Q: Hi! “HAPPY” tackles personal frustrations, insecurities, overthinking, and ambition. What inspired you to address these themes in your music, and why do you think it’s important to discuss them?

A: The inspiration for this song came from my personal experience feeling frustrated, insecure and overthinking a lot, which in some cases is related to me being very ambitious. The song really talks about often getting too much in your head to the point where no matter what you do or accomplish, you just can’t see it and instead you still feel unhappy about yourself. I think it’s important to talk about it because a lot of young people experience these emotions in their 20s. I certainly do and have seen it happen among my friends. Making a song that authentically talks about these issues hopefully will make people feel that it’s ok to feel that way sometimes and that they’re not alone.

Q: Can you share a bit about the creative process behind “HAPPY”? How did you and Jake Tavill collaborate to bring this song to life?

A: We had a basic idea about where we’d want the song to go production-wise but I really think us being in the studio together and experimenting with various sounds, instruments and ideas has impacted the final sound of the song. “HAPPY” has a more classic R&B vibe than some of my other songs on the album. We invited our friend and drummer, Alex Quade to record live drums in the studio, and Jake also laid some piano on top (fun fact: the piano you can hear in the song is Jake’s 1898 Steinway Grand Piano with a beautiful tone). I really think it made the song sound much more vulnerable and emotional. 

Q: “HAPPY” is a duet featuring powerful and soothing vocals from both you and Jake. How did you decide on this dynamic vocal arrangement?

A: I originally wrote “HAPPY” for myself, but upon working with Jake on the production we decided to make it a duet. I thought that us both being artists in our 20s would elevate the song’s message and hopefully resonate with more people. The song layers a lot of vocal padding and harmonies behind the lead vocals, which often were improvised by both of us while recording the song. It really adds a lot more depth and emotion. I think our voices also naturally just blend pretty well so we didn’t really have to plan that much ahead of recording. We just went into the studio and recorded the whole song. 

Q: The song merges genres such as Singer-Songwriter, Soul Pop, Chill Pop, and R&B. What challenges did you face in blending these genres, and how did you overcome them?

A: My songwriting style naturally leans towards Pop R&B. Writing this song was an interesting experience because, as opposed to usually writing at the piano, “HAPPY” was one of the songs I wrote to a beat. I’m always very driven by melodies that come to my head as I’m writing a song, so the idea for “HAPPY” developed in the same way. My biggest challenge while working on this song was embracing the more organic and acoustic sound. I guess sometimes I’m so used to writing songs that lean towards modern Pop that hearing “HAPPY” for the first time in the studio was a bit of learning process, but in the end I ended up loving this song. It’s probably one of my favorite on the album! 🙂

Q: “HAPPY” includes classic acoustic drums played by Alex Quade. How do you feel this element contributes to the overall feel and message of the song?

A: The acoustic drums add a lot of authenticity and organic feeling to the song, in a way stripping it of all the filters, autotune and modern sound. I really love this for “HAPPY” given its message and vulnerability it takes to admit that you’re not happy with yourself despite a lot of amazing things happening in your life. With the classic acoustic drums, the song gets really personal.

Q: You have a sped-up version of “HAPPY” set to be released as well. What prompted you to create this version, and how does it differ from the original in terms of impact and reception?

A: I decided to release sped-up versions for 4 of my singles, including “HAPPY” seeing the popularity of sped-up sounds on social media. My main goal with these is to hopefully reach more people with both the original and sped up versions. Despite it being the same song, I still think the sped up version slightly alters the way the song can be received, it’s very catchy and makes the song more easily-digestible to a wider audience.  

Q: Your debut album “SHE” is mentioned as featuring warm synths, catchy rhythms, and captivating lyrics. How does “HAPPY” fit within the broader narrative or theme of the album?

A: My upcoming album, which is set to be released in June 2024 talks about my experience going through the ups and downs of my early 20s. There’s a lot of different feelings associated with one’s 20s – in my case so far it’s been a few years of both positive as well as negative emotions. I wrote a lot about some of my first heartbreaks, as well as struggling at times with handling my own ambition and expectations from myself. “HAPPY” fits into the latter category – it really describes something I’ve been going through personally and fighting with a lot over the last few years.

Q: With “HAPPY” being the second single off of “SHE”, what can listeners expect from the rest of the album in terms of musical direction and thematic content?

A: You can expect a lot of diversity in terms of sound. My first single “SHE” had a very strong Pop Alternative R&B influence, whereas “HAPPY” is more of a Pop Singer-Songwriter vibe. Other songs will range from Pop Dance to Pop R&B and even some influences from Trap and Rock. I’m very excited for it – it’s my debut album talking about my experience navigating my life and journey, living between NYC and London.

Q: You’ve expressed a passion for empowering women through your music and other ventures like FemZquared. How does “HAPPY” reflect your commitment to this cause?

A: I’d say “HAPPY” on its own aims to speak to both men and women as its message is pretty universal for both genders. My upcoming album SHE, on the other hand, definitely reflects my commitment to empowering women to embrace their own journey and narrative. Back in 2020, I started a digital community, FemZquared, that aims to empower Gen Z women through storytelling. The album is a continuation of that but from my perspective. I was very honest and vulnerable while writing it so it really is me embracing my own journey and narrative over the last few years. I really hope that SHE will inspire women to do the same and share their honest experience of being a woman in the 21st century. 

Q: As an artist living between NYC and London and having a diverse range of influences, how do your multicultural experiences shape your music, particularly songs like “HAPPY”?

A: Living between two international and multi-cultural cities like NYC and London truly means being surrounded by so many influences, cultures and sounds that impact my music taste. I love it because I truly love experimenting with music and drawing inspiration from various genres. I think it makes music interesting and evolve over time. I’d really love to continue progressing as an artist and making music that is innovative, inspiring and breakthrough. One artist that has always inspired me for many reasons was Beyonce – when I was younger I aspired to her in terms of her vocal and performative abilities. With age, she continued to inspire me beyond her musicianship skills and extending to her ability to constantly reinvent herself and make music that’s truly breakthrough. This level of musical genius is what I’m inspired by and aspire to one day pursue as well. Cities like NYC and London are the best place to gain inspiration to make such innovative ideas come to life!