V Exclusive! B SMYTH Talks "Leggo" Video, Songwriting and His Perfect Girl

Motown artist B. Smyth, or BSMYTH1000 as many YouTube fans know him by is planning a takeover for 2013. After millions of views on his covers of Miguel’s “Sure Thing,” Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You,” and Avant’s “Separated,” the 19 year-old singing sensation is more than ready for the world to hear his original music. VIBE recently talked with B. Smyth about his first single “Leggo” featuring 2 Chainz, songwriting, his ideal girl and touring with Miguel and Trey Songz.

VIBE: Let's start at the beginning. Tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to become a singer?
B. Smyth: Well, I’m originally from Ft Lauderdale, Fla. My mom is originally from Florida as well and my dad is from Jamaica. What inspires me to sing is my mom because when I was younger, she would always go around singing in the house. She even had a band herself when she was younger and music was just always in my face to be honest. Growing up, I wasn’t really into singing, I just did sports. I was pretty much just an athlete. I played a lot of football growing up. It wasn't until the Tenth grade that I got into chorus. I started doing talent shows and actually loved it. So, I’ve been singing for almost 3 years now.

I was just watching some of your cover songs of Miguel and Frank Ocean. Would you say that’s how you got your name out there?
That’s how I pretty much got my start. Starting out, I didn’t know how I was gonna do it, but I knew I wanted to do music. I didn’t know how I was gonna get to the next level. But the best way for me and any new artist is through the internet. Nowadays, that is your record label. So I started doing YouTube covers every week. I just used that to build a buzz to get my name out there and it just so happened that when I covered “Sure Thing” by Miguel, that video ended up on WorldStarHipHop. That’s how I got as much traffic as I did. After World Star, a lot of people started checking me out on Twitter and following me on YouTube and from there, that’s when the labels started looking like “Okay, maybe he has something.”

Do you write your own songs?
Yeah, I try to write as much as I can. I’ve been recording a lot; I’ve got like 40 songs already done. I try to write as much as I can. I haven’t written every single song, but writing is still a big deal to me.

We checked out the video for “Leggo.” It has a pretty catchy title and a cool feature- Two Chainz. How did that collabo come about?
After we recorded the song, we felt like it needed a collabo so the label and the production felt like it was a club song so we should put a rapper on it. They asked me who my favorite rappers were coming
up in the game right now. I listed a few, including Two Chainz and he was right next door at Def Jam so they helped make it come together.

The video seems reminiscent to “Every Little Step” by Bobby Brown. What would you say inspired the video and its awesome choreography?
Thank you! What inspired it was definitely Bobby Brown. He was someone I looked up to and inspired me as an artist, so I had to pay homage to him. For the dances I collaborated with three different choreographers. Collizion Crew, they were on America’s Best Dance Crew. So we all pretty much came together in a couple of months and we made a lot of progress. The video came about through Diane Martel. We wanted to do a performance based video instead of getting a whole bunch of girls and a whole bunch of cars. We wanted to do something that
would show the world the type of artist I am and let people really get to know who I am as a person.

So you opened for Miguel and Trey Songz; artists that you’ve covered. How was that experience for you?
It’s a big opportunity for me…I pretty much got signed from singing Miguel’s song, so to be sharing the stage with him is a pretty big deal. It was honor to perform alongside Miguel and Trey Songz for the last 2 nights of the Chapter V Tour. The last show of the tour was in Houston on Christmas Eve. It was a great experience, and I was able to watch 2 great performers at their best. I learned a lot.

I have to ask for all the teenyboppers out there: Is B. Smyth single?
Yes! Single and ready to mingle. [laughs]

I know you have a growing female fan-base so tell us about your perfect date or perfect girl.
My ideal girl wouldn’t be based on looks, because I’m big on vibes. If you can laugh and have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously, than you’re good with me. Whether it just be us in a blank room with four corners, and just enjoying each others company than its fine with me.

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New Music: Billi Phene Drops 'Love Crimes' Off Of Forthcoming EP

Billi Phene started as a background singer for Rihanna, but since then, she has emerged as a solo entity who is read to take the world by storm on her own accord.

The Bronx-born singer and songwriter recently released her first single off of her forthcoming EP, which is expected to drop in the summer. "Birthed from the ashes of an explosive breakup, 'Love Crimes' is an unapologetic declaration," says a press release for the song, which became available on streaming services Friday, Jan. 11. "Envisioned as an interrogation room confession, it tells the story of emotional self sacrifice."

