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June 15, 2022

Interview with XYLØ

We had the pleasure of interviewing XYLØ over Zoom video.

XYLØ’s long-awaited debut album unamerican beauty is out now. Track 1, the title track of the album which is accompanied by a captivating music video...

We had the pleasure of interviewing XYLØ over Zoom video.

XYLØ’s long-awaited debut album unamerican beauty is out now. Track 1, the title track of the album which is accompanied by a captivating music video ( ), is a perfect introduction to the overall theme of the album—the many highs and lows of living the so-called “American Dream”. XYLØ sings over the haunting dark pop instrumentation “we got the dreamers disease / And this feeling is lethal / Nowhere I’d rather be / A sunny place for shady people.” It’s dripping with clever satire, as are other standout tracks on the album, such as “red hot winter” and “starfucker”. Another track that is sure to be a fan favorite is the last one on the album, “driving”. The pulsing ballady beat and wistful, velvety vocals are reminiscent of some of XYLØ’s older releases, and the song embodies a feeling that many of us can relate to—the comfort of going for a directionless drive and letting the radio blare, drowning out the noise in your head. XYLØ sings “this seat belt is the closest I’ve felt to real arms around me” and “I think I’ll keep this car forever, the stereo sounds so fucking good.”

XYLØ Co-written and produced by long-time collaborator Lee Newell, the album follows singles “red hot winter”, “sugar free rush”, “sweetheart” and “aliens”. The music video for “sweetheart” premiered on Rolling Stone (along with the album release date announcement), while the David Lynch-esque music video for the album’s lead single “aliens” had fans incredibly excited for the rest of the album rollout. XYLØ also posted a cryptic album teaser before any music released, setting the stage for the debut album. XYLØ’s fans have been after the album for years, and the wait has finally come to an end. They’ve been rewarded for their patience and dedication with a jam-packed album release month full of surprises.

Born and raised in the suburban outskirts of Los Angeles, XYLØ aka Paige Duddy found breakthrough success with brooding debut EP America in 2015, featuring viral hit “Afterlife”. Following a string of sold out one-off headline shows, a platinum record with The Chainsmokers and over 350 million streams on Spotify alone, XYLØ has been described by Nylon Magazine as the “queen of dark pop”. Before finishing her first headline tour in 2019 with sold out shows across the US and UK, XYLØ launched her own indie label Pretty Records where she has since released four successful EPs, pretty sad (2019), yes & no (2019), The Ganglands Of My Heart (2020) and OUTSIDERS CLUB (2020). Now all focus is on the long-awaited debut album unamerican beauty. With her unapologetic lyric-driven songs covering themes of loneliness, self-discovery and feeling like an outsider, XYLØ has cultivated a loyal fanbase around the world.

Paige grew up in a large musical family. Her grandfather was a jazz drummer and percussionist who was a huge influence on her interest in music. She started writing and recording music with her brother and in 2015 they released their first song, “America”, which led to them signing with Sony’s Disruptor Records. After a couple years as a duo they decided to split. Paige continued solo as XYLØ and began releasing music independently. Said Paige “My career started from 0 again and suddenly for the first time in my career I was able to make my own decisions.” Long-time co-writer Lee Newell (former frontman of the bands Viva Brother and Lovelife) has continued to work on the project as co-writer and producer

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Hello. It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Paige of XYLØ over zoom video, Paige was born and raised in Los Angeles, and she talks about how she got into music comes from a very, very musical household. Her grandfather was a professional jazz drummer. Her uncles were songwriters. They played in Toto, also wrote songs for Michael Jackson. So comes from a very musical household. Her brother also is a musician and her brother's actually the reason that XYLØ really started, he asked her to sing on some songs. 4 (2m 10s): He was working on some production. She was 18 he's 10 years older. He said, Paige, I want to use your voice on some ads or some, some production I'm working on. They sent the song to PAC sun. It landed in a commercial people. Loved it. They're wondering like, who wrote the song? Where'd this come from? They did it again with the song America. It goes, viral, goes viral on their YouTube channel. And this time around, they're like, okay, we really have something here. Not only do we have to go finish America because it was only 30 seconds with one verse and chorus, but we should really form a band and play shows and put out music. 