ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

HOW’S LIFE? “It’s been so crazy! Now that I have a day off, I don’t know what to do with my­self. I’m like, ‘I guess I’ll just go sit on my couch for three hours.’” DO YOU NOT LIKE BE­ING ALONE? “I’ve been so busy that I’ve got­ten used to hav­ing a sched­ule, so when I’m at home, I start putting things in my diary like ‘I’m go­ing to turn the wash­ing ma­chine on at this time.’ But it’s ac­tu­ally nice to have a mo­ment to chill and re­flect on ev­ery­thing that’s been hap­pen­ing.” HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR “BRAND” AS A NEW POP ARTIST AR­RIV­ING

ON THE SCENE? “In a way... When I started writ­ing mu­sic, it was all very au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal and I was writ­ing just for me. And then when I started re­leas­ing mu­sic and peo­ple came up to me and said ‘Your song made me feel a cer­tain way and thank you for that,’ I was no longer writ­ing just for me; I was also writ­ing for my fans. If I’m able to do some­thing that is so ther­a­peu­tic for me and then make some­one else feel safe or em­pow­ered or just es­cape from re­al­ity for a tiny bit of time...that’s what I’m here for. I want to show peo­ple that we all go through the same things, be­cause some­times an artist can seem like a hy­brid, not a real per­son. I’m just like you, but I have the op­por­tu­nity to get it out through mu­sic.”

HAS POP AL­WAYS BEEN YOUR THING? “Pop is my first love; grow­ing up, I lis­tened to ev­ery­one from Nelly Fur­tado to Des­tiny’s Child to Christina Aguil­era. I moved to Kosovo when I was 11, and ev­ery­one there lis­tened to hip hop so I fell in love with 50 Cent and Snoop Dog—al­though I guess 50 Cent is still fuck­ing pop. The first show I ever went to was Method Man and Red­man. I would say now that my mu­sic is those two things along­side each other. I’m J. Cole and Pink put to­gether. I’ve got pop pro­duc­tion but with the hon­esty and truth­ful­ness and flow of hip hop.” IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE A VERY CLEAR IDEA OF WHO YOU ARE AS AN ARTIST. “There have been op­por­tu­ni­ties where I was of­fered fea­tures and I was like, ‘I know this is a great song and it will po­ten­tially be a mas­sive hit, but it’s not for me.’ I don’t want to take it for the sake of it be­cause I feel like I’ve worked so hard to get across who I am as an artist.” HOW DO YOU DE­CIDE WHETHER IT’S FOR YOU OR NOT? “Lyri­cally it has to make sense to me. It has to be a song that I feel I could have writ­ten.” ONCE THE AL­BUM’S OUT, WHAT’S NEXT? “World dom­i­na­tion! [Laughs] I want to see the venues grow; I want to go to more places I haven’t been to. I want to keep re­leas­ing al­bums. I want to be on my eighth fuck­ing al­bum like Ri­hanna. She’s just do­ing what­ever the fuck she wants and it’s amaz­ing. You know what I mean? I’m just en­joy­ing this so much, and I hope it never stops.” h

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