How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Well… I usually write how I’m feeling or I write letters, often. Letters to myself or to people, so I can see how I’m feeling. Then there just comes these quiet times where out of nowhere I start singing these things that kind of just come to me.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
To be truthful and to live your truth. We are all in the “circle of life,” and life can be like, “wtf, really?” sometimes. But when we get brave enough to share our bullshit it seems that much more worth it to be alive and connect with others.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
ALL THE TIME. I’ve become such an open book and I never mind sharing with people, but there is always someone, I find, still in negative and unaccepting mindset… and I cannot control their feelings towards me, even if I don’t know them, other than feeling bad for those people. It’s so worth facing my fears when people take solace in my music.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
“Would you kiss me on the moon if we could breathe” – meaning, ‘would you go all the way, ride or die to just have one last kiss with me?’ I wrote it in such a beautiful time in my life.
What inspired “Revolution”?
My whole life. Haha! I just realized I needed to make an inner change to become the artist I wanted to be and that meant letting go of a shy, introverted, bullied and very challenged young girl who needed to learn to turn her pain into her power instead of her weakness.
I wrote “Riot” when I was first feeling socialism in L.A. People would be checking my fingernails to see if they were dirty or even done, and what I was wearing, and judging me to see if I was equipped to be an artist, and I was so confused… I was like, “I can change my own tires on my car.” And I didn’t care, and I was proud that I had started from the ground up, but then people started making me feel really bad about it. If you don’t remove yourself from those people eventually, you just start feeling it… and there came “Riot.”
Do you remember the day you wrote “Play Me”?
Yes! I wrote it in LA, brought it over to the U.K., and produced it with Arthur Walwin and Chris Bourne. I originally wrote it in hopes to get it to Rihanna, but couldn’t find the connections to her at the time. What up, Ri!
What was the best moment of your career? And the most difficult one?
The best: I feel that that moment is still yet to come… #evenmygoalsgotgoals
Most difficult: While I was shooting the commercial for Audio Technica, I had a manager who was dictating my diet. I needed to weigh in and lose a pound every day and there was a chart keeping track. I had to take pictures of all my food and was constantly accused of lying. I could only drink so much water a day. My body was so septic, and I got really sick. I had to rest in between all the takes for the commercial, and months later, I ended up in the hospital unable to speak and coughing up blood.
What are your plans for 2018?
Everything. New music releases, music videos, shows…
To conclude the interview is a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind!
- Define in one word your sound: Strong
- The best show you ever played: I think Birmingham… The last time we were there everyone was just so lit and the energy was so loving!
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Sparkling water… I think regular water is a little boring, haha.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Anything Nelly – “Nellyville,” Usher, Destiny’s Child… too many to name just one.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: “Say It” by Tove Lo, or “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner.
- Last question is unusual… we want to know, what is your best relationship advice? Don’t ever rob yourself of the love you can have with another by being afraid of what others have done to you in the past.