4 (2m 50s): So that's how XYLØ was born. Paige talks about the early success of the band getting signed to a major label and how that kind of the music that they were putting out, what it was like when her brother eventually left the band in 2017. And she carried on with XYLØ. She told us about all the successes that she's had since being an independent artist, releasing her records. Pretty sad. Yes and no. And the two albums, she released one right before COVID hit the gang lands of my heart. And then one during COVID outsider's club, she talks about where she was when the pandemic hit giving herself about a year to kind of gather her thoughts and really sink into what she wanted to say on her debut album, which is coming out called un-American beauty. 4 (3m 39s): She rented a cabin in lake Arrowhead and wrote the title track to the record. And that's what set the tone for the entire album. So she talks to us all about that as well. You can watch our interview with page on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be amazing if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and tick-tock add bringing back pod. And if you are listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it would be amazing if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review. 5 (4m 15s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 4 (4m 21s): We're bringing it backwards with XYLØ. 6 (4m 24s): Thank you for having me. 4 (4m 25s): Of course. My name is Adam, and this is about you and your journey and music. And of course, we'll talk about your new album coming out. 6 (4m 33s): Awesome. I'm excited. 4 (4m 35s): Radwell pitch. Tell me about where were you born and raised? 6 (4m 39s): I was born in the valley of like north Hollywood and I grew up in the suburbs about 30 minutes from Los Angeles and a town called Westlake village. Yeah, not too far from LA, but still like, sorry. Quiet enough to be out of, kind of the chaos of LA. 4 (5m 3s): Sure, sure. I'm from San Diego. So I know, I know LA, but obviously not that well, but that's cool. So you grew up in Southern California. Amazing. Yeah. And I did see your come from quite a musical household. What was that like? 6 (5m 19s): It was amazing. Yeah. I, I feel like I grew up going to gigs constantly. I always tell people that like, I would just fall asleep in like a club when I'm with my parents when I was like really young and I missed so much school because of it. Cause I would be out so late as like a young kid just going to like, my grandpa was a drummer. My brother was a drummer and like loads of other people in my family. So I was always at some gig and yeah, it was really fun, but I didn't really get into doing it myself until later on, because I think I was so intimidated by everybody else's success that I just like kind of avoided it a bit. 4 (6m 4s): Yeah. I could see that for sure. I mean, your uncles were in a early famous band. I know your parents in music as well. 6 (6m 12s): My parents, aren't 4 (6m 13s): Just your, your obvious, your grandfather and your, your uncles and your brother and I from an interview I saw with you from a while back you, your cause your brother used to play with you and your band and he's what, 10 years older than you. Yeah, that's interesting because my sister's 11 years younger than I am. So I'm interested to kind of hear how that dynamic was growing up because like she doesn't even remember me living at the house at all. 6 (6m 37s): Exactly. That's exactly kind of what it was like. I feel like we lived together probably for like a couple years and then, and then him and my sister, my sister is 12 years older than me. So there's like a huge gap between all of us, same parents, but just decided to have a kid 10 years later. 4 (6m 56s): That's how my parents 6 (6m 58s): Happy mistake. 4 (7m 1s): My, as my parents say I was the accident. So my, my sister was a plan. 6 (7m 8s): Yeah. Oh, you were the actual, 4 (7m 11s): I was the accident and my sister was the plan one. Cause they were more established at that point in their life. 6 (7m 20s): Yeah. I feel like they know what they're doing more later down the line. I feel like I had way less rules though, than my siblings did my parents. They did not care what I did at that point. They're like, we're over it. We're over parents. Yeah, it was, it was interesting. I mean, we didn't know each other that, well, probably until we started making music together and, but then we became really, really close during that process. But as you can imagine, like brother, sister, 10 years apart, there's not, you're not hanging out too much when you're younger, just because, you know, our lives are different. We were into different things and I was a little girl, so it wasn't until I probably turned 18 when I really started like hanging out with him, making music and then, you know, sort of like my friends would hang out with his friends and stuff like that. 6 (8m 13s): And our families like a lot of our cousins and stuff we're all in similar age. So we would all hang out together. 