Charlie Puth paid homage to Nicki Minaj in an recent interview with GQ, proclaiming himself as a member of the “Barbz,” referring to rapper’s massive fan base. Puth cited Nicki’s early success after dropping her mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty as a major inspiration for him.
“I’ve always loved Nicki. I remember in the early days of Twitter, hearing that this new artist Nicki Minaj sold a million copies of her mixtape by herself and got signed to Cash Money,” said Puth. “I was so enamored with the fact that you could do something on your own and then transfer all that success to a major label….”
Puth says Nicki’s interactions with her fans inspired him to show his own audience his real self. The “We Don’t Talk Anymore” singer was in awe at the success of her recent single “Super Freaky Girl,” which recently took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. He attributed the success of the song to the mutual dedication that exists between Nicki and her fans.
“The Barbz will kill for her,” said Puth. “ And the reason why the Barbz will kill for her is because they’ve been with her for 10-plus, 15 years.”
Puth also described Madonna as another recent inspiration for him and his writing. His recent single “There’s a First Time for Everything” is based on Madonna’s “Into the Groove,” released in 1985.
“I wanted to [recapture] the feeling that it gave people in 1985 when they first heard that song,” Puth said of the writing process. “I was just thinking of a bunch of scenarios where music could be played in the background.”
Puth’s third studio album, Charlie, arrives on Friday (Oct. 7).