Following in her dad and sister’s famed footsteps, Noah Cyrus will soon release her debut album, “NC-17.” Capturing our attention last year with her debut single, 'Make Me (Cry)' featuring Labrinth, Cyrus has since released two additional singles, 'I’m Stuck' and 'Stay Together.' She may only be 17 years-old —but anything but your your typical 17-year-old and certainly far busier than the average teenager. Here’s some highlights from her Rogue interview, the full feature is available in our Issue N°6. Here's some snippets of what the rising artist has to say about teenage life, her upbringing, music and creating her own identity in the music world.
ROGUE: What is a typical day or week like for you right now?
NC: Right now I’m on this huge radio tour, so I’m doing tons of radio stations around the U.S. It started off with the Wango Tango concert in L.A. But my days right now are like waking up at a random hotel, getting ready, then going to a stadium or baseball field where we’re performing, doing a sound check, sleeping on a couch somewhere, and then get ready to perform. It’s super fun; I’m loving it.
At just 17 years old, you have a big career ahead of you—what are some of your professional goals?
NC: Seeing so many artists performing at the Staples Center while I was growing up in L.A. – that has definitely been a dream of mine. I want to go to Nashville and headline a tour, and I want to get to that point where I’m performing at Staples Center because I’ve seen so many artists doing it.
You've already played awards shows among other big performances, what can you tell us about your first album, “NC-17,” which is due to come out later this year?
NC: Hopefully it will be done by this fall. I worked with so many amazing co-writers and producers on it. My dad might have a song on the album. I’m so blessed for this whole thing. I worked with some really talented, experienced writers.
Who are some artists you’d love to work with?
NC: My dream collaboration is with Ben Howard. I’ve been his biggest fan since I was 14 years-old. He’s one of the biggest reasons I started music. I would love to write with people like Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga.
Who are some of your favorite artists that you're currently listening to?
NC: I love the artist LP – I’m totally into her right now. Ben Howard and Lady Gaga have been huge inspirations for me. My mom wouldn’t let me sing Lady Gaga when we first moved to L.A. because I was too young, but that has changed. I also like Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket – all the artists I like are all different from each other. 'Lost on You' by LP and Julia Michaels’s song 'Uh Huh' are currently on repeat. My band and I find these songs that we want to play on the bus, and then we listen to them every night.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
NC: While you’re working on an album for so long it’s hard to find and get new inspiration every day. Usually it’s inspired by real life situations, but I’m not having very many of those since I’ve been on the road. I knew that was when I was done with the album – when I started repeating myself.
What was it like to perform on the “Today” show last month as part of their summer concert series and have your Dad on stage performing with you?
NC: Yes, I was like “Dad you have to perform with me; it’ll just be simple acoustic guitar.” And at first he said no, but I told him it would be really simple and fun.
In March you performed during the iHeartRadio Music Awards with some major artists like Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and The Chainsmokers. What was that experience like?
NC: It was insane – just crazy. It was the biggest performance I had ever done. And because I really have grown up in L.A. watching these artists perform, it was so amazing to perform on the same stage as them. I’ve only been to the Forum a few times, and last time I was there to see Ariana Grande. So it was so cool to watch another artist perform and then be back in the same place performing myself. And to be there with Labrinth, one of my best friends in the entire world… I was so nervous, so it was amazing to be able to look over and see him there, and then I looked over and saw my entire family, my manager, my record label – they were all there supporting me.
You had your Coachella debut this year – how did you like the festival experience?
NC: Last year at Coachella I was sitting watching one of the headliners with my team, and one of them was like “It’s so crowded, I don’t know if I’m going to come back next year.” And I said, “Let’s only come back next year if I’m performing.” So then I was so lucky to meet Marshmello, and he asked if I wanted to do Coachella, and I was like “Hell yeah, I’m totally there.” The crowd is totally electric when you’re on the stage at Coachella.
Your debut single 'Make Me (Cry)' maintained its place on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and has had a lot of success. What’s the story behind the song?
NC: Labrinth and I wrote the song in May, we met in the studio and we clicked right away. He had this idea, but didn’t want to share it yet. So we both took some time to write our own stuff and then he shared the main chorus and I was like “yes, I love it.” We wrote the song by 3 p.m. and finished recording it by midnight. I knew it would get extra attention because it was my very first song to reach the public. But I’m super grateful for the love people have shown me since it came out.
Performing isn’t just about singing, but about dancing, too. How comfortable are you with that aspect of your job?
NC: I would totally be down for working with a choreographer if it were at an awards show or something like that. But I don’t think that’s what I need right now. I’m trying to make it all about the music. Right now I have routines that I came up with myself for when I perform, so I’m used to doing specific moves with certain words.
How are you able to carve out your own identity and reputation separate from your sister, Miley?
NC: I’m so proud that Miley is my big sister, and to be able to go to these big radio shows and hang out with her. Of course no one wants to be compared to another person. But it’s like, if a person can only see me for my sister, then that’s really their problem.
Has Miley been a big supporter of your career so far?
NC: Absolutely. We’ll always be each other’s teammates, off on the sidelines rooting for each other.
Are there any Noah, Miley and Billy Ray songs in the works?
NC: I have recorded a song that my dad wrote for me. He sent it to me and was like “what do you think of this?” And I said I’m so in love with it, can I record it?
You probably didn’t have a typical upbringing – did a lot of it revolve around your family member’s careers?
NC: It was more my dad’s career because he was always on the road. But moving to L.A. for his career was the biggest blessing I think. I was a horseback rider for a number of years, so I may not have ever gone into music if I hadn’t been in L.A. But L.A. can be tough, and it’s not an easy place to find real friends.
Photography by Benjo Arwas
Styling by Melissa Triber
Style Assistant: Emily Del Giudice
Hair by Chelsea Gehr
Makeup by Carina Tafulu
Written by Kai Oliver-Kurtin