Noah Cyrus’ fans are so dedicated to the rising pop star that they’ll literally hulahoop along to her new song when that hoop is on fire. It’s not surprising, though: the latest Cyrus musical prodigy has just released her biggest anthem to date ‘We Are Fucked’ – where, you guessed it, Noah and her pal MØ reckon everything’s going down the pan.
— Noah Cyrus (@noahcyrus) February 23, 2018
We hopped on the phone to find out just how bad things are, how to change it, comparisons to her sister Miley and her upcoming debut album ‘NC-17’.
‘We Are Fucked is a pretty bold statement. Do you truly believe that?
The song is mainly about social media. I believe that with young people today who have been growing up on social media, it gives us a false sense of reality of who you need to be, and what you need to do, what you need to wear, and what you need to look like.
We’re spending too much time on it, then?
That and people putting their heart and soul into it. I’m not pointing any fingers at anybody I’m blaming myself too, you know. I’m saying that’s kind of what I’ve grown up with as well. Our society today – we are kind of fucked up in the head due to social media.
Was there a particular event, or moment in your life, that triggered you to write this song?
I’ve experienced cyberbullying my entire life, due to just having a last name that people knew. I think it had to do with me mainly. I would have been 12 when I started on Instagram, and then people were just so terrible and there was just so much cyberbullying going on. The words that they thought were OK to say to a twelve-year-old girl made me think ‘OK, this is alarming’.
At the time, I thought that all my validation comes from social media. As a twelve-year-old girl, I thought that I was only pretty if the people on social media told me that I was pretty – and they weren’t telling me I was pretty. So I didn’t think I was pretty and I was really down on myself and I really was sad with myself. But social media doesn’t give you validation or make you pretty. You make you pretty. You can look like you and be pretty and you can dress like you and be pretty. If you have the same style as the girls on Instagram, cool! But as long as you know in your heart that you are you and that you don’t have to look like anybody else.
You’re still on Instagram, right now. Is that a tough place to be considering all of that?
Yeah, I still have it. It’s a great way to get your music out and to connect with people from all around the world. I sometimes delete it off of my phone and then I’ll re-download it months later. Or something like that, but I definitely have taken breaks off of social media, just due to comments and stuff like that. But I’ve learned to grow some thicker skin in the past couple of years.
What do you think the solution is then?
If we could spend less time on social media I think that would do wonders for us. But social media is only going to progress and get so much bigger every single day and we need to acknowledge what’s going on around us. This is no longer our parents’ generation, or our grandparents’ generation, this is our generation, and our kids’ generation, and our kids’ kids’ generation. So, we need to think about how we want them to grow up.
What do you want this song to achieve?
Hopefully, it opens their eyes to the fact that they don’t have to follow everybody else to be happy.
What have the reactions been like, then?
Mainly it’s from mums like: ‘Yes, true! Too much social media!’ So I feel like quite like the grandmother putting this song out. But, actually yeah, I have seen a lot of kids be like: ‘Yes, this is exactly how I’m feeling. Thank you’. So hopefully more kids can have that reaction.
Are there any young people right now you think will help change the world?
A huge inspiration to me right now is Emma Gonzalez. I am so moved and inspired by her and she is somebody that I really look up to. She’s so poised, smart and passionate. Somebody like her is going to change the world. She’s such a strong woman and if I ever get to meet her I can’t wait to tell her that she’s one of my heroes because hearing her speak, I’m getting cold chills just thinking about it. It was really just so inspiring and she inspires me. I think she could change the world a lot more than I can.
Your fans are already incredibly dedicated aren’t they?
Yes! The craziest fan experience that I’ve had so far is when somebody got ‘Almost Famous’ [Noah’s 2017 song] tattooed on their arm.
Are you against fan tattoos?
You know what, I’m not, it’s your body, whatever you wanna get tattooed on your body, I’m getting song lyric tattoos, so I can’t say not to do that. But my reaction was like ‘oh my god! You may not love me forever. Are you sure you want that on your body?’
You obviously come from a family of talented people – is there an element of competitiveness?
There’s a lot of support in the family. No competitiveness.
Did you feel pressured into going into the entertainment industry like your siblings?
No! ‘Because I just wanted to ride horses. I didn’t care at all! If other people wanted me to be a singer, I didn’t care. And so I did that and rode horses every single day up until [2016 debut single] ‘Make Me (Cry’) came out. I didn’t want to do anything but ride horses until I was like 15.
What changed your mind, then?
I don’t really know. There was just a moment when I fell in love with singing. Probably when I started listening to Ben Howard and his album ‘I Forget Where We Were’. I fell in love with that album, and that album really made me fall in love with singing.
Do the comparisons to your older sister Miley bother you?
They’re annoying but they don’t bother me. They really don’t make sense to me but no they don’t annoy me. I have always been me as my own person so what other people said didn’t really bother me. I knew that there would be comparisons and stuff but I didn’t let like that get in the way of wanting to make music.
Is there any scope for a big Cyrus musical collaboration?
I’ve said we should do this! We’ve all been saying this forever. Like there should be a Cyrus Family Christmas album. I feel like our fans would all be stoked but we would just think it was like hilarious that we did a Christmas album.
MØ is on the latest track. How did that collaboration come about?
I’ve known MØ for years, actually, so whenever I was thinking who to collab with on ‘We Are Fucked’ I thought: ‘Who could be better than fucking MØ?’. She is such a cool, badass chick that doesn’t care what people say.
How’s your upcoming debut record ‘NC-17’ coming along?
Work’s going great with that. I’ve worked with some amazing people and I’m starting to do more studio stuff and it will definitely be out this year. I know I said that last year, but it’s actually coming out this year. So I’m really excited. I’ve worked with some really talented writers and producers for it. I guess I’m nervous and excited all at the same time.
‘We Are Fucked’ is out now