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Miley Cyrus: 27 to me was a year that I really had to protect myself’

Written by on 23/11/2020

Miley Cyrus joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music to discuss her seventh studio album ‘Plastic Hearts’ due out this Friday.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Collaborating With Billy Idol on “Night Crawling”…
Me and Billy have known each other. I think the first time I ever did anything for Billy Idol was in like 2013. I actually think that’s when I had just dyed my hair platinum and shaved my head. I had short little spiky hair and I looked like Billy Idol. I was pretty androgynous and I like really used him as a inspiration for the transformation that I had. That was a big part of that for me, his music. Because the way that he married rebellion but also his music where he had incredible hooks. And he showed me that I could have balance, that I could make music that I and other people love. And sometimes I’ve lost that and I’ve found that again where it’s like, “I want to make music for me.” But part of music is sharing. It’s not hoarding these songs it’s sharing. And so Eyes Without a Face actually followed me around for like a year. Anytime I would go anywhere, it would be playing. It was really trippy and I really started to think that life is just all… It’s the Truman concept. I’m like, “Who the hell keeps pushing play on ‘Eyes Without a Face?’” I’d go to the grocery, I go to a restaurant. Anywhere I went, it would be playing. And then I went to the studio with Watt. I had said I had just been going through all different relationships and just figuring it out. And I was telling him that I felt like I thought that Billy Idol music videos are like porn. I think the old Billy Idol music videos are so sexy. And I’m like, “Yo, that is my porn preference, is Billy Idol music videos.” And so I’m like, “Oh man. We’ve got to write a song about that.” And he’s like, “Let’s just write a song with Billy Idol. Let’s just get the real deal here.” So we got Billy to come and write a song.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Writing The Song “Golden G String”…
We wrote this song, it probably was in 2017, 2018, something like that. And probably… This, again, is reflective of Donald Trump as president. And the men hold all the cards and they ain’t playing gin, and they determine your fate. This song, which is also about kind of the cross I’ve had to bear, in a way, of saying, “I feel like everything that I’ve done has just been up for all the opinions and I guess people being offended and all this sh-t.” But it’s like our president grabs women by the, and you’re mad at me. I’m a pop star. I’m supposed to do these things. I’m supposed to do things that sometimes make you uncomfortable or you take offense. That’s kind of my job, that’s entertainment. I don’t want that in a leader. I consider myself a leader, but I would say that actually is creating the country that we’re going to live in. You don’t want an entertainer. I have no desire to be president because I have only a desire to create art and to be an artist. And I want to do what I do. And I think that there’s an idea that I’ve focused on of mastery, of finding the thing that you love and becoming the best at it. You can’t be everything.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music Why Dolly Parton is a Super Hero…
And so for me, that’s why I f-king love Dolly Parton, is because she has it all. That to me is just an ultimate icon because she’s never lied, her songs are the truth. Even if they don’t resonate with her now, maybe she’s attached from something she’s written before.That’s what happens when you have a career that’s as expanded as hers. But she just found this balance of being… She is a superhero. She almost has a character, but it’s true.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Her Inspirations and Collaborators on The New Album…

And that’s the one thing that I thought me, Andrew Watt, Andrew Wyatt, Mark Ronson, we really found on this album, is that Dolly Parton, I’ve inherited this songwriting. I grew up listening to Johnny Cash. I grew up listening to Joan Jett. And I have that in me, but I’ve also grown up listening to Gwen Stefani who really did that best. She got to just have the best of both worlds and not be ashamed of anything. She really did. And how to find that merge. How to be everything. How to be the melting pot of everything that I’ve ever loved and not be ashamed of that, of some of my guilty pleasures of music that have inspired me. And how to make it my own. And just a sense of… That shame, it’s not helpful. So I guess what started that tangent was that, originally, the shame came out and now I’m just getting a little more hyper-aware to go like, “Oh no, I actually don’t feel that way. Detach. Detach from that.” I have a fear of writing new music because what I’ve been is so large. I’m really excited for this record to come out because it’s the most proud I could be of anything. And again, I just feel so much gratitude towards the collaborators who helped me create it.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Being 27…
27 to me was a year that I really had to protect myself. That actually really made me want to get sober was because we’ve lost so many icons at 27. It’s a very pivotal time. You go into that next chapter or this is it for you. I just feel that some of the artists that almost couldn’t handle their own power and their own energy and their own force. It’s an energy. I, no matter what, was born with that.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Her Dad Billy Ray Cyrus and Authenticity…
He’s the most eccentric person I’ve ever met in my life. He’s the one and only. That’s been my, I guess, my inspiration, you asked me about what you feel about when you step in someone’s home, the way that I dress. I just, I want to be the only me. Because everyone is the only them. That’s what I really don’t like about this new shift of, I mean, social media and posting everything and everyone beginning to morph into the same person and the same features. Uniqueness to me, uniqueness is my religion, just being the one and only. I just, that is not a super power I have.

