Music

Rising Musician UPSAHL is Ever-Evolving

To mark her new single "Smile for the Camera," premiering right here on L'Officiel USA, the artist talks Lollapalooza, la-la land, and her first trip to Europe.
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If there's one thing to say about UPSAHL, it's that she never seems to stop. She's currently on a two-week tour with PVRIS after touring alongside Tessa Violet earlier this year. She released the music video for "Wish You'd Make Me Cry" earlier this week. And today, she's dropping her new song, "Smile for the Camera." 

While it's only her ninth song to be released, the Phoenix native has written around 350 songs. Sometimes she forgets that only those in her inner circle exist in the world with those songs, but she likes to have them on the back burner—this way, she can pick and choose what songs represent her at any given time, and effectively curate the message she wants to get across. 

The LA-based singer's introduction to music was organic. She grew up in a musical family, and used to watch her dad play in punk bands. UPSAHL didn't have a moment in which she realized she should pursue music; it was simply the biggest part of her identity, and the thing she was best at. Luckily, her parents realized this early on and were supportive of her passion.

UPSAHL talked with L'Officiel USA about moving to LA, her first trip to Europe, and playing at Lollapalooza. 

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What was it like moving to LA from Phoenix at age 19?

Wild. I feel like everyone who does music in LA comes from a really supportive hometown music scene and then you just get a massive slap to the face the second you get there. Because it’s such a highly saturated and brutal city, I had to learn a lot about myself within my first year of living there. I think learning to be alone and secure with myself was the biggest lesson I’ve gotten out of living in LA so far. 

You mentioned in a previous interview that you took a writing trip to Europe - can you talk a little about that?

I had never been out of the country actually, and my publisher and label had organized a writing trip for me in Sweden and the UK. I was fucking terrified. Not only was I going out of the country for the first time, but I was doing it completely alone. Once I got there though, I ended up meeting some pretty amazing writers and producers, so the trip was rad.

What was it like playing at Lollapalooza this summer?

Playing Lolla has been a dream of mine since I started making music. I seriously thought maybe 20 people would show up to my set if I was lucky, but I was wrong! It was the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. It’s like I never wanted those 30 minutes to end. 

Who are some of your favorite artists? 

I grew up loving Weezer, OutKast, Gwen Stefani, Spoon, a bunch of random stuff. I feel like little hints of each of them sneak their way into the songs I’m making today, just because it’s how I first got into music. 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Lizzo.

How would you describe your fashion style? Where/who do you get inspiration from (if anyone)?

I honestly have no clue how to describe my style. I love crazy pants and bright colors. I’m at a point where I can’t even tell if something is actually cool or if I just like it because people are like “what the fuck is she wearing.” 

What are you most excited for in the future?

I’m excited to put out more music. My music is always going to be evolving with me, and I’m definitely in a new place in my life than I was when writing Hindsight 20/20. I’m stoked to share all the shit I’ve been making with everyone.

Listen to "Smile for the Camera" below.

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