Whether you’re the type who sits and listens to every lyric of an album from start to finish or loads up a playlist in the background, everybody loves music.
Meet Rebecca Black, Tay Keith, Caly Bevier, Big Freedia and Madilyn Bailey — musical artists who couldn’t be more different but who are each bringing authenticity to their respective styles.
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Rebbeca Black has come a long way since her 2011 viral hit “Friday.” While the single catapulted her into the spotlight when she 13, Black did receive some harsh bullying for a while. She was able to overcome it to find her real voice as a singer and YouTuber with over 1.4 million followers. Now, at 18, she lives in Los Angeles and spends a lot of time in the studio making music that feels “authentic.”
“You don’t have to aspire to be like someone,” Black told In The Know. “You shouldn’t. So many people will tell you, ‘Just be you’ but that is hard. Be proud of who you are. Be proud of where you come from and what you believe and the person you are. Then it becomes easier to be you.”
Tay Keith is a 23-year-old Grammy-nominated record producer from Memphis. He has worked with major heavyweights in the industry including Travis Scott, Beyoncé, Drake, DJ Khaled and Cardi B.
Keith was about 12 or 13 when he first started making music.
“In middle school, having the Rock Band Gang, I was on the drums,” Keith told In The Know. “So by the time I got to high school, it was more on the note of let me take it seriously.”
It’s no surprise that within just two months, Keith graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and was nominated for a Grammy for Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode,” a hit song he helped produce.
“The reason I do what I do is, because, it’s being a hometown hero, just being able to make the imprint on something that has so much of an influence on me growing up. I really did this for my city,” Keith said.
Caly Bevier was featured on America’s Got Talent. The cancer-survivor and Ohio native was eventually eliminated from the competition. But she seized the opportunity to move to Los Angeles to start her music career.
“I’m just super happy with all the opportunities that I’ve gotten in the past few years and I’ve gotten to work with, amazing, amazing people and create beautiful connections. Every little thing happens for a reason, it’s beautiful,” Bevier said.
Big Freedia is a legendary New Orleans music entertainer and the “Queen of Bounce.” She is known for spreading bounce music, an energetic hip-hop subgenre made to get people moving.
“With my role as a pioneer, it has found its way into the mainstream,” Big Freedia told In The Know. “You know, doing songs with RuPaul, Drake, Beyoncé, I have a new song with Kesha. It feels really good being the ambassador of bounce music and other artists are finally wanting to be a part of it.”
Madilyn Bailey has been posting covers and music performances on YouTube, where she has 8.44 million subscribers, for at least a decade now. Bailey’s dad taught her how to write music when she was 7 and she hasn’t stopped creating since.
“I think the balance between being authentic with my feelings and then authentic with who I am at the same time, I think people really appreciate that,” Bailey said. “I do it all for the songs, I do it all for the music. I want to live my life in the pursuit of creativity.”
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