4 (8m 21s): Oh, okay. That's cool. Yeah. Wow. So when did you, I mean, you said you weren't really, you were kind of intimidated by doing the music thing just because it was so apparent that everyone else in your family was doing really well with it. And when do you decide, like when do you start playing music? Did you even like play piano or anything growing up? 6 (8m 39s): Yeah, I did. I, I sort of like, well first it was singing. Like I, I really liked to sing, but it was kind of secretive and I never really wanted to like, you know, sing in front of anyone or, or be like, mom, I want to go be in the choir or something like that. It was just sort of like a hobby, but I knew I could sing probably from when I was like seven or eight. And then as I started getting more and more into it and like showing more of an interest in doing music, I think I, I self-taught myself, a couple songs on the piano, but my dad was like, I'm not paying for lessons unless you actually like start doing something yourself, you know? 6 (9m 19s): Cause he didn't want me to just like be like, can I have lessons and then, and then quit like a month later. So then I, I got into that a little bit and then it wasn't until my brother really sort of, I don't know, took me under his wing and asked me to write some songs with him and record some songs that he already had. Cause he was a producer and was working on stuff for like, you know, sync music and stuff like that, where he just needed like a vocalist. And so that's when I really started to like learn the recording process and recording my vocals and stuff like that. And then kind of getting a taste of even songwriting and that wasn't until I was 18. 6 (10m 5s): And then I really like, it all moves so quickly between me and my brother with, with the music. Like we did one song and then it was in advert for PacSun and then it did on their YouTube channel and everyone was like, oh, is this a band? Is this an artist? I'm like, whose song is this? And so we kind of just decided to start like a project together from that. 4 (10m 29s): Oh really? Was that the song America? Was that the one that did that? 6 (10m 33s): Well, it, the America was the second one. The first, the first one was for the same Paxson like company brand. And it was, it was actually like a different, we never ended up releasing the song. It was just like a little, you know, 32nd ad with some sort of like choppy vocals and, and really like distorted production. It was cool. But that's when people were like, is this an artist? Like who is this? And then we were like, oh, okay. Like this is, this could be something cool. And then the Paxson asset asks us to do another advert. And that's when America came about. And that was only a 32nd, like first chorus. 6 (11m 15s): It wasn't even a song. And then it got used in that advert and then all the comments were like, oh my God, I need this song. I need this song. So we were like, oh shit, we need to make this a full song. 4 (11m 25s): We have to write the whole thing out. Now 6 (11m 28s): We were like six months later. We're like, we need to finish the second verse and add a bridge. And, and then yeah, we, we finished it. And that, that was the start of the project. That's when we really properly started putting out music from that song. 4 (11m 42s): Oh, interesting. Like what was it like when your brother came to you? I mean, you probably looked up to him growing up and then you're 18 and he's like, Hey, I'm, you know, producing and writing music. I want you to help me, I, you to sing on my stuff. Was that a pretty cool moment for you? 6 (11m 57s): Yeah, it was really intimidating. I think I was so, so scared that I, but I didn't really have a choice cause it's like your older, brother's just like, no you're coming, you're coming over to do this for me. So, and I didn't want to like let him down. And I was like, oh yeah, sure. I'll come over. Like I wanted to be cool, you know, but I was so nervous, but I think, I think he just like made me feel comfortable enough that something came out of it. And then even just that small little, you know, 32nd advert kind of spurred me on to want to, or maybe feel more comfortable, sort of exploring the songwriting part of it rather than just the vocal side of it. 6 (12m 40s): And yeah, it was fun. 4 (12m 42s): Did you write songs before that or was that kind of just the opening to, to pursue it? 6 (12m 48s): We actually, when I was like 13, we wrote something together on the guitar. That's when he sort of first tried to get me to, you know, explore songwriting. I think he knew I wanted to do it deep down, but I was obviously too nervous and scared and I didn't really know where to start with that. So we wrote some little song on the guitar together at my grandparents' house. I remember. And that was really fun. And then, you know, I was still so young, I think I was 13 or 14 and then the years went by, I was in high school, whatever. 6 (13m 28s): And then, yeah, I didn't write anything until that point. I, my mom always encouraged me to write lyrics. And so I had like a lyric book, but nothing that was like, I don't know nothing good. 4 (13m 42s): Okay. Well split your mom. Like just, yeah, she just said like you should write lyrics or you just wrote a lot. And it was like, oh, why don't you like lean into this? And you know, 6 (13m 51s): My mom wanted me to be a songwriter because her brothers were songwriters and you know, they were so successful in writing, you know, their own music, but even music for other people. And so my mom was always encouraging me to do that. She was like, I think that would be like a really good career. Cause you, you know, if you don't want to perform or anything, you don't even have to be like an artist or like a singer. You can do it behind the scenes. And then you can kind of just, you know, live a normal life rather than trying to become like a pop star or something. And so I was like that, that would be really cool. Cause I'm into, you know, I love music so much and I love singing even, but I didn't know if I wanted to try and be in like the spotlight. 