A Conversation With Noah Cyrus: Riding The 'Roller Coaster of Emotions' and Making Her Best Music Yet


During a 12 months wherein her love life made headlines, the teenager singer-songwriter unlocked a method that showcases her abilities. Now she needs to share her sad-pop with the world

As a line varieties across the block exterior of Irving Plaza in New York City, Noah Cyrus is within the upstairs dressing room, explaining why she will not use Trader Joe’s cleaning soap.

“I’m speaking in regards to the peppermint cleaning soap from Trader Joe’s,” the 18-year-old clarifies, referring to the Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap carried by the grocery retailer chain. The remaining track on Cyrus’ newest launch, the Good Cry EP, is “Topanga (Voice Memo),” a melancholy folks tune that features the road, “I can’t wash with that cleaning soap anymore/ Because it smells identical to you.” Cyrus co-wrote “Topanga” along with her good friend, singer-songwriter Ilsey Juber, every week earlier than the EP was launched in late September and recorded it in a single take, with Cyrus inserting her iPhone on the bottom close to the yard of her home and letting a military of crickets chirp beneath her voice.

“Topanga” is the true story of a damaged dream: Cyrus croons about how she will not go to the Topanga canyon exterior of Malibu as a result of she and an ex deliberate on transferring there collectively sometime -- they used to roam its hills facet by facet, she explains. Cyrus wrote the track after telling Juber “some information I heard of stuff,” which can nod to the lyric, “One of our mates say you bought a woman/ And that she seems to be identical to me.” 

And then there’s the cleaning soap. “If I odor it, it makes my eyes water,” Cyrus says of the peppermint. “I went and showered at my mother’s home, as a result of some work was occurring at my home. That outdated shampoo was within the bathe, and I took a bathe with it. I simply began crying within the bathe due to the odor. That’s after I began writing the lyrics of ‘Topanga’ in my head.”

The straightforward assumption is that “Topanga” was written about Lil Xan, the SoundCloud-bred rapper whom Cyrus dated over the summer time. The couple made a viral-ready debut on the MTV Video Music Awards purple carpet in August, however slightly over two weeks later, they had been no extra, as IG accusations, hickey forensics and Charlie Puth memes coalesced right into a chaotic breakup that performed out publicly simply days earlier than the Good Cry launch (“properly… as a result of circumstances i feel i named this EP appropriately,” Cyrus tweeted within the wake of the cut up). 

But “Topanga” shouldn't be about Lil Xan, and neither is the Good Cry EP; Cyrus has clarified in earlier interviews that the mission focuses on a two-year relationship that ended earlier than she rebounded with the rapper. As she sits within the dressing room on a mid-October night time just a few weeks faraway from the breakup, Cyrus doesn't wish to go into element about her time with Xan, or what she describes because the “curler coaster of feelings” of the previous few months. 

Instead, she’s specializing in a job that’s ostensibly harder than therapeutic from a breakup, even one which has served as tabloid fodder: making her profession not about who her huge sister is, or who her father is, or, now, who she used to this point. Before she was the girlfriend of Lil Xan, Noah was colloquially often called the child sister of pop celebrity Miley Cyrus, in addition to the daughter of “Achy Breaky Heart” auteur Billy Ray Cyrus. She needs to forge a musical id of her personal, and hopes that Good Cry -- a powerful 19-minute rhythm-pop exploration, anchored by Cyrus’ weak vocal supply -- is the beginning of that path ahead. But Cyrus is aware of that the preconceived narrative will take some time to shed. 

“It drives me fucking nuts,” Cyrus deadpans when requested what it’s been wish to have Miley and/or Billy Ray talked about in each interview she’s performed (together with this one) since launching her singing profession. She pauses for a second and thinks. “But like, I imply, what are you going to do? It’s the rationale I discuss to a therapist thrice every week, I swear. It’s loopy. It’s identical to, it’s annoying everytime you put your onerous work into one thing and folks don’t acknowledge it for what it's.”

