Butta B-Rocka transports you back to the ’99 and the 2000s with her eclectic sound and timeless melodies. A boundless voice, this indie artist is freely rising to the top. BeenWorthy sat down with the Billboard recognized songstress to discuss the release of her latest project “Strange Love,” an alternative pop soul collaboration with Atlanta based artist, Homer MC. With over 40,000 views on Youtube, the Alice in Wonderland themed music video provides an enchanted forest experience that is both whimsical and entertaining. The visuals are stellar and the execution, next level.
Music has always been my first love ever since I was 4 years old seeing Diana Ross on TV. Seeing the crowd, hearing everybody singing with her and seeing the emotions that were coming through the screen, it made me be like, yes! I want to be this.
What inspired the name Butta B-Rocka?
In high school everybody use to say I had a smooth and sultry voice, so they would always say “smooth like butta”. And then when I moved to Atlanta, and I would be in the studio recording, they would be like “yeah, B-Rocka”. So I just merged the two.
Your new single “Strange Luv” gives me all the best Outkast vibes and then more. It took me back to the early 2000s where music was still diverse, artists owned their unique sound and it was embraced. Tell me about the journey of owning your sound in this era of music.
Actually, it’s been really hard trying to really define yourself because as an artist, you do get caught up in what the industry says you should be and what they think you should sound like. Although you say you’re gonna stay true to yourself, the lines get a little blurry because you want to put out good music, but you also want people to support you. This project is definitely true to who I am. I love music, all the way around, from funk to pop, to alternative rock, r&b. When people would see me they would automatically say “she’s an r&b singer, she’s a soul singer,” and that’s cool. I do sing r&b and can sing r&b, but I have so much more in me than just r&b. This was a project that I was like I’m just gonna tell my truth and go for it. This is what I like, you know?
I was listening to your catalog and it really is a little bit of every genre. I appreciate you for being courageous enough to bet on yourself, even in an industry that may not support it all the time. That’s when we produce our best as creatives, when we’re true to ourselves.
I appreciate that. As a matter of fact, my first project was called “Switch Lanes”, and I called it that intentionally because that first album was me expressing all of the types of genres that I like. And why can’t we switch lanes? Everybody wants to just put you in this box and I don’t’ want to be in no box. You know what I mean? I think as creatives you should be able to be expressive and show all the sides of you.
Take me to the booth. When you’re trying to express yourself musically, what gets you in your zone? Do you have candles? Are your girlfriends in the studio with you cheering you on?
I definitely have scented candles. I have either a blue light or a red light. The scenery is nice. It has to be nice. And then the music paints the picture. The music tells me how to write the song. As I’m listening to it, the melody forms and the words start forming. It’s so cool because you have this blank canvas, and then all of a sudden you have this whole song and it’s incredible. I can’t tell you how I get there, but as I’m listening to the music and I’m feeling it, it’s taking me different places. And I usually just go with my first instinct.
Do you get nervous before releasing new music?
Absolutely, because you know, one, I’m an independent artist. I don’t have that backing from labels and everything. I think I’m dope, but you don’t know if people are gonna like you and support you. Erykah Badu said it best, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit”. Because it’s your baby. It’s literally you being vulnerable putting out your work and hoping people will understand it, support it and rock with you.
Have you had a moment where you released music that people didn’t positively respond to? How did you deal with that?
I’ve definitely had that moment. I think my first album because I was so new. I didn’t have a budget or any of that type of stuff. I finally got to a point where I wanted to bet on myself and I said I can’t let someone else’s opinion define who I am. So I put out my own first album and it was terrifying. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but it just worked out.
In opinion, “Strange Luv” is about a couple having dialogue about how different their love is, and their willingness to be different. Was this song inspired by real life events?
No, actually it was not. Me and my writing partner were in the studio and we both get into our little corners as we’re coming up with our ideas because you want your ideas to pure, you know? You don’t want it to be tainted by hearing someone else in that moment. So we’re both in our corners vibin’ and we came back together and it was so cool because it always happens this way with me and him. We were on the same vibe with the lyrics. The synergy was there.
How did this collaboration come about?
We’ve known it each other for years. We started writing for different projects on and off, and when I heard this track I said I had to have him on it. It was magical. We were so hype. We’ve been receiving so much positive feedback. People are saying this is so ATL and it takes them back to good music. People are saying it reminds them of Outkast and Ceelo Green. All of those are great compliments.
Obviously the song is dope, and Billboard agrees. You were recently featured on Billboard as their Best Discovery of the Week. How did it feel when you got that news?
I’m like holy crap! I’m on cloud nine. I’m cheesing so hard because I woke up to that news. It’s definitely an honor. Again, you put your heart out there and you hope that people receive it and like it. As an indie artist you don’t get as much push that a major artist would have, from the marketing standpoint, from the following stand point, you kind of get drowned out in the noise a lot of times. I’m really praying that this song charts. That’s what I’m looking at.
What would say to those who haven’t had a chance to listen to “Strange Luv” yet that would motivate them to hit play?
There have been so many crazy things happening in this past year with COVID and people losing their lives. This is a feel good song that’s gonna take you back in the day and gonna make you appreciate life and love. It’s a fun song, but it’s a serious song. You’re definitely gonna like it, but make sure you check out the music video because the music video takes it to a whole nother level. We went all the way out visually.