4 (14m 30s): Yeah, sure. It'd be the person that everyone's gonna come up to him bug after instead of just being like, oh, here's a bunch of songs that I wrote for other people and now I can chill and they can do the legwork when it comes to that 6 (14m 43s): A hundred percent. And I was never like, like I, I never wanted to like perform for my family when I was a kid. Like my sister was so like that. And she was definitely more of like the one who wanted to be an actress and like wanted to, she also wanted to be like a singer and you know, she was way more, I don't know, theatrical and, and you know, not shy. And I was 4 (15m 6s): Extroverted. 6 (15m 7s): Yes, very extroverted. I was the opposite of that. So I didn't think that I even had it in me to like get up on stage and sing a song in front of people. But yeah, once that happened with my brother and you know, it all moves so quickly, I know this sounds kind of like weird that I didn't write music. And then all of a sudden one day I did, but it kind of felt like that it was just, we wrote some song and then everyone was like, you guys need to be in a band and it just happened that way. 4 (15m 35s): Yeah. I mean, that happens, right. I mean, it wasn't that the talent wasn't there or anything, it just, wasn't something you guys, or you personally were like striving for. It sounds like right away. And it was like, oh, like it's I always wanted this, but now it's it's happening. So why not jump on board? 6 (15m 52s): I needed that kind of like kick in the butt to, to really make it happen. And I feel like it was just sort of fate that it happened that way. 4 (16m 0s): Well, you got validated pretty quickly with it. 6 (16m 3s): Yeah. I, I think I did. And I definitely, you know, I spent a lot of years after that point having to kind of like relearn, like I did it backwards. Like I got the sort of opportunity at the very beginning when I knew nothing. And then I was like, oh shit, I actually need to learn how to, you know, sing in front of people perform, even practice my songwriting, learn how to properly record my vocals, like professionally. So I did spend a lot of time in the background learning all those skills after I already was in a band. 4 (16m 40s): Right. Yeah. I w was that scary for you too? I mean, you had a song that did well right. For, for this commercial and then you put out another song and then it does well. And you're like, okay, now we have to finish this. Not only do we have to finish the song, but now we're a band and we're going to have to, you know, perform to people in, in kind of do the things that a band does. Was that something you were concerned about at all? 6 (17m 3s): Yeah, definitely. But I had some really good people around me kind of guiding me through that. And I did go to music school for a little bit during this process. Like, So once we released America and it sort of took off and, and it was doing well during actually, sorry, I'm getting the timeline mixed up. I think it was, we had written America fully, but it took a really long time for us to actually put it out. Like there was a lot of planning. We wanted to get a manager and we wanted to like, do everything properly, have like visuals and pictures and sort of like really figure out what this project was before we actually put the song out. 6 (17m 47s): But in that time span, I think it was about like seven, eight months. I went to music school that my grandfather was teaching at and I, and I took the vocal department. I, what am I saying? I was in the vocal department performance and I learned a lot. It was like eight to 10 hours a day, five days, five days a week. So I learned a lot over that eight months, but I didn't, it was only a year long program, but I didn't finish it because I got offered a record deal. And it was just, it started becoming too much work for me. 6 (18m 27s): Like I couldn't, I couldn't do the whole making music in the studio and like performing and doing these little gigs with silo and also do this like eight hour a day. 4 (18m 40s): Right. That makes sense. You know, like it's like, if you're going to Berkeley and then you get signed, you're like, well, I guess I can always just go back. You know what I mean? 6 (18m 49s): And I felt like people go to that school, no offense, but to, to get signs, like in hopes to sort of like learn enough to get to that point. And I didn't feel like by no means was like, oh, I need to skip all this because I just got signed. I actually felt really like awkward. And I didn't want to tell anyone that I went to school with that I got signed cause, oh 4 (19m 11s): Really? 6 (19m 11s): It was just like, you know, it's a bit, I didn't feel competitive at all, but you know, those people that's their dream as well. So I didn't want to make anyone feel sort 4 (19m 20s): Of all that jealousy and 6 (19m 22s): Yeah. Want to brag or anything. But I was just sort of like, you know, a lot's going on now in my life. And I felt like this was taking up too much stress and too much time. And, but it, it taught me so much. It really, really did teach me a lot about performing and that that's the most important thing that I took from, from that school is performing because I performed every day in front of the class. And then on the side, I went to open mikes all the time to sort of really learn how to perform in front of like actual, you know, a crowd of people that didn't know me and wasn't in my class and, you know, in the class, everyone has to get up and perform. 