For Noah Cyrus, one of the biggest thrills of her surprise Grammy nomination for Best New Artist is the company, like Phoebe Bridgers and Megan Thee Stallion, she is keeping.
Videos by American Songwriter
“To see my name next to some of the most amazing female musicians and musicians that are also being recognized as this year’s Best New Artist, these are people that I listen to,” Cyrus tells host Steve Baltin on this week’s People Have The Power podcast.
In fact, her first protest song choice is from Stallion and Cardi B. ” I’m singing ‘WAP’ in my car every single day,” Cyrus says. “It’s just so empowering. It’s nice to hear women singing about their own bodies and I feel like it makes some people uncomfortable, where it shouldn’t. So for a woman to be singing ‘WAP’ you feel empowered. It makes you feel good as a woman, it makes you want to show off, it makes you feel sexy, it makes you feel empowered. And as a female artist that’s all I would hope to do for my female fans. And they did that.”
The nomination is the springboard to a big 2021 for Cyrus, who just released a new single, “All Three” and video, out today. She tells Baltin on the podcast she will have a new album in 2021.
With each song she writes, many of them with collaborator Peter Harding, she heeds the advice she got from friend and idol John Mayer, who also wrote her second protest song of choice, “Waiting On The World To Change,” a song she says is just as relevant in 2020 as it was in 2006.
As for the counsel she got from Mayer, he told her, “The best advice I have gotten musically has been from John and it was to keep creating music that you’re gonna want to sing for the rest of your life,” she says, recalling what he said about her song “July.” “He told me, ‘This is a song I love right now and people are gonna love 20 years from now. And that’s how you know you have a special record.”
Among the other songs she chose were Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and “The Story,” from Conan Gray, who she calls her emo brother.
For more of Cyrus’ musical tastes, including how the 1970s hit “Seasons In The Sun,” shaped her music, check out the People Have The Power podcast.