTok trends ever. Despite the success of the song, she explained to me that she didn’t go into the studio that day planning to write a number one hit, it just sort of happened.
“A couple of buddies and I got together to just make some beats,” she recalls. “We had the idea that it would be really fun to flip an old record and make it kind of 2022, you know, a bad b*tch anthem. We knew we wanted to do something in that lane, and when we got into the studio that day we discovered that we somehow had access to the original stems of “Super Freak” by Rick James. So, we were going through different song ideas of what would be cool to flip, and when we discovered that we had those actual, original recordings, it was a no-brainer. Before we knew it the song had come out, and then a couple weeks later it went #1. It was a very quick process and very magical!”
Malibu Babie’s experience as a producer hasn’t only helped her garner #1 hit singles, though, it’s also given her an edge for her solo-career.
“(Production experience) helps me because I’m very much a vision focused person, so if I’m going in to create a song for myself, oftentimes I’ve got a concept or visual in mind and wherever inspiration comes from, it’s flowing through me all at once,” she notes.
At the time we chatted, Malibu Babie had recently released her song “IBTC”, a self-love anthem that is danceable, fun and upbeat. Speaking of her influences for the song she added, “I’m a big fan of artists like Lizzo who are all about self-love. I love records where people talk about their bodies, whatever that shape might be… I thought to myself that I wanted to do a self-love anthem that still had swag.”
Self-love is an area Malibu Babie has embraced wholeheartedly in more ways than one. Being a female producer and artist in the music industry can be challenging. Despite her innate skills for beat making and producing, she’s dealt with a lot of skepticism throughout her career.
She remembers that “there were a lot of old, male executives who would pick me apart and would recognize my talent but tell me that I’d never make it in pop or in hip-hop, because they just don’t take women seriously there. When I moved to LA and I was in the hip-hop rooms, there were questions about if I should dress a certain way. Should I tone down the blonde hair and the pink lipstick and the heels?”
These sentiments never resonated with her. Instead, they drove her into her purpose of proving those beliefs wrong. It was as if a fire had been lit beneath her. The people who told her that she wouldn’t succeed clearly didn’t know what they were talking about, as she’s proven a multi-talented woman within the music industry. Still, music wasn’t always the clear path for her. She and her sister were first-generation college students, and growing up it was instilled into her to chase her dreams, to do something with her mind and make something with herself. When it came down to choosing her career, she was split between academia and her creative side.
“I was a very creative kid. I played piano, wrote music, and danced thirty hours a week… I was dancing all over the country and then there was also this scholastic side of me. I knew I could get a scholarship, and I was kind of crushing it in school. I thought it could be an avenue to make something of myself,” she remarked.
Malibu Babie ended up studying political science at Vanderbilt, but she kept her creativity alive as captain of her school’s dance team and by taking music classes as electives. When graduation approached, something inside of her told her that she was meant to make music, as opposed to continuing on to law school like she’d previously planned. Ever since then, she’s been following her musical journey wherever it takes her. As for why she continues to make music, she tells me–
“I think music is such a beautiful way to put your energy and a vibe or intention into something everybody across the globe can listen to. It can directly impact their mood, their day, be the soundtrack to their memory. To me, that’s what I had always been looking for, and it just so happens to line up with what I love and what my gifts are.”
You can find Malibu Babie on all streaming platforms. She’s also on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter under @MalibuBabie.