Upsahl is only 22 years old but music has always been running through her veins. And it shows. The pandemic was extremely difficult for most people but especially for artists. Upsahl had to cancel all her concerts and, although performing is everything for her, she managed to keep going with her music with the release of her EP Young Life Crisis. Now she strikes again with her new single Stop!, which is guaranteed to make you dance!
First of all, can you introduce yourself and tell us who Upsahl is?
What’s up! Upsahl is my last name. My family has been a big part of me getting into music, so I felt like going by my last name was fitting.
Your new song Stop! is out, can you tell us about your evolution in music since you started until now?
Thanks! I started making music when I was in middle school in Phoenix. I opted not to go to college and instead moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school. Those first couple of years in LA had a profound experience on me and inspired my first two EPs. I was away from home and living in 'Hollywood.' I’ve definitely gotten more experimental with production and have gotten riskier with lyrics over the years.
Your songs have no filters; you talk about sex, drugs and even masturbation. Have you ever had a problem or been judged for this?
My parents weren’t super thrilled when I started writing songs about that stuff! (Laughs)
Your latest EP Young Life Crisis was created during the pandemic. How did you go through this experience and how did it affect the process of creating your music? Has the pandemic helped you express feelings with your lyrics and let off some steam?
I've definitely had a young life crisis during this pandemic. I was meant to be on a 3 month tour and got sent home after the first show. It sucked but I immediately started getting into writing songs over Zoom. Sometimes two or three sessions a day. A lot of writers have been having a hard time with virtual sessions, but I actually love them. I’ve had a lot of time to think and process my life. My issues, issues around me, my wants, my needs. The sessions have been some sort of cheap therapy for me and I haven’t had to spend time driving to/from studios in LA (laughs).
You talk about how much you love touring and being on the road, how are you dealing with not being able to do concerts right now? Is there some kind of alternative to a live show that you can do?
Performing is everything. Nothing compares to the thrill of being on stage. I haven’t been able to fulfill that void this past year. I’ve done some livestreams on my Instagram and YouTube, which have been a lot of fun but I really miss the energy of the fans in person. I do have a more produced livestream coming up, which I’m really excited about, though! It’ll basically be what a Young Life Crisis tour would’ve been, but in one show.
Your new song Drugs has more than forty million streams on Spotify. Tell us about it, and the lyrics, is it a song about your own experience going to parties?
I wrote Drugs when I first moved to LA. I was going out a lot, meeting a lot of people, but having a hard time meeting genuine people. I used the word Drugs as a metaphor for those fake ass people!
In your EP Young Life Crisis you are exposing yourself quite a lot, how you feel exposing yourself in such an honest and vulnerable way? Was it hard for you?
I honestly don’t know any other way. I’ve never been one to shy away from the truth and I feel that putting it all out there not only helps me cope but I hope that it helps others that might be going through similar experiences too. It’s incredibly empowering when you let go.
The MoneyOnMyMind video is amazing, inspired by the classic movie Fight Club. What was your vision of the music video and how was the process of recording it?
I made it with a director who I worked with a lot last year. He came up with the overall coloring and vibe first, which made me feel like I was in Fight Club. Then we realized that Ed Norton’s alter-ego (Tyler Durden) is like that low downside of people, which for me was how I felt about money. It was the longest shoot I’ve ever been on! There were only a couple of us on set at the time, because of Covid, so it took a while to set each shot up.
Tell us about some of your influences in general, not just your musical ones.
Michelle Obama is the baddest bitch on the planet. She tells it like it is and is yet so graceful when she does it.
Are you currently working on any projects for the future?
I’m working on my debut album right now, as well as writing for other others and, oh, I have some features coming out soon too, which I’m stoked about!