Dallas singer/songwriter BeMyFiasco Courtesy of Chris Charles

Music

BeMyFiasco Is Ready to Reintroduce Herself

Her 2021 debut, a partnership with North Carolinian rapper and producer Phonte, was really years in the making. Now, the rest of the country can hear what Dallas already has.

BeMyFiasco is a Southern girl.

On the night of her album listening party at the Soirèe Coffee Bar in Trinity Groves, the Dallas singer-songwriter introduced herself to every single person in the room. DJ Ursa Minor, who controlled the music that night, played a curated selection of old-school and modern R&B songs to establish the tone for the intimate, soulful gathering. As BeMyFiasco waltzed throughout the Black-owned bar and restaurant, Rodney Blu, the night’s host, educated guests about BeMyFiasco’s career, from her beginnings on SoundCloud, tenure as a Sprite ambassador for the company’s unsigned artist program, and her array of guest appearances on projects belonging to other Dallas artists. The night’s primary takeaway: BeMyFiasco is homegrown.

In fact, when DJ Ursa Minor dropped a song from BeMyFiasco’s SoundCloud days, most of the people in the room sang the chorus and verses in unison with her. While this year’s Where I Left You is her debut album, she has already built a sizable fanbase in her hometown. Phonte of the North Carolina rap group Little Brother wants to help spread that energy well beyond North Texas.

BeMyFiasco is the latest Dallas musician to take aim at the national scene following years of performing in the city’s local venues. BeMyFiasco follows the lineage of the city’s rich history of passionate R&B singers, artists like Jazzemia Horn, LaVoyce, and even Erykah Badu.

Her music feels like grown folks R&B. Her songs reminds you of lazy Sunday mornings with your partner. They feel like a fresh cup of coffee that conjures warmth within your body on a crisp autumn afternoon. Her spirit is reminiscent of your favorite auntie who made you feel cherished and loved.

For over 10 years, BeMyFiasco, whose name is Bianca Rodriguez, balanced her career as a kindergarten teacher with her pursuit of music. Rodriguez, the daughter of a Black gospel singer and granddaughter of a Tejano singer, was born for this. Her first song, a tribute to Aaliyah, was found by her mother, who showed BeMyFiasco’s tape to a cousin. Today, Rodriguez credits her cousin with “developing her sound.” That sound piqued the interest of the Grammy-winning Phonte, according to an interview on his label’s YouTube page.

Last month, BeMyFiasco released Where I Left You through Phonte’s FE Music, a North Carolina record label co-founded with the duo The Foreign Exchange. The 11 track album—with Phonte as executive producer—feels like a coming of age for the Dallas singer-songwriter.

After his first listen and a number of interactions on Twitter, Phonte contacted BeMyFiasco to sing vocals for an unreleased track. The song, “Violets,” was a 2016 collaboration with Robert Glasper, which interpolates a sample of Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green.” This sparked a yearslong collaboration, which culminated into Where I Left You.

“I’m truly blessed honestly,” says BeMyFiasco. “He took me under his wing and was like, ‘hey, I know what you’re trying to do. Let me help you with the resources I have.’ For me, that was everything, because no one had taken that much interest into what I wanted to do.”

The duo wrote the entirety of the album together. BeMyFiasco describes FE Music as a “family affair.” Label mates Carlitta Durand and Darien Brockington appear on her album, which was recorded over three weeks in North Carolina. The album positions BeMyFiasco among her counterparts in contemporary R&B’s movement back toward the genres’s origins in gospel and blues.

“When you’re listening to R&B, you’re looking for the soul,” says BeMyFiasco. As a student of the genre, she describes her album’s influences as a combination of ’70s R&B, early ’00s R&B, VH1 Soul, and the ethereal voices of R&B greats that originated in Black churches. “I think you need a little bit of church in there,” she says. “That’s not like the groans, but some of that, you can tell the difference.”

Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Faith Evans, and John Legend all started their musical careers in the pews of their neighborhood churches. A few years ago, writer Jesse Bernard critiqued the lack of gospel’s influence in modern R&B for Trench Magazine: “While current trends are leaning towards ’90s nostalgia with sample-led productions, audiences must keep in mind that it was the gospel-influenced vocalists that made the genre so unique.”

BeMyFiasco is digging into this rich history. Where I Left You pulls us back to R&B’s golden era: a cultural period where people listened to records and fell in love, where parents two-stepped in the living room to Rufus and Chaka Khan, and children grew up with Minnie Riperton, Deniece Williams, and the occasional Teena Marie. Although BeMyFiasco is not new to the music scene, Where I Left You is a beautiful reintroduction to the heart of R&B, and the Dallas songbird who channeled the genre’s traditions in order to pave her future.

 

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