6 (20m 3s): So no one's really judging you in that way, but I did a lot of open mics and those were so nerve nerve-wracking. Like, I just remember feeling sick to my stomach all day to just get up and go and play one song at an open mic, but it helps so much. I recommend that to anyone who's learning how to perform. Definitely go to an open mic. 4 (20m 24s): Yeah. Did you just get up there and sing or did you play the XYLØ songs or what were you doing at the open mic? 6 (20m 30s): We leave. Yeah, I did XYLØ songs. So Lee who plays guitar in XYLØ and he also wrote all the songs with us. 4 (20m 40s): He 6 (20m 41s): Is like, he did all the like lyrics and melodies with us. He played the guitar for me. So it is, did it acoustic and cool me and him would go and yeah, we would just perform like one or two XYLØ songs. And then after I sort of went through my open mic phase right before we played our first actual, you know, XYLØ show like the show first headline show, we did some secret shows in LA at like random little bars under the name <inaudible> it was like, 4 (21m 15s): Oh, that's awesome. 6 (21m 16s): And so there was like people that like would come that, you know, just sort of a built-in audience of some random little like bar sort of venue in like Burbank or something. I can't remember. But yeah, we did that twice. 4 (21m 30s): Cool. I've heard of other bands doing that. Just like putting a different name up, just to kind of test the waters and get, get some, get some practice under your belt. That's awesome. 6 (21m 39s): It was really fun. Me and my best friend were just reminiscing about it the other day. She was like, those were some of the best nights of my life. It shows you get all your friends to come and like your parents just to sit and watch you like play all your songs before anyone super important was coming to watch you, so, 4 (21m 58s): Right. Right. Wow. And did you have at this point, I mean, you, you put the record out, you guys, we got a deal and were you on the road right away? Did the, did you have to go support the, the EAP that you put out or no? 6 (22m 11s): Yeah. So I can't really remember like exactly what shows we played. Right. When we got signed. I think we did, we did some headline, like one-off stuff, which was good. And then we did, I think we did like south by and all that stuff. And then we did a support tour, like a long one that was like 40 days, but I didn't go on my first headline tour until recently like 20, well, it was right before the pandemic. So it was 2019. 4 (22m 46s): Oh yeah. Wow. 6 (22m 49s): That was like my first like proper headline sort of 4 (22m 54s): Big, 6 (22m 54s): Long, long run. And then, yeah. And then I'm going on another one later in the year 4 (22m 59s): It had a sport, the new record. That's so awesome. Yeah, because the video or the interview, I CA I shortly, or I watched a view where you with your brother and it was at the Aaron's style festival, you played with the Sean lights thing. Oh 6 (23m 11s): Yeah. 4 (23m 12s): And they had clips of you guys performing. And I was like, like, it's crazy to me to hear, as you tell the story and say that you, you know, you're, first of all, you were shy and second that you hadn't had really a lot of, you know, experience as far as playing in front of people because you watched your energy on that set. And I'm like, like, it's like you it's so natural. And like you had been doing it forever. 6 (23m 33s): Oh, thanks. Yeah. I know it must just be some alter ego that comes out. I come on stage because I feel like I am a Leo. So it's not that surprising that I'm confident on stage, but yeah. I feel like I'm not that confident in, in real life, but maybe it's, it's something to do with nerves as well. Like when you're nervous, I feel like you just have no choice, but to be as confident as you could 4 (24m 2s): Possibly go into yeah. You 6 (24m 5s): Exude so much energy that people don't notice that you're actually really nervous. So, yeah. 4 (24m 12s): So like when I know your brother ended up leaving the group to pursue other things, was that something when, when he left and you, you obviously wanted to keep doing what you're doing, what was I low? Was that, was that something you were at all concerned about or were you like, okay, like, you know, we, we did our thing and now I'll just help write the songs by myself. Like, 6 (24m 32s): Yeah. I mean, it was diff definitely difficult for, you know, at the start of it to sort of, for us to, you know, both of us deal with that. This was splitting up and this was something that was started together and stuff like that. But ultimately I felt confident in, you know, who I was as an artist and I really wanted to continue performing and touring was like a big thing that I wanted to keep doing and stuff like that. And I, I, I don't know. I mean, it's kind of a hard question cause it's like, yeah, it was, it was hard at the beginning, but I think ultimately it was the best decision for the both of us. 6 (25m 16s): And he wanted to sort of remain a producer and do things more behind the scenes and, and make music with other people and stuff like that. So I think it was ultimately a better decision. And, and now it's, you know, it's been so many years since that happened. I thought 2017 that yeah, the dust is settled. 