The artist, who cites her influences as David Bowie, Bjork, Beyonce and Lady Gaga as some of her influences, says that she's always trying to push the envelope. Her lyrics range from mysterious to dangerous to playing with the boundaries of sex.

“I’m always down for edgier soundscapes," she continues. "It’s the story of being nonconformist, and not fitting into any pigeon hole that seems to inform my lyrics and musical choices. It comes from my truest self. Maybe my music can encourage others to do the same...to be different, to be honest with themselves for once.”

Listen to "Love Crimes" below.

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Footage Reveals That R. Kelly Was Aware Of Aaliyah's Age, Contrary To Lawyer's Statement

An old video has resurfaced which showcases that R. Kelly was aware of Aaliyah's age when they married in 1994. The documentary-style interview demonstrates the R&B singer in the studio with a then 14-year-old Aaliyah while they worked on her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, Okayplayer reports.

“Right now I’m producing a very talented young lady, she’s 14. Aaliyah, she’s real street,” he said, continuing to give her directions on how she should hit her notes on the track’s production.

Amid the blatant evidence, Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg recently said that the 52-year-old singer did not know Aaliyah's real age at the time of their marriage. Greenberg also said that Aaliyah allegedly lied about her age in order to get married.

“..My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15. And in order to get married she had to lie about her age,” Greenberg said on Good Morning America. However, he confirmed the two were married. In 1994, VIBE published Kelly and Aaliyah’s marriage certificate in a cover story documenting their union. An excerpt from journalist Danyel Smith reads:

"Then there’s the story that says Aaliyah is supposedly 19, and none of this is as scandalous as folks would like to make it. There is, after all, an Illinois marriage license dated August 31, for Robert S. Kelly and Aaliyah D. Haughton, which lists their respective ages as 27 and 18,” Smith writes. “(Of course, the marriage would be null and void if the ages are not legit.) The only problem is, while promoting her million-selling Jive Records debut, Age Ain’t Nothin’ but a Number, Aaliyah has been evasive about stating her age. Her official bio says 15, and a record company publicist has said, “We stand behind the bio."

Now, another detail has surfaced in relation to the physical abuse Aaliyah allegedly endured at the hands of Kelly while they were married. Journalist Jim DeRogatis, who's extensively covered Kelly's plight with sexual and physical abuse of women, told The New York Times that he obtained court documents stating physical abuse, BET reports.

“The annulment of the Aaliyah marriage and Aaliyah’s legal claim against him had been sealed in Detroit … they were sealed by the court but those documents were provided to me," he said. “It’s a harrowing document, a non-disclosure agreement on both her part and Kelly’s, vowing not to pursue further legal claims for physical abuse. So it wasn’t just an underage sexual relationship, he hit her, allegedly, according to that court document."

R. Kelly is reportedly under criminal investigation by the state of Georgia since Lifetime aired its docu-series Surviving R.Kelly.  

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Premiere: Jordan Hollywood Goes To War In Visuals For "Explosion"

A war-torn forest reminiscent of 1969’s Vietnam War serves as the perfect backdrop for Jordan Hollywood’s video for “Explosion.” Through a montage of wild greenery, Jordan is seen dodging a rainstorm of fiery explosives. Amid the dangerous scenes, his lyrics tell a variety of sex-induced tales paired with braggadocious bars used to remind his rap contemporaries of his space in the game.

The 25-year-old newcomer, who is signed to Quality Control (Migos, City Girls, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty), centers on having his creative visual artistry merge with his lyrical prowess. For “Explosion,” he wanted to revert back to his old artistic roots.

“I’ve been using the same director, Christian Breslauer, since I was 17,” he told VIBE via email. “He did these war videos back then on a shi**y camera that still looked good. Fast forward to now, we were sitting at his house and I was like, 'Yo, remember those war videos you made back then? Let’s do something like that for “EXPLOSION.'”

The Broward County native credits his label for granting him artistic control to express himself how he deems necessary. He named his latest project FINALLY!  as an ode to feeling like he has creative control, and the agency to pursue his craft.

"I’m signed to the best label in the world, I have full creative control, and I have a platform now," he told Billboard. "Whatever vision I have, I can do it. That’s the best feeling. When I say 'finally,' that’s what I mean. To be an artist, not a lot of artists feel the way I feel. They feel controlled or manipulated by people telling them what to do all the time. With me, I feel like I’m in the perfect space and it’s an unbelievable feeling."

Watch the video for "EXPLOSION" below.

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