noah cyrus on fame, family and fans
Noah Cyrus is so much more than Miley's little sister. Her first ever single almost went platinum, she just dropped a killer new video for "Stay Together," and last night she performed at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Last year, before she had put out any music, Noah Cyrus came into the i-D office in London to give us a sneak peek of what she had been working on and we knew right away that she was so much more than just "Miley's little sister." Six months later, when we met again, Noah's life had completely changed.
Over the weekend, Noah released the video for "Stay Together," a catchy summer anthem that's almost as addictive as that water droplet sound in her emotional debut, a duet with Labrinth called "Make Me Cry." Taken from her forthcoming debut album NC-17 — named after her initials, her age, the year, and the movie rating — the video for the new single featured a whirlwind of teen dreams, nocturnal adventures, and not giving a fuck. Driving through L.A. with her real life friends, Noah sings an ode to millennial life in 2017; crooning about how "nothing lasts forever, but wouldn't it be nice to stay together for the night?" and carrying on the party once "the uber's here… driver pass that aux to me."
Performing at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards in L.A. last night, we caught up with Noah to chat about fame, family, and fans. We also touched on her fandom name, the dark gothic music she started out making, and how she avoids the negativity that comes with social media.
Hi Noah! Tell us, is finally putting out music everything you imagined it would be?
Everything and more! It's still shocking to me how many streams on Spotify the songs are getting and how many views the videos have. It's really crazy.
How has your life changed since you came into the office to play us your music?
My life changed the day I put music out. People are paying attention to what's going on. I had that a little bit before, but it's really crazy now because people are connected with me in a different way than just on social media. Now I have a personal connection because my fans hear my voice through music and I think that's the best way to connect with people.
Was it you that came up with the name "cyrens" for your fans?
It was actually a fan on Twitter! It's perfect and I couldn't think of a better name.
How has your sound developed since you first started writing music?
Back then it was more of a dark, creepy vibe. I always called them my American Horror Story love songs. I wrote one called "Psycho," which is a really fun song and the first I ever wrote. Maybe I'll put it out one day. There was another called "Skeletons" and one called "Ghost." Then I took a break for a month, went to Nashville, and when I got back I signed my record deal. They were totally into the stuff but I wanted to try something else and I found the sound I have now and fell in love with it.
It's cool that you might go back to it and update that sound, making it relevant for now.
Yeah, definitely. I was like 14-15 then. I'm 17 now.
You have comments disabled on Instagram. Is that to avoid any negativity?
I struggle, as every young person does, with any type of hate involving looks or personal comments. It would stick with me for weeks and I would only think about that and read them over and over. I hated giving people that much control over my life just by saying one thing that meant nothing at all and that they only said for attention. Another reason is that other people were beating each other up in my comments — just because one person doesn't like my hair, or doesn't think I'm pretty, or doesn't like my personality or whatever. Then people would try to stick up for me and it would go off, you know? It was so unnecessary. I wanted people to go on my page and be happy. We should be building each other up, not pushing each other down.
In the spirit of your debut single, rather than mean people on social media, what was the last thing that made you cry?
I cried a little this morning actually because I was so tired from jetlag. I cried when I left for this trip too, because I'm on the road for three weeks and I was saying goodbye to my mom and my friend, like, "I don't wanna leave you guys!" I got really upset.
Do you remember your dreams?
When I was little, I used to have really scary dreams every night. Especially when I lived in Nashville. I have arachnophobia and when I first watched Spiderman, for ages I'd dream that my brothers were pouring buckets of spiders on me.
You always seem like you have a lot of energy. How much sleep do you get?
Probably like five or six hours. I'm always really tired, but if I get more than eight hours of sleep I'm just exhausted. I have a lot of energy but maybe it's just because I'm sleep deprived. I'm often in the studio really late and if I'm not working I want to hang out with my friends, you know? I've been drinking so much coffee.
What's your coffee order?
Vanilla latte. I always get the big one and think, I'll finish it this time, but never do. I like black iced tea more than coffee though.
What fictional family do you reckon your family are most like?
I've never thought about that before, actually. I wish we were like the Cullen family from Twilight, but they're nothing like my family.
How often do you all get together?
As often as possible, but we're always all over the place. It's basically just holidays that we're all together. It's pretty rare.
Do you still live at home in L.A?
Yeah. I love being with my mom and dad.
And what's it like when you do all get together for the holidays?
We always eat Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast. We do that for Christmas, too. We're usually all in one room having our own separate conversations because there are so many of us. We get into family arguments, but not bad ones. We'll just get on a topic and go back and forth for a while. We each have like three dogs too, so it's pretty hectic. It's just a room full of dogs. They all get along though, so it's okay. Mine are Sammy, Bogey, and Loco and in Nashville I have my Sheltie named Leo and my German Shepherd named Mate.
So you're a dog family. What song do you associate most with your childhood?
Probably "Could've Been Me" by my dad. I learned how to sing to that song. He taught me how to harmonise to it.
Your song "Almost Famous" made me think of the Cameron Crowe film. Are you a fan?
I watched it with my mom around a year ago. A week later, I introduced her to my boyfriend at the time and then the next week I broke up with him. Before we broke up, I had asked if he had seen the film and he told me it was his favorite movie. Once we had broken up, I watched it again and wrote "Almost Famous" about the regret and how, if I had only known that you were the right face but at the wrong time, and stuck through it, maybe I'd take it back. I kind of wish I didn't break up with him, but I know I made the right decision because I'm so happy with how things are now. You grow from a breakup.
Presumably he knows the song's about him?
Yeah. I think if he's heard it… well, he definitely has. I sent it to him like, "this one's for you, dude!" We were still friends for a really long time, we've just drifted. Even if I hadn't sent it, I think he'd know it was about him because there are very specific references. I wrote it a long time ago, so it's not like I'm heartbroken anymore.
What film soundtrack do you think your music would be the best soundtrack for?
Well my dream soundtrack would be 50 Shades of Gray. I've always wanted to do that because the soundtracks are always really good. My friends are always like, that's so weird that you like that movie.
I mean, I was surprised.
It's really similar to Twilight! I read that it actually started out as a fanfiction of Twilight, so I was interested to see it, and it does have a lot of connections. I think it's cool because you kind of fall in love with the characters and once they start arguing you want to get them back together.
Back to the important stuff now. What's the best advice you've ever received?
My dad has always told me to be myself. He says that if you're not happy, then it isn't working, so always do what makes you happy and it'll all work out. His other thing, though, is not to think outside the box — but to think like there is no box. I tell him that it's kind of the same thing.
Text Frankie Dunn