How do you usually write the lyrics to your songs?
It actually changes a bit! Usually, I start with a melody that’s stuck with me or that I’m drawn to, and I’ll actually sing random words or images that the melody inspires. For example, if it’s a really sassy rhythmic melody I’ll probably play with a theme full of attitude or images with a lot of energy. Sometimes though I just get hit with a wave of poem-like writing where concepts or ideas hit me (typically right as I’m trying to sleep haha) and I’ll stay up and just let the words write themselves on a note on my iPhone. The next day (or sometimes that night) I’ll put the lyric to a new melody vs. my typical method of the melody first and then lyric. Keeps things interesting creatively!
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
I’d say being authentic and moving a listener or somebody. Even if it’s just yourself. It’s tricky to define or label someone as authentic or inauthentic because sometimes the simplest, cheesiest songs are full of authenticity although they might not seem the most “deep” or “personal” etc. There are so many aspects of writing – lyric, melody, concept, story, etc. that I think are all important to an extent, but at the end of the day if the music isn’t moving anyone in any way (happy or sad or whatever) then I don’t think the rest matters. “Work” by Rihanna barely has much lyric clarity but you better trust every time I hear that beat I wanna move a little bit haha. Just like Sufjan Stevens “Fourth of July” makes me cry any time, anywhere. It’s just about the feeling.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Oh absolutely. I haven’t actually released too much of that music yet, but I have a whole catalog of songs that are very personal and specific to me that are on the way, and even sharing them with people around me who I don’t know too well is nerve-wracking. It’s like telling someone on the street your deepest, darkest secret and hoping that they firstly, acknowledge you and your secret but secondly appreciate it or are okay with it somehow. On another hand, it’s also really freeing cause it puts it all into perspective. Almost empowering in a way because it forces you to confront how you feel about those experiences objectively.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
Ah, this is so hard! I don’t know about best lyric, but a favorite out of the songs that are out: I’d say “Traded my pride for validation, one too many times” because I feel like it captures so much of who I am/can be and also a lot of how our society works with social media, comparison, insecurities, etc.
I think a second favorite is “We starve, we hate, we take a blade to our temple walls; we do – we try to fit the images we’re taught to adhere to”. From an unreleased track about body image and the media.
What inspired “At My Worst”, part of your upcoming EP?
“At My Worst” is the second official single off the upcoming EP! It’s based around the idea that all of our weird oddities, quirks or flaws are actually the things that make each of us so unbelievably authentic and cool. Although they may be hard to deal with – I think it’s valuable to remember what enables each of us to be the best parts of ourselves, and often times it’s those vulnerabilities and insecurities. We started with this really sassy chord progression and the song kind of fell out very naturally as this pop, attitude-based anthem praising our “bad sides”.
And “I Choose Me”?
I wrote “I Choose Me” sitting in my car one night after a meeting I’d had. I was just so tired of trying to be this chameleon and trying to cater to people whether friends or professional, for fear that if I didn’t they wouldn’t like me anymore. For a while, I justified being taken advantage of as me being “kind” or “being there for a friend” when in reality I was just allowing my fear of not being good enough enable bad behavior. I was so scared that if I did certain things, big or small really, that implied that I was “difficult” or “bossy” or “confident” – that the other person wouldn’t care for me anymore. So “I Choose Me” was born as a reminder to myself that I am enough and that those that feel or do similarly are also enough. No more compromising for others who don’t compromise for you.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Bolder”?
I do! I was with the producer Chris Alan Lee, and I just started laying down this melody and the chorus lyric for “Bolder“. That one came together so quick. I finished the verses on a train down to San Diego and sang it into my iphone – and that’s actually the audio they used to air the song in the show “Younger”! I was shocked haha.
When you will be releasing the new EP?
Soon! Got some more singles before the full EP drops but sometime this Fall. It’s some of my favorite music to date, and I cannot wait to share it with you!
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
I work with quite a few producers and also love to co-produce when I can. I’d say the best advice I’ve received was “stop overthinking” from multiple people haha. I tend to get really in my head about wanting this perfect, or trying to beat the previous vocal takes or lyrics when often times the song is perfectly done and in a really good spot. It’s a balance between wanting to create the best possible music I can and not stripping the authenticity and sincerity from a song with too many revisions or over thinking it.
What are your plans for 2019?
Releasing new music! And writing so much more of it while touring the West Coast and also playing a bunch of local LA shows. We already have a second EP pretty much done with some new songs, so I’m trying to pace myself a bit and really focus in on the songs I love. Alongside that, I’ll be doing a lot more live shows, as that’s my favorite way to connect with listeners <3
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your latest single “At My Worst”: PopBop.
- The best show you ever played: The Troubadour.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Water or tea.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: “Songs in the Key of Life” – Stevie Wonder + “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: This is so hard! Recently obsessed with Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – “I just wanna prove my worth, on the Planet Earth, and be something”.
- The last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Always communicate! Honesty and communication are key – even if you’re afraid of what you’re feeling. Just say it aloud to the person. The more secrets you withhold the more power they have (for real!) I swear by this for all things big and small.