Hey Cyprss! So excited to be chatting with you! You just released your new single “Don’t Deserve This Love”! How excited are you that this song is finally out into the world?
Oh my gosh I am so excited! I have been holding onto this baby for a while: I initially wrote it years ago (I think 2016/2017) and have been revising it ever since. For it to be a finished product in all its fullness is just way too cool!
What do you hope your supporters will think of the new song?
I hope their first instinct is to move along with it because it’s definitely the most danceable song I’ve released thus far. But I also hope they catch the deeper meaning and are encouraged by the lyrics. Maybe this is just because I’m a songwriter, but whenever I hear a song for the first time I pay special attention to the words to see if there’s any depth to them. I hope people do that to my song, and I don’t think they’ll be disappointed when they do.
Can you tell us the backstory of this song? Is it from a real experience?
Don’t Deserve This Love began in the same life season that birthed “Underworld”. Even though the songs are sonically so different, they both came from a place of desperation. The ugly truth is that I wrote “Don’t Deserve This Love” after I had manipulated my friends, lied to my family, and turned from my faith. I was consumed by anxiety and self-hatred. And yet, there was this resounding truth that broke through all my negative emotions: I am still loved. I couldn’t even love myself in that moment, but I knew there was Someone who loved me and was there with me. That kind of hope brought me through some really dark nights. That kind of hope keeps me going today. That kind of hope makes me want to dance along to a funky bass line!
You also have more music coming out in 2020!! Can you spill any details on what your supporters can look forward to from you the rest of the year?!?
Oh, I am so pumped for the rest of this year! I have a single in the pipeline for November that is also a total bop. It reflects on the chaos of this year and releases the need for control in a fun, Bruno-Mars-meets-Katy-Perry-
Do you have a creative say in your music? Did you help write all your new songs?
I do and I did! My most recent single, Dive, was a co-write with Matt Sperrazza. Before that, all my songs were solo writes. I typically reach out to friends or my little sister, Alivia, for opinions on what songs will become releases, but ultimately it’s up to me to make the decision. I like that because I think I know my songs best, and I try to be super intentional with the message I’m sending out into the world when I release a song.
What’s it feel like to be releasing your own original music?
Sometimes it feels scary. Songs are so vulnerable, and what if people don’t like them? When I release my own original song, I’m releasing a piece of myself. But it’s also very exciting because I think the vulnerability and depth can make the greatest impact on a listener.
Will there be a music video for your new single? If so, can you tell us about the concept of the video
I had an idea for a music video, but unfortunately the craziness of 2020 threw a wrench in that plan. I’m hoping to get a video out for one of the upcoming releases, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Because what will happen tomorrow? Who knows.
What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your music career?
I’ll start with cons. Financially, every step of the music release costs money (except for writing). I don’t yet make a large enough profit from music to break even, so I work full-time to survive and to cover costs of production, marketing, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. I have a separate bank account dedicated just to CYPRSS things and trust me… I could probably buy a three-year’s supply of Chipotle burritos with all the money I’ve spent on my artistry. Another con: Emotionally, it can be really hard to stay focused and motivated when I deal with mental health issues. I want to give up… often. It’s not like high school, where you tell yourself just make it to finals and you have a timeline and deadlines and an end in sight. (To those of you in high school, yes, there is an end in sight and you will make it.) With music, there’s no telling how long it will take to grow a fanbase, gain financial traction, or get the attention of a record label. There’s no five-step plan for becoming a successful artist. And that can be frustrating and exhausting.
But nine times out of ten, when I’m about to throw in the towel, someone will message me on Instagram or comment on my Youtube telling me how much my music means to them. That helps me realize that this music has purpose. It’s not just noise on the radio. It’s not just a hobby like skiing or underwater basket weaving. It’s not just something I can give to someone else to carry on. This music is unique to me, and I feel the weight and the honor of being the only human bean who can deliver my songs to the world. That gives me purpose. It gives my struggles and my depression value. If going through my Hell can inspire a song that helps someone else survive theirs, it’s worth it.
