Rapper Bre-Z has been taking the world by storm as the ether-spitting Freda Gatz on Fox’s hit show “Empire”. While it’s clear the rising star has bars for days, many don’t know that she is also quite nice with clippers, having cut hair at her family’s barbershop since she was 10 years old.
In fact, before hitting the screen, she was already at the top of her hair game, getting behind the chair of such celebs as Akon and Ludacris. She also had a budding music career, having already worked with Freeway, Jennifer Lopez and Dr. Dre.
We caught up with Bre-Z to talk about her barber skills, the therapeutic powers of getting your hair done and find out what’s next for the spitfire.
— Stephenetta (isis) Harmon
HH: As an artist, you’re able to write your own lyrics for the show. Does that level of input that you have with your music translate to your style and hair on the show?
Bre-Z: Yeah, I had been rocking my hair like it was coming into the season. Lee Daniels actually liked it. Since then, I’ve transitioned into to finger waves in my hair which I did in my real life. Everything I’ve done, Lee and the rest of the team they happened to like it, so we just kind of went with it.
HH: Has it always been short?
Bre-Z: My hair has always been short. I’ve never been a fan of long hair. I had long hair as a little girl, but even as a teenager, my hair has always been short. I like to just play with different styles. I just hate to be confined to one thing. I want to be able to change it whenever I feel like it. I’m always going to do something different with it.
HH: Have you ever rocked any color?
Bre-Z: Some years ago. Not outrageous though. More like a tint.
HH: Tell us more about your personal style.
Bre-Z: Whatever I feel. I like that clean, but effective look. I’m not a fan of dramatic colors. I like to just keep it simple, classy.
HH: What inspired you to pick up your first pair of clippers at age 10?
Bre-Z: It really just happened. My dad [David Mayfield] is a barber, my grandfather is a barber, so I grew up seeing it. Growing up, I had brothers and I was in the barbershop watching them get their haircut. One day my grandfather gave me a pair of clippers and I just started cutting my brother’s hair and I cut it really really low. It was nice, but it was really really low. It was just in me. I picked them up and I never stopped.
HH: True. We even see you cutting hair on ‘Empire’!
Bre-Z: Yeah, the writers wrote that in the script not knowing that’s what I actually did in real life.