INTERVIEW: NOAH CYRUS
photos/ Nikko LaMere
styling/ Gigi Fernandez
makeup/ Rob Scheppy
Hair / Scott King
story / Ruth Jiang
In many ways, “Make Me Cry” is an effortlessly compelling first single from Noah Cyrus.
Together, Noah and Labrinth’s voices duet back and forth with each other on the song in a delicate sphere, a pattern that feels formulaic yet intensely authentic.
Listening to the acoustic version of the song shows that Noah’s voice is raw and honest, containing a well-executed musicality that seems to stretch beyond the fact that, shortly before this interview, the singer had just turned 17. It’s clear that Noah’s talent is as raw and natural as the way “Make Me Cry” turned out.
“Writing has always been kind of natural with me”, the young artist explains to me when I met her in January. “I was 14 and had never really written any songs before that, maybe like little fun silly songs but I had never sat and written out a song before.
14 was the magical age when Noah’s songwriting became more than just a hobby, and she explains the reason behind it as feeling a “bit more grown up then. I was starting to find myself and figure out who I am and that’s when I started writing.”
She explains to me that though she has been writing since 14, “I was just waiting for the right moment in the past two years and for the right song”. With the release of “Make Me Cry”, the waiting game that Noah had been playing has finally ended.
It’s no coincidence, either, that Noah chose to make “Make Me Cry” her debut single.She remains adamant about the fact that above all else, she “needed it [the song] to go out so that everybody else could hear it and feel the way I feel when I hear it”. And judging by the song, these words ring true.
Connecting with her listeners is very important to Noah. Explaining further about “Make Me Cry”, Noah tells me that though it’s a special song to her, the real charm of the song is that “everybody can make it their own story which I love. Everybody can put it into their own situations. I just felt it was a great way for me to feel connected with my fans and for my fans to feel connected with me, so everybody knows that we’re all going through the same things together”. She later emphasizes that “Writing your own music is telling your own stories so you need to stick to stuff that’s true to you and be real so that people can relate to you and go through the same things with you.”
When I asked Noah whether there was anything she wished people knew when hearing her music, she comments, “I want them to know whenever I do this, that it’s coming from a real place, that this is me and I am talking to them in every single song. Maybe sometimes people don’t know that, they don’t know that songs are really personal and that’s something people will hear once I have an album out, and I’ve written my music and I have a connection to all these songs and I do want people to know that every single song is very meaningful to me.”
Since this interview, Noah has released a second single, an upbeat anthem to being carefree called “Stay Together”. It’s going to be an exciting year seeing where she goes with her music, and prospects of an album aren’t too far off in the future. “I’m so secretive I don’t want to give it away,” Noah tells me when I ask if she can give me any details or hints about the album.
“I’ve been working hard on it for a long time. On this album, I started on it probably in early 2016, late 2015 but I started writing in 2014. So I feel like I’ve just been learning how to put all of this together.”
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