Before you went in the studio to start recording music, what did you envision your music sounding like? And how do you feel you achieved what you imagined?
Funny enough, my taste in music has always been relatively the same. I’ve been listening to Sleigh Bells since I was 13, classic rock since I was born, Lana [Del Rey] since I was 14, and musical scores and sonatas all my life. I have always had a highly stylized, romantic and dramatic taste in production, whether it was super minimal, or creatively placed bells and whistles, I love music that doesn’t sound like the rest. But, I never heard my own music — I could never project my taste into my own personal sound. So finding it for the first time was definitely a blind effort. I felt like I had all my senses removed and I had to re-learn my taste. Though, I did always know whatever I created would be different than what I personally listened to and liked. I wouldn’t ever be so arrogant or silly as to say that I’ve “found my sound” this early on, but I would say, I never dreamed that my music would make me feel as specifically me, as concentrated or vulnerable and as exposed as some of my first few releases have made me feel. So, I assume I’m on the path.
What are the stories behind “Waste” and “Bloodshot”?
“Waste” is very much about that feeling of being so fucked-up over someone that you just want to waste yourself on them, bleed out every ounce of you and live inside them. That kind of agonizing, pain/pleasure, mad love is what we all either know personally, or want. Obviously, I am in a very public relationship [with Descendants costar Thomas Doherty], so it’s safe to assume most love songs are about him.
“Bloodshot,” on the other hand, is less specific. I am very known by my label to say ‘I hate a breakup song,’ which I don’t anticipate changing anytime soon. To me, they’re boring and they make me itchy. What I love about “Bloodshot” is that it’s not necessarily about a breakup, but it is definitely about a loss of some kind. For me, it’s about loss, which I am always trying to put to lyrics.
What made you want to release both songs at the same time? Did it have to do with their contrasting takes on love?
I wanted to release them together because, just as you said, they’re very contrasted, and so am I, and so are my fans. “Bloodshot” is definitely the softest and most intimate of all the songs I’ve done, and “Waste” is one of my favorites. “Bloodshot” is vulnerable, and “Waste” is a bit sexy. I’ve waited so long to release my music, I didn’t want to start with [only] one. I wanted my fans to have a bit more to start with, and hopefully if you don’t hear yourself in one song, you hear yourself in the other.
How long have you been writing your own music?
I’ve been writing music all my life. My mom is a poet, and my dad was a pianist, so music and writing was always a part of the deal. I doubt any of my earlier stuff will ever see the light of day, as I have changed so drastically as a person, even just in the last few months, and my feelings about the world, love and myself are changing every day. I may listen to the same kind of things, but my writing is light years apart and I’m very grateful for that. It is part of the joys of being an artist.