UPSAHL on her new album ‘Lady Jesus’

For Taylor Upsal, there was no option but to follow something other than music. “We had a band room instead of a living room in our house,” he recalled Zoom during a break from the Los Angeles studio. Growing up with a father who performed in a punk band, the singer’s life was simply known as UPSAHL. “There wasn’t a moment where I was like, ‘Oh, I want to make music.’ I had no choice. “

After graduating from high school, Phoenix moved to the local Los Angeles, where he spent all his time in sessions. It wasn’t long before he landed his first record deal. In 2018, he became the first artist to sign the reopened Arista Records. After that there were two EPs – of 2019 Sight Of 20/20 and 2020 Crisis of young life – A handful of singles as well.

It took him a minute to get to his debut album, but there was a big breakup when he was writing his Young in the summer of 2020. Life crisis Persuaded the EP’s startup Lady Jesus.

“I couldn’t go out and distract myself from being heartbroken,” the 22-year-old said. “So I was just doing sessions, writing about the whole thing. It has evolved from a breakup album to personal improvement, a ‘find yourself’ type album.

This increase was empowering for him. The album ended up being a larger uptempo alt-pop record that is a combination of R&B, hip hop, rock and electro-pop. Regardless of the genre, it eventually tells the story chronologically and takes the audience on a similar journey to UPSAHL Lady Jesus.

Front release Lady Jesus, UPSAHL said Spin About the process of making his new album, who he would like to collaborate with and re-explain Psycho For his “crazy” music video.

Credit: Aubree Estrella

Spin: How did your debut record come together?
UPSAHL: I started making Lady Jesus in the summer of 2020. I thought, “I’m going to write a breakup album.” I think a lot of people, including me, went through crazy breakups in quarantine, and I was like, “I’m going to write this ‘sad girl’ album about this breakup.” I started writing the first half of the album in the summer of 2020, and then one day I was in a writing camp with my friends and it hit me. “I think I’m actually fine. I’m done with it now. I think I’m actually the best so far. I feel like I’ve been reborn. That day, we wrote the title track, “Lady Jesus”, and I decided that day I wanted the album. Lady Jesus.

Tell us about the effect behind the record.
I think the record bends a lot of streams and blends a lot of effects together. My dad was in punk bands throughout my childhood, so I grew up listening to lots of punk music. You can definitely hear that effect in the songs. There are lots of live instruments: guitar, lightning, live drums. But then I also heard a bunch of MIA, Outkast, Gwen Stefani, No Doubt, so it had a big impact.

With the epidemic, how has your songwriting process changed?
Because of Kovid, my session life became very different, so I was writing on Zoom or setting up small writing camps with people close to me with whom I created the album. Most of the albums were made in different writing camps. We had a camp at this Airbnb in LA which was really fun. We made half of the album there, and then we did a camp in the middle of the Nashville jungle, where we made half of the album. I consider myself lucky to have been able to go to the studio with those with whom I made the album at such a strange time in the world. It took me one step further and asked “Who can I enjoy music with?” It became the core group of people.

What are the repetitive themes across Lady Jesus?
The breakup I went through was the first true heartbreak I’ve ever gone through, so I felt like I didn’t know it existed until this past year. Throughout the whole process, I was writing in the studio every day even though I was feeling that day. So, it covers being angry about the whole situation. On the album’s first song, “Douchbag,” I’m obviously annoyed, but then in the song “Melatonin,” it’s about insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Then there are songs like “Crazy” that really live up to this fantasy of being angry and being a psycho ex. There’s “Infamous” and “Sunny D”, which are very bad naughty, partyy, confident, funny songs for me. There is a song called “IDFWFEELINGS”, which usually gives up dating. It really takes you this emotional rollercoaster that I went through.

Credit: Aubree Estrella

The “crazy” video was inspired by a psycho movie. How did that scene match the meaning behind the song?
I have been working with this director George Gallardo for the last year and a half. He’s done all my music videos with me, so we’re at a stage where we both get each other on a creative level. So when he heard “crazy”, he called me and said, “Have you ever seen the movie? Psycho? ”And I was,“ Of course. Classic. ”He was like,“ We ​​should change roles and the woman should kill the friend. ”It didn’t click in my head that I’m going to literally stab, killing this guy in this video until we set It was a bold choice on George’s part and I’m glad we did. I wanted to tie “crazy” to the world of Lady Jesus too, so we considered the whole song as a confession that I’m giving the album a chapel to bring the whole world together. It also felt like a whole circle, especially for me and George, because the day I was set to shoot a music video, my life was broken and this separation began. He was with me from beginning to end.

You have written songs for artists like Dua Lipa and Mike Shinoda. What do you like about being a singer versus a lyricist?
I didn’t know I could be a lyricist for other artists until the Dua Lipper event happened. I wrote this song for myself as an artist in a session called “Good in Bed”. Like most songs, it went into a Dropbox folder that will never be seen again. And then one day, I got an email saying that Dua had heard and wanted to put the song on her album after finishing. And I was, “Dua Lipa, there is no way to fuck. I’ll believe it when it comes out. ”Then, it happened and it opened the door for me to write for other artists. So now I have this beautiful balance of writing for my own project, and then once I get burned in it or I feel it in my own head, I can write a song for Pitch or another artist. It makes me feel more satisfied to write for myself, because I write from a very autobiographical perspective, but I consider myself lucky to be able to work with other lucky female musicians.

Who do you dream of working with in the future?
My dream collaboration will always be Doza Cat. I’m obsessed. I think he’s too bad. Any opportunity I can get in the studio or in a session with other young dope female artists is really inspiring for me.

Since you went through a breakup before writing the record, was it harder to write a song than other songs?
All the songs on the album came out very naturally. I feel like all my best songs, I black out and then it’s “Wait, we have a song now. How is it?” The one we spend the most time on will be “rich”. With that one, we wrote the whole song, and then at the end of the session, Johnny [Shorr] Who created it and wrote, “I think we can do a better chorus.” I remember I was so crazy. I was, “Johnny, we’ve finished the song. Let’s go home.” He was, “No, we can write a better chorus.” Gave because now the song is sick.

How do you feel your record differs from yours? Crisis of young life EP?
Crisis of young life I was very representative of where I was at the time of writing, I was in a life crisis of a young age – an existential crisis. Lady Jesus It’s a very accurate representation of my life now, and the way it’s different. The tracklisting was arranged in such a way that you go with me on this journey chronologically. Sound-based is the way it bends the genre Crisis of young life Didn’t it is basically a screenshot of where I am now in my life.

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