The smooth launch of Noah Cyrus’ music profession occurred two years in the past, when she recorded a downtempo duet, “Make Me (Cry),” with British singer-songwriter Labrinth. The non-single was floated out to introduce the 16-year-old, who hadn’t proven any curiosity in music whereas Miley was conquering the Disney Channel however had gravitated to the studio starting in 2015. Yet with a killer hook and genuine moodiness, “Make Me (Cry)” was extra profitable than Cyrus or her crew might have predicted, peaking at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. “That track made my profession,” Cyrus says now with a nod. “I've plaques on my wall due to that track.” 

Since “Make Me (Cry)” took off, Cyrus has but to return to the Hot 100. She haphazardly carried out “Stay Together,” a middle-fingers-up electro-pop anthem, in entrance of a skateboard half-pipe on the MTV Movie & TV Awards final 12 months, and the fuzzed-out XXXTentacion collaboration “Again” amidst strobe lights on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The giddily nihilistic “We Are...” (which was initially titled “We Are Fucked”) was co-produced by Max Martin and presupposed to be included on a debut album known as NC-17, however the full-length by no means got here. Cyrus says the songs deliberate for the album will nonetheless be launched sometime, although there’s no timetable for an album launch.

“We had been going to take our time,” she explains. “See how [the music] reacted. That’s how we’re nonetheless doing issues: I put out a track, see the way it reacts. If it goes, it goes. I wasn’t actually frightened about something. I simply needed to make an album. It took me two years to get right here.”

Comparisons to Miley’s profession path have inevitably dogged Noah as she has made her first forays into pop, rightly and wrongly; “Make Me (Cry)” related two years in the past for its sudden dose of youngster pathos, whereas “Stay Together” sounds prefer it might have existed on a Bangerz sequel that by no means got here. Yet Cyrus’ newest music is fairly removed from mainstream pop: Good Cry possesses a sure pensiveness -- name it emo, Cyrus doesn’t thoughts -- that feels pure for her. 

The wonderful “Good Cry” waltzes round a soulful guitar riff as Cyrus declare unhappiness an emotion value understanding, “Where Have You Been?” is a bleak lullaby that evolves right into a cloud of vocal harmonizing, and on the mope-pop banger “Sadness,” Cyrus can’t assist however declare, “I really feel an excessive amount of typically/Is that so incorrect?” The Good Cry EP takes its cues from the hushed prettiness of “Make Me (Cry)” as a substitute of trying to broaden Cyrus’ attraction; she settles into herself on the mission and in the end finds success.

Although a lot of the media concentrate on Cyrus final summer time needed to do along with her relationship with Lil Xan, she additionally made a extra substantial change in interviews and on social media by talking candidly about her struggles with anxiousness and despair, in addition to the significance of remedy to her psychological well being. It’s a private alternative that knowledgeable the content material of the Good Cry EP and, she says, has introduced her nearer to her followers. There are teen women at her Irving Plaza present sporting black t-shirts that learn “#SadCyrensClub” who little question admire the lane that Cyrus is carving out for herself in pop.

“I used to be telling the reality about myself,” Cyrus says in regards to the determination to open up about her despair. “I used to be telling folks how I actually really feel and the way I actually am, and the response from them was, ‘Yeah, me too.’ And that’s what I needed, for us to have the ability to discuss it.”

Cyrus is heat and chatty in particular person, sport to debate the High School Musical 2 soundtrack in addition to her affinity for lurking within the feedback of Gordon Ramsay’s Instagram. She hopes to carry out at Coachella sometime and win a Grammy Award... or, on the very least, attend a Grammys ceremony. “I don’t care if it’s a efficiency, I don’t care if I’m simply sitting there,” she sighs. “I need to have the ability to put on a fairly gown and go.”

After spending the autumn on the 19-date Good Cry headlining tour, Cyrus is dedicated to releasing extra music in 2019 and persevering with to ascertain herself as a musician first. Her songwriting is getting stronger -- we spend a lot time discussing the cleaning soap line from “Topanga” as a result of it’s such an evocative statement -- and her internet of collaborators is widening to incorporate artists like Gallant, LP and Alan Walker. She’s nonetheless making information for her previous romances (final month she earned headlines for calling her relationship with Lil Xan a “mistake”), however Cyrus needs to showcase the expertise that may transcend these tales.

“Just an entire bundle of shit occurred like a hurricane,” Cyrus says earlier than cracking a smile. “But, I’m getting higher.”