4 (25m 39s): No. Yeah. I didn't mean like, like it was awkward between the two, but just like having that, you know, that's how the initial like spark, when the two of you wrote the songs, I ended up kind of picking up and then it was like, okay, now we're separated now, you know, our, what is it, the song is going to change or is it going to change at all with the new lineup? So to speak, I guess it was my question, 6 (25m 59s): But I think the reason why maybe it didn't seem so shocking or jarring making that decision is because when not any shade to being signed to a major label, but when we got signed and then, you know, the years went by being signed to Sony, I think that sort of authenticity and rawness between just, just us making the music kind of got lost. And I, I don't really think it was the two of us making music anymore in his little studio, in the suburbs. It turned into something that was sort of all that we were being sort of not forced, but I don't know. 4 (26m 44s): Yeah. It probably just came with more commercial, like corporate and people kind of more jumping in there and being like, well, you should probably do more opinions, maybe 6 (26m 53s): Way more opinion. And a lot of songs written for us being sort of pushed in our direction and, and not necessarily being forced, but sort of like, you need to take songs from other people in order for you to get to that next level of stardom. 4 (27m 13s): Oh, I see what you're saying. 6 (27m 14s): And sort of the songs that we were showing them that we were writing together were just not really even considered anymore. So it was difficult because I don't want to blame anything. Cause life just happens and it was, it's very complicated and there's so many different, you know, reasons why things don't end up working out between a partnership, but I'd say musically, like, yeah, it got confused for a bit. And me and my fans always sort of laugh about it and talk about it sometimes how there was my major label era where, where the music didn't really sound like the music that I was making at the beginning, or even the music that I'm making now, which, you know, trying to go back to my roots a little bit, but still doing my own thing. 4 (28m 3s): Yeah. Yeah. So now it's, I mean, I'm sure it was probably pretty freeing to be like, okay, now I get to do and write songs that I want to release and do what I want to do without having, you know, a million people telling me that we need to do this or this song isn't gonna work or we need to do it this way. Yeah. 6 (28m 18s): Oh my God. Yeah. It's like night and day a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. After that point, I think I really, really started to appreciate being an artist and also appreciating what independent artists do so much more when I was able to make my own decisions. But that's when I really feel like I truly enjoyed being an artist and making music was sort of when I got dropped, honestly. And I'm really grateful for all the opportunities that I had being signed. And I don't think that, you know, a lot of things would have happened without them. But I think when it just talking about the music side of it, making those decisions. 6 (28m 60s): Yeah. It it's, it's really interesting how things change. 4 (29m 3s): Sure. And I mean, it's not like it, it stopped people from listening to your music at all. You know what I mean? Like you see your numbers, it's like, like through the roof. So it's like, 6 (29m 14s): No, I mean, yeah, it's amazing. Sometimes I'm like some of the fans that have been with me since day one, I'm like, wow, why are you still here? Like, that's so sweet that you, you know, you, you liked my music through all, all the different areas, but yeah, I'm really grateful for that, 4 (29m 30s): But it's also like a test to like, what were they, you know, maybe the label should have listened to you guys up front. You know what I mean? 6 (29m 38s): I know, but that's just like, the thing is can't even be mad because it's like, they just care about making money. 4 (29m 45s): And it was the best thing for you in the long run now. 6 (29m 48s): Yeah. And you know what? It was a learning experience that I actually, I liked because I'm like, it was kind of a, I told you, so type of experience where they were like, do this. I was like, no, this is not good. I don't, I don't like these songs, please don't make me put them out please. And then, you know, I had to, and they didn't go as well as any of the songs that we just wrote on our own. I'm like, there you go. Like, that's because some, some big writer or producer wrote this song, doesn't make it like a hit for me. You know, it doesn't really work that way. Like maybe it did back in the day when you can kind of orchestrate something like that. 6 (30m 32s): But 4 (30m 33s): I think people, yeah, definitely resonate with more authenticity now than especially than ever with, you can see anyone on like Tik TOK or whatever. It's like those, the people that are doing not what everyone else is doing are the ones that are getting the, you know, success there and even in music. 