Now, there’s another theory I have is that as unique as I am, I’m not special, because I’m in a way … we’re all just special. If everybody is special, then one star isn’t brighter than the other. There’s a lot of qualities about me… Well, I think I’m always going to stand out. I’m going to stand out. I think everyone has it in them.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About “Never Be Me” With Mark Ronson…
“Never Be Me,” is a song that even Mark kind of challenged when I first wrote it, because… Mark Ronson had made the most beautiful arrangement. It was something that was very simple. He’s not the guy, it’s totally different experience working with someone like Watt or someone like Mike Will on Bangers. He does not have just like a beat library, Mark Ronson, It’s an arrangement. So he’s not going through and flipping through beats and saying, it’s not pick one. You’re not going through the rack and trying stuff on and seeing what fits. It’s customized, which I adore. And so it was something super simple and the words just literally started getting like pulled out of me.

Writing a song like “Never Be Me,” it’s a sacrifice too. And it’s a choice that I commit to because some of the songs I write, I’m not ignorant to the pain that they can cause to the subjects. And a lot of the time have to choose again, is it worth it for me to release this? And I mean release it, not to everyone else, but to me. To allow this thought or this feeling to come out because it’s giving it power. Like my dad says, you write it down, you speak it. You give it power. It’s real now. It’s something more than the thoughts in your head.

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Experimentation…
I think especially just my experimentation, we’ll call it, with drugs, with alcohol. I mean all of that was just me, sometimes I guess also wanting to excuse them and allow them to run wild. In a way getting messed up was a way of me allowing myself to do things that I never really would allow those voices to control. Exactly. So I think now my life has been truly changed by the concept that I’m not the voice inside my head, that I’m just observing. Because there’s like a peace to it of knowing. Actually the way that it’s explained in the book, is you would never hang out, if those were physical beings, you would never hang out with the voices inside your head. They never stop. When you’re watching a movie, it’s like, “Well, did I turn off the stove?” Did I, whatever. If your friend was in there, “Did you do this today? Did you put gas in the car?” You’d be like, “Shut up. I’m just trying to watch a movie or I’m just trying to go outside and enjoy my garden. Or I’m just trying to take a drive with my mum.”

Miley Cyrus Tells Apple Music About Collaborating With Dua Lipa on “Prisoner”…
What I love about Prisoner, I mean, I think it’s also coming at a perfect time for everybody. I mean, in a way …I feel too, I mean, we’re just trapped in our emotions right now. I mean, really me, there’s no escaping it. It’s like, “Locked up, can’t get you off my mind.” Anything that you’ve tried to suppress or compartmentalize at that point, it’s coming up. It’s yours to own, to own it or release it. In a way, her and I, we have a lot of things in common, if you look at us.I would say our love for fashion, this is my number one, me and Dua both. She’s probably the only person that can rival my collection of fuzzy hats. We have a love for fuzzy hats.

There’s a fabness there. Yeah. Again, I think that fashion is such … It’s your inside out. You know? I think she wears her inside out and I love that. Because I like when you walk into a room, she’s recognizable. To me, that’s a star. I love that about her. I also love that she’s very direct. We edited this video on text message, me and her directly as artists. I just don’t want to play telephone when I’m making music. I want to make it with who I’m making it with. I don’t want to do a song with someone’s manager. I want to do a song with the artist. Her allowing me to have that direct line of communication and then also the ability to just trust each other, both of us, I think our egos are pretty in check that she’s very willing and I’m very willing. There’s just, also, there’s a lack of competition because in the ways that we’re so much alike, we’re very different.

We’re not competing. I’m just not like that. It’s like we talked about, me, either I decide I want to walk in and I’m going to own the room or I can just slink into the back and camouflage and you won’t even know that I’m there. You might notice what I’m wearing, or not wearing. But other than that, I don’t have to be … I mean, I don’t have to always be the loudest person in the room. I like to slink in and I really like to observe. I really like, for her and I, there’s just no competition. That changes just everything. There’s a true partnership. Then I also liked that it wasn’t the first song we’d cut together. We actually cut other songs. She wanted to keep going until it was right, until we found the one that honors our individuality.

There was none of the machine in it. She really, I mean, we’ve recorded other songs together. We just waited until we felt like, “Now this is Dua-Miley song. You can just, everything about it reflects us. I mean, there’s even something to me, like how I talk about like fashion being a way to flip yourself inside out. The colors that I see, when I listen to a song, I see colors. Some people’s charisma is really overwhelming. I see, when Dua’s around, that her charisma, there’s no sense of desperation to it, like, “I’ve got to be the best because if I’m not what if…” There’s a calmness to her success, which I really like. Because I feel like when you can tell someone is too much of a… or a survivalist. That I don’t like.

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