Let UPSAHL Make You Feel Badass

Let UPSAHL Make You Feel Badass

Let UPSAHL Make You Feel Badass

The empowered vocalist tells V about her songwriting process and her musical agenda.

The empowered vocalist tells V about her songwriting process and her musical agenda.

Text: Dylan Kelly

Music provides an unprecedented sensation of euphoria for recording artist UPSAHL, and it’s that potent emotion that drives her entire music-making process. There’s very few songs where I think damn, I wish I could be listening to that for the first time again. And that part when the chorus hit, I just felt so good,” the 21-year-old singer-songwriter explains. “That’s the reason I do music. I want to give that feeling that I love and crave so much with music to other people.” At the nexus of raw emotions and top-class vocals, UPSAHL harmoniously melds provocative lyricism with that same out-of-body effect that initially inspired her to press record. 

With top hits including “Drugs,” a song which discusses the taboo realities of nightlife, and “12345SEX,” a track that embraces sexuality in its most authentic form, UPSAHL is unafraid to provoke controversy. “I think talking about shit that’s honest and being vulnerable in that way is a really empowering thing to do,” she says. “I just try to embrace it.” Shedding light on financial hardship in “All My Friends Are Rich” and exposing the emotional turmoil in her love life on “Wish You’d Make Me Cry,” the open-book singer-songwriter truly leaves it all on the table. 

UPSAHL’s musical repertoire is a dissection of her everyday life. The further you listen, the deeper you delve into her psyche, eventually to a level where you feel like you know the girl. “All my songs are me venting or talking about my life,” she explains. “Normally, when I walk into a session, we’ll just talk about how I’m feeling that day or what I’ve been going through…And then the song happens organically.” Whether she’s craving a lover or struggling to pay her rent, UPSAHL crafts an unfiltered track out of her typical life experiences, ultimately resulting in a portfolio of highly relatable songs. 

On the nature of her fearless dialogue, UPSAHL reflects on her childhood. “I grew up in a very open household,” she says. “I was able to talk freely and ask my parents questions about whatever I wanted. I grew up in a very progressive way.” Given the privilege to explore her curiosity growing up, that same sense of inquisitive freedom translates into her music, and instead of fearing ridicule, UPSAHL embraces the idea that her songs are atypical. “When it becomes time to release a song, I realize like, oh shit, this might piss people off,” she explains. “But that fear that I have right before releasing a song is a cool feeling because it means it’s an important song to me.” 

Looking ahead at the future of her music and back at each of her empowered releases, UPSAHL shares a vivid goal with her melodic prowess: “I definitely want to make people feel badass when they’re listening to my music,” she says. “Whether it’s a song like ‘Drugs’ that makes you want to dance at a bar or if it’s ‘12345SEX’ that’s embracing sexuality or if it’s a sadder song, I think the vulnerability in that is just badass in itself.” Expressing an unmatched vulnerability in each of her tracks, UPSAHL exudes an infectious sense of confidence that provides an aura of empowerment for her listeners, one so strong that pressing replay becomes increasingly irresistible.  

Listen to Upsahl’s latest release “12345SEX,” below.

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