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Stacy Barthe's 'BEcoming' Is A Story Of Near-Death And Rebirth

Stacy Barthe's debut solo album is called <em>BEcoming</em>.
Courtesy of the artist
Stacy Barthe's debut solo album is called BEcoming.

The world came close to never hearing Stacy Barthe — her voice, anyway. By age 25, Barthe was taking off as a songwriter, landing credits on albums by Britney Spears and Rihanna. But as she looked at the cover models dominating pop music, the images of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift plastered on billboards, a damning thought took shape in her mind: You don't belong here.

"I was, like, 380 pounds at the time," Barthe says. "And I was just like, 'Nobody wants to hear this.' I just never really believed that anybody wanted to hear me sing. So that's why it took all this time."

The new album BEcomingis Barthe's full-length debut as a performer. Following a series of EPs — as well as some pronounced weight loss — it reads like a diary of her ascent out of dark times, including a low point described in the opening track, "My Suicide Note (Intro)."

"It was a really coward attempt," she says. "I was 25 years old and I didn't find any real purpose in my life to keep living. So I took all these pills in my medicine cabinet, and I was hoping to not wake up. And I woke up the next morning like, "Am I seriously still here?'"

It was an awakening in more ways than one. Barthe is almost 30 now, but says she often feels like she's navigating the world as a newborn.

"I think the common denominator between all human beings is the human condition," she says. "You know, there's so many layers to that: There's sadness, there's depression, there's frustration. You have happy moments, but most of us go through life trying to figure it out."

Hear more of Stacy Barthe's conversation with NPR's Arun Rath at the audio link.

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