6 (30m 51s): Yeah. It's and it's totally validating because my most successful songs were written just at home. So 4 (30m 60s): My 6 (30m 60s): Shitty little apartment, not, not this apartment, I like this apartment. Yeah. So 4 (31m 10s): It's so cool. I'm curious, you said that you were on a headlining tour right before the pandemic hit and then the pandemic hits. And is that when you start working on this, this album that's coming out or tell, tell me like time on those, like where you were at? 6 (31m 24s): Well, I, I didn't write the sort writing the album until the beginning of 20, 21, 20 20. I sort of, well, the beginning of 2020, I actually still went on a tour, a support tour at the beginning of it. And like, literally right when the pandemic hit, I was like, had just gotten home from the tour. 4 (31m 45s): Oh, so you weren't on the road yet or still you had just made it back home. Yeah. 6 (31m 49s): Yeah. And then actually I had like one festival to do after that. And that was, I think literally the day before everything shut down. So I did sort of that at the beginning of the year. And then I wrote how many AP, I think I did an EAP during 2020. 4 (32m 7s): Yeah. It looks like you put out the two EPS, I think during 2012, right? Yeah. The game lines of my heart and outsiders club. 6 (32m 16s): Yeah. The gang runs was like, but that was written in, oh, 4 (32m 18s): That was before the pandemic too. I think that came out. So yeah. 6 (32m 23s): But then yeah, I put out another IUPY and then I think I just like chilled 20, 20. I don't know. I was just kind of like figuring out what I wanted to do next. I think I knew that I wanted to write the album, but I wanted to like plan that one out and spend a lot of time sort of figuring out what that was going to sound like and look like and stuff. And then 2021 was like the beginning of in January. That's when I really started writing it. I wrote the first song in like Arrowhead in like a cabin. 4 (32m 56s): Oh, wow. 6 (32m 58s): And then yeah, it sort of just that sort of dictated the sound and the rest is history. 4 (33m 5s): When did you, did you go to lake Arrowhead? Just specifically to right. 6 (33m 10s): Yeah. It's me and Lee who produced it and we'll leave, writes everything with me, but he produced this album and we, we got a cabin in lake Arrowhead, which was actually really scary. I'm I'm afraid of everything. Like a God, I cannot sleep when I'm in the middle of nowhere. I was like convinced I was going to get murdered. I was like, it sounds fun in hindsight, like going like, oh, we're going to get a remote cabin and write some songs really the whole time. I was just so scared that we were going to get murdered, but we did get two songs out of it. So. 4 (33m 46s): Okay. Have you put out either of those yet? Because they need to put what, three, three songs in the record so far, or it for 6 (33m 52s): Only three songs. 4 (33m 54s): Cause aliens isn't is aliens are going to be on the record. Yes. Oh, okay. Yeah. So 6 (33m 60s): Yeah, there's four singles out. The one that we wrote at the cabin is the album title track on American beauty. So yeah, that's coming out with the album next week. 4 (34m 11s): That's so exciting. So exciting. So, and then red hot winners, the most recent Ben single you put out? 6 (34m 18s): Yes. 4 (34m 19s): Okay. And I love, I mean, I love all the songs that you put out so far. I think sugar-free, Russia's such a creative title and like the lyrics are Radin. Same with sweetheart. I think that's such a cool song. And then there's one song. What's the song. Is it one of those two where there's like a message like in like somebody leaving you a message in the middle of the song. I think it's somebody leaving a message or maybe you're leaving somebody a message. It's like, there's like a cell phone. There's like a voicemail or something comes in. 6 (34m 49s): That's in. Yes and no, 4 (34m 50s): It isn't. Yes and no. Okay. Maybe I'm getting confused, but I was listening to a bunch of your records. 6 (34m 55s): Well also in, in sugar-free rush, there's a couple samples in there as well of people. So 4 (35m 1s): That's where I was getting there. 6 (35m 4s): There's this, this Mame, I don't know if you know who Trish pay Tices she's 4 (35m 10s): Like 6 (35m 11s): Uber, but there's this little name? The one where she's like in, in sugar-free brush where it's like, huh. Oh, okay. 4 (35m 19s): That's 6 (35m 21s): Really silly. I don't know why we put it in that. We're just feeling silly at the time. We're just throwing in a bunch of samples. Right. And that one worked and it fit with the timing. And so we were like, oh my God, we have to keep this. 4 (35m 34s): That's amazing. Were there any other moments like that on the record? 6 (35m 38s): Yeah. What else is there? I just had to make like a list of all the samples the other day. There's another one in sugar-free rush actually from pulp fiction. There's like a little bit of Mia Wallace, the main character in there. And then there's something else in like, from like an old video game. I don't even know what the video game is, but Lee had to put it in there. That's in one of the songs called one bedroom apartment. And then there's a lot of samples, 4 (36m 14s): Columbia. 