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UPSAHL: self proclaimed 'Lady Jesus'

From curating her unique style of sound in Phoenix, Arizona to huge success creating viral songs that have made a huge impression on social media sites like TikTok. UPSAHL has had a very unique journey throughout the music scene, and so she should, the music she creates is personal and individualistic yet she manages to produce banger after banger. She shot to fame when her song, “Drugs” began doing the rounds on TikTok, sparking a video trend featuring her song that was replicated by the likes of Jason Derulo and James Charles. Thanks to the social media buzz her song has since been used in around 2 million TikTok videos and reached #1 Sound on the TikTok Trends Chart. Not only a viral songstress, but an incredible writer too, UPSAHL’s first experience co-writing landed Dua Lipa a GRAMMY Award for their song “Good in Bed.” We bagged the chance to sit down with UPSAHL and discuss her new album, ‘Lady Jesus.’

“I wrote the whole album in chronological order while going through a shitty breakup last year.” UPSAHL shares, “When I started to write the album, I thought it was going to be super sad, but as I started to heal, I found myself in a better place and the album took on a different life.” She discusses how her raw and “autobiographical” approach to production allows her to share her own emotional healing journey, both the good and the bad, to take listeners on what she calls “the same emotional rollercoaster that I went on as I discovered my own personal “Lady Jesus.” From this emotional rollercoaster, we as the audience are allowed an insight into an uniquely therapeutic practice for UPSAHL, which also grants her the power to share what she finds important to represent in music. “Finding power in being vulnerable.” She answers, “We’re living in a time where the stigma against mental health is starting to fade, so it gives me a space to be even more vulnerable and real in my music.”

“We’re living in a time where the stigma against mental health is starting to fade, so it gives me a space to be even more vulnerable and real in my music.”

The openness of mental health discussions, especially in the music industry, is a very large plinth for UPSAHL to stand upon. In the industry it affects and inspires almost all music, yet has remained social taboo. The social taboo of mental health doubles down on women in the industry, who already face harsh prejudice from the men who largely own and operate the industry as we know it. This leaves many women in the industry pushed down, and unable to talk about how it negatively affects them. UPSAHL’s eagerness to discuss and portray her raw emotion behind each track in this album, and the way that the process helped her therapeutically, signifies a huge shift for women in the industry. “I tend to be unapologetic as fuck.” She states, boldly, “I was so angry the day I wrote ‘Lunatic’ that I wanted to punch a hole in the wall. After the song was done, I felt so much better, and just danced around the studio screaming out of happiness. It was a good therapy session.” We push her to answer how the industry could improve, “More women!!” she answers, “Chicks truly do run music, I hope to see more women producers and writers taking over.”

To be frank, UPSAHL is a magnet to success, the development of her lyrical and musical ability over the years has grown exponentially, almost anything she touches turns platinum. She has a unique alt-pop flare that is rarely seen in mainstream music and a raw and approachable honesty in her lyrics which resonate with so many of her fans. Its no surprise that she has been dreaming of this moment since she was a young kid. “I grew up listening to No Doubt and just wanted to be as cool as Gwen Stefani when I grew up.” She shares before adding that she’s “still trying.” Because of this dream she started honing her musical skills from a very young age, with thanks to her parents. “I learned classical piano when I was a kid. Piano has always been my favourite instrument to play.” She says, “My parents have been extremely supportive of my music career since I was little.” Since achieving such huge milestones for her career, her dream has developed. “My dream is to make a living off music until I die and be able to continue to connect with people through my music.” She says, “That connection really is the dream.”

UPSAHL discusses how developments in her personal life affect her music, and how her musical practice helps her to grow as a person. “Lady Jesus has allowed me so much personal growth in the past year.” She shares, “It all depends on what's going on in my life when I'm writing. I imagine my next project will help me get to the next level as I live and learn. I'm in a good place now, so maybe i'll write about some happy shit.” She goes on to tell us about the physical developments she's making for her music, in order to ensure that her musical skills grow as she does. “I've been learning how to play drums recently, I feel it's been the hardest instrument to figure out so far.” She is not only expanding her talents as a multi instrumentalist, but is also working on her singing to further the impact of her live shows. “I started working with a new vocal coach because I want to push myself more vocally. I love touring and was so thankful to get back on the road this year. I feel like my show is only going to get bigger and better.”

Throughout our interview, UPSAHL remains humble and grounded, ensuring she takes time to properly credit and thank everyone in her life that have made her career possible. “My manager is honestly my ride or die and has made every crazy idea I've had turn into a reality. The music wouldn't be possible without the producers and writers that I work with.” She is such a down to earth artist because her practice is very down to earth. She creates what she feels when she feels it, authentically and in her own words “autobiographically.” Her time in the studio is her time to release and hope that others vibe with the same feelings she has. The beautiful thing is that so many do. I ask her what her favourite part about creating her music is, “getting to experiment in the studio. No genre, no expectations, no overthinking, just making a song that excites ME.”

As her creativity and process in the studio is such a personal act for UPSAHL, I press her for what she hopes her audience will take from listening into her inner world, “I hope that listening to my music makes them feel like the most badass version of themselves.” She replies. Listening to her new album, it would be hard not to feel that way. The songs are smooth and melodic, yet the tone is clear, this music is meant to make bad bitches feel like bad bitches. The song that inspired the album’s title, ‘Lady Jesus’ is a monumental song for UPSAHL. Not only was it the product of a year’s worth of emotional healing, it also made her realise her own brilliance. Discussing its importance she shares, “When I wrote this song, I finally realised that I was good. I had been re-birthed, so to speak.” Another realisation of her magnitude of success came when she sold out her first headline show in London. “It was crazy. The fact that I’m from Arizona, playing a show in another country and every motherfucker in there was singing my lyrics back to me. That was so rad.”

In 2022, we can expect to hear a lot more from UPSAHL. Our very own ‘Lady Jesus,’ UPSAHL is touring the US, UK and across Europe this year. Just don't try and catch her in London, she already sold it out again!


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