Is there anyone you want to thank that’s helped you get to where you are today?
I would like to thank my mom for giving birth to me, my little sister for memorizing the really lame songs I wrote as a preteen, my roommate Anna Claire for encouraging me to stop and breathe every once in a while, and my friend Kyle for his incredible graphic design work and for getting married so I could have an excuse to go to Seattle. I would also like to thank Autumn Johnson for working tirelessly to make connections with cool blogs like Teen Music Insider. And finally, I want to thank my friends Jaci, Jess, Nic, and Nathan for their love, support, and encouragement through my really dark moments. And third, of course, thank you to all my fans and supporters because without you guys I would just be releasing music into the abyss and I also probably wouldn’t sell any merch. Except maybe to my mom.
What do you think makes your fan community/fandom different from others?
They are strong beans.
How would you describe your fans? – what’s three words you would use to describe your fans?
Resilient 2. Interactive 3. Beans
What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?
If someone is a fan of my music, they have probably faced some tough stuff because my lyrics are inspired by my struggles. So I want them to hear that there is hope, and even in the darkest, most painful circumstance, they can pull through and grow despite the adversity. I want them to know they are loved unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if they’re the nicest person or a self-bully: they are loved so, so deeply. And they are not alone.
Are you planning any IG Live shows to promote your new music?
That is not a bad idea. Let’s go live on Sunday!
What is it like performing in front of your fans? Are you excited to start performing your own music live!?!
IT IS THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER. I cannot wait to get back to doing live shows. Instagram, Youtube, it’s great and all but it doesn’t come close to the energy and adrenaline in a live room full of people who love and support me.
What do you want your supporters to know that you think is important?
Since this is my first release as CYPRSS, please know that I am a solo artist, but The Company is very much alive and well. And I always want you to be a part of my journey.
What’s something your fans don’t know about you?
They probably don’t know that I prefer to go barefoot (especially when performing), but I got tendonitis when I ran cross country and now I have to be careful because going barefoot for too many days starts to hurt.
What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?
What do your fans call themselves? And How did that fanbase name catch on?
They are The Company because that’s what I named them. I was formerly known as Cypress & Co., with The Company being anyone who supports me in my music journey. They are also human beans. I don’t know if they call themselves beans but I really hope so.
Many of your supporters are starstruck when they meet you! Have you ever been starstruck?
I am such a huge fan of Twenty One Pilots that sometimes I get starstruck just imagining how I would react if Tyler Joseph walked into the room. I honestly don’t think I would be able to formulate a cohesive sentence.
What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?
If you see me in public, please run up to me, don’t say anything, tap my foot three times with your right index finger, and then run away and I’ll chase you and we’ll play tag. If we are in a library, we will do it very quietly.
Is there anyone in the music business you are dying to meet?
Aside from Tyler, I would LOVE to meet FINNEAS because I think he is such a genius producer and songwriter. He’s also adorable.
What’s your current go-to song?
Confession time: I listen to more podcasts than music so I can’t say I have a go-to song. If I’m not listening to a podcast or talking to someone on the phone, I’m probably driving in silence because someone stole my car radio.
Why do you think social media is so important for teen artists like yourself?
Okay, social media gets a lot of hate but it can actually be a really great way to connect an artist to a fan. It gives followers a way to engage with me personally, to get to know what my life is like off-stage. It’s like having paparazzi but only when I want to share my world with everyone. Also… lol I’m not a teenager anymore 🙁
What would you say is your biggest dream right now?
I have this dream where I am running, running, running, and then I start to fly. I can feel the wing muscles in my back flapping and pushing me high above my house. I feel heavy, but my wings are strong. It’s exhausting, but the view is worth it. And then I wake up and I can’t fly and that’s kind of disappointing.
Any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Thank you for receiving a piece of my heart in the form of my music. Thank you for listening, sharing, dancing, buying merch, commenting on posts, and everything else you do to encourage me. You actually have no idea how much that means to me.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions 🙂
Thanks for asking so many great questions! You’re awesome!