6 (36m 15s): Yeah. 4 (36m 16s): That's awesome. Yeah. I'll have to go back and listen to sugar-free rush to hear the fiction piece now. Cause I, I didn't even know it. I mean, I was just listening to all your records and then it didn't click it. Click to my click in my head that it was a, that's funny. 6 (36m 29s): It's hard to pick some of them out. Cause sometimes I'm actually speaking in them. Like there's just bits of me, like talking while I'm recording, like talking to my dog that we kept in there, you know, it's difficult to kind of like decipher which one's the sample, which one isn't but yeah, the one on the voicemail on. Yes and no. You're probably thinking of that one as well. Cause that's like the whole bridge and that's my grandma. 4 (36m 54s): Oh, that's that? Yeah. That's what it is too. 6 (36m 57s): Everyone thinks it says, hi Paige, this is Chris, but her name is Griz. We call her Griz like the grizzly grams from the Bernstein bears. I don't know why 4 (37m 10s): I love the Bernstein bears going up. 6 (37m 14s): We all call her Griz. G R I Z Z. So that's what she's saying in the song. And everyone always gets it wrong. Like when people are writing out the lyrics on Twitter and stuff, it always says, Chris, Mike, it's not Chris. It's. 4 (37m 31s): That's cool. Yeah. Amazing. Well, do you feel like, you know, having the, all that time from the pandemic and you know, going then going to the cabin in Arrowhead, like, did that have any effect on the record or would it have changed the record at all? If you would've went from, you know, 20, 19 finishing up those tours to then going into an album? 6 (37m 52s): Yeah. I, I, I do. I think, you know, the pandemic was awful, but I'm not, but it's just having time to really sort of step away from everything and not really have anything to do besides figure out who you are and like what you want that, that sort of like resting period, I think was really good because I've mentioned this before, but I feel like some of my EPS, even my independent ones, there's a lot of songs on them that I absolutely love. But I think like just, you know, the sort of B sides on them or, you know, EAP tracks, I felt like I was just trying to like fill the space to get an EPE out because I needed to like survive and make money and, you know, put content out all the time. 6 (38m 44s): And I didn't really get to take a lot of time to figure out like a concept or, you know, specific visuals and stuff like that. And really what I wanted to say. But for this album, I really felt like I had a lot of time to do that. I mean, I, I spent a year doing it, so yeah. I'm really grateful that I had that time. And I'm most proud of this than anything I've done. So I'm excited. 4 (39m 10s): That's amazing. And congratulations. I mean, it's your first like full record and you said you're doing a tour to support it. 6 (39m 15s): Yeah. In October I haven't announced it yet, but I Wilson. 4 (39m 20s): Okay. Can I ask if you're playing Nashville, 6 (39m 23s): I'm not playing just like, we'll see how this goes, because it's just like 10 shows to support the album at the beginning, but I'm obviously hoping that there will be more hopefully at the end of the year or even at the beginning of next year, you know? 4 (39m 40s): Yeah, yeah. For sure. I was just curious. Yeah. Cause I moved from San Diego to Nashville within like a year, a little over a year ago. My family and I moved here. So I, we love it here. Absolutely love it here. 6 (39m 52s): I've never spent any proper time in Nashville, so I need to come there and I hear, it's amazing. I feel like everyone's moving to Nashville. 4 (39m 59s): Yeah. I didn't know this. I didn't know that until I moved here and then like the local people that I meet, they're like, oh, you're like the 10 million person I've talked to. That's moving here from California. I'm like, oh 6 (40m 10s): Yeah. I know a lot of people that have moved there. I mean, there's a great music scene obviously over there. And I feel like a lot of songwriters go over there recently as well. 4 (40m 20s): And it's not, I would move here and I'm not a huge country fan, but I moved here thinking it was just going to be like a country town, but it re it's not, not at all. There's so like every genre music is being created here. It's insane. 6 (40m 36s): Oh, that's awesome. Congrats. 4 (40m 37s): Yeah. We live in the, in the burbs south of Nashville, but it's close to get there. And the pace of life is so much different and slower. It's just coming from California, only living in California, my entire life. It was, it was a little bit of a culture shock, but I love it. 6 (40m 53s): Awesome. 4 (40m 54s): Well, thank you so much for doing this today, Paige. I really appreciate your time. Thank you 6 (40m 58s): For having me. 4 (40m 60s): I have one quick question before I let you go. Yeah. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists? 6 (41m 8s): Yeah. I have a lot of advice. I'd say, I'd say the big one for me at the moment is sort of trust the whole process of being an artist. And like I said, it's been eight years since I started and now I'm just finally putting out my debut album. So just never give up on anything. And if you, if you really believe in yourself!