The pop star explores the subject on her knockout new EP All Your Fault: Pt 1. and new song with G-Eazy, “F.F.F.” (“F— Fake Friends,” for the uninitiated).
“The industry is hard,” Rexha, 27, tells PEOPLE. “I think everybody only hangs out with you based on levels. That sounds terrible. But people who wouldn’t talk to me a year ago, two years ago now want to hang out. I don’t like that. If you don’t want to hang out with me when I’m nobody, then don’t talk to me when I’m doing my thing. So that kind of sucks.”
The “I Got You” singer grew up in N.YC. and says moving to L.A. to pursue her pop career has been jarring.
“It makes it hard to find true friends who really like you for you. I don’t like the Hollywood game,” she adds. “I want to be with people who are always rooting for each other and really care about you as a human more than just their career and wanting to be around you in the club or trying to get on your next single to ‘level up’ — that’s a real thing in Hollywood, and I don’t like it.”
Rexha — who got her start writing songs for Rihanna and Eminem (“The Monster”) and really broke out singing the hook on the David Guetta-Nicki Minaj hit “Hey Mama” — has also discussed the topic on her All Your Fault Tour, on which she’s brought along her family to remind her of her roots.
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“What keeps me grounded is my family,” says Rexha, whose parents are Albanian immigrants. “My mom came out for a few days. I have my brother sell merch for me. He’s my bulls— detector. If I do anything wrong or messed up, he’ll keep me in check; I keep my family around, and they keep me in check.”
Indeed, even if her clan’s not in the same room as her, they keep the singer grounded.
“My family has a certain set of values. We always keep each other humble and down to earth,” she says. “My dad still calls me and yells at me. it’s still the same; it doesn’t matter what I’m doing or what show I’m playing or what magazine I’m in — I’m still the same girl.”
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In addition to her tour, which wraps in May, Rexha is currently putting the finishing touches on her follow-up EP, All Your Fault: Pt. 2, which she says will feature a slew of high-profile guests — including, apparently, Lil Wayne.
While All Your Fault: Pt. 1 was moody and skewed more urban, Rexha says her second installment is “more pop moments and dance moments, and it’s happier.”
“I have some more collaborations that I’m working on, big ones, they’re amazing, I’m so excited about it,” she says. “Because of the success of the first part and the whole movement that’s happening with my fans, it’s definitely put an eye on my music and a spotlight on it, and I’m able to now collaborate with even bigger names — people that I’ve looked up to and people that I grew up on. It’s giving me a chance to work with people that I’ve always wanted to work with, on my bucket list. It’s amazing, and it’s a dope part of the album.”