UPSAHL Unleashes Her Inner Fire Sign with “Antsy”

UPSAHL Unleashes Her Inner Fire Sign with “Antsy”

UPSAHL Unleashes Her Inner Fire Sign with “Antsy”

The 23-year-old musician chats about NYFW, her creative process, and her upcoming EP.

The 23-year-old musician chats about NYFW, her creative process, and her upcoming EP.

Text: Kala Herh

Sagittariuses are best known for their adaptability and flexibility. As a fire sign, they flourish during times of uncertainty, guided by their intuition and deep curiosity. And lucky for the burgeoning songstress UPSAHL, they also happen to be incredible storytellers, entertainers, and creatives. Inspired by the way astrology has shaped her into the person she is today, the musician dives into her birth sign in her new EP. Expect funny anecdotes, brutally honest confessions, and deep, existential revelations. 

Today, the artist releases “Antsy,” which provides a glimpse into her Sagittarius nature (for those wondering: UPSAHL’s Moon is in Pisces and Rising is in Libra). Between an acoustic track and intimate lyrics, the artist bears all and offers listeners an unfiltered look inside her mind–her thoughts, worries, and even fears. Here, she explores what it’s like to navigate a messy, complicated world of emotions. 

“I was so overwhelmed by everything and just walked into my session like, ‘Guys, I’m so sorry. My brain is so scattered and I’m feeling really antsy.’ And they were great songwriters so they were like, ‘Well, tell us what you’re antsy about?’ And that’s kind of how the song was born,” UPSAHL says, from Irving Farm coffee shop in New York City. The artist is in town for New York Fashion Week and you can certainly tell she’s excited to be here. And although she’s currently living in Los Angeles, she shares that she’s been toying around with the idea of moving for a while now. 

“Every time I visit, I tell myself to move here, and I never do, but I think it's getting closer to the time,” she laughs. 

With the track’s release, she teases a larger EP, which we can expect later this year. Every lyric, beat and visual provides a glimpse into UPSAHL’s fiery persona and pays homage to her star sign. And while she couldn’t share too much about the project, she did say every song represents a different personality trait that makes up who she is. 

“The EP is very much about owning your shit so I hope that rubs off on people,” she elaborates.  

You may already be familiar with UPSAHL’s work–back in 2020, the musician co-wrote Dua Lipa’s “Good In Bed” track. And since then, the singer has been coming into her own and is forging her own path ahead. Earlier this year, she released the explosive single, “Monica Lewinsky,” which even attracted the attention of Monica herself. By channeling her inner “stone-cold hot girl,” the musician is honing her voice and, with it, acts as an inspiration for many young artists. 

This single and accompanying project arrives just in time for the singer’s fall tour, which marks her first headlining run in North America, Australia, and Europe. The whole thing kicks off in Santa Ana on September 29th and will make its way through 31 cities (Chicago, Vancouver, Paris) before ending in London on November 24th. You can find more details about her tour here

Ahead of her latest project, we sat down with the artist to get insight into her artistic process and inspiration. 

V MAGAZINE: How’s your week been? How’s New York Fashion Week? 

UPSAHL: It's been fun. I got to meet with my label yesterday, and we had a little listening party, which was really fun. I'm about to go watch a show. I live for this time of year. I feel like for me, LA is such a slow pace of life, and then coming here during fashion week, I'm like, 'This is the energy I need.' The chaos is great. 

V: Would you ever move to New York? 

U: 100%. Every time I visit, I tell myself to move here, and I never do, but I think it's getting closer to the time.

V: Yeah, you have to get over here. So can you tell us about “Antsy,” where did you start with this project? 

U: It's funny because I've been touring so much in the last year that I haven't really had a lot of time in the studio. So I've just been kind of writing my EP in my free time–in between tours. I knew I wanted to have an EP ready by the end of the summer. And so I was like, 'Where do I feel the most creatively inspired?' And for me, for some reason, that's Nashville. I don't know why, but I always had these weird come-to-Jesus moments in Nashville. So I had a week in between tours and I got my ass to Nashville. Then, life was picking up again and I was spread so thin. At the time, I had this ongoing list of things about my life that I wanted to change and things that were stressing me out. I was so overwhelmed by everything and just walked into my session like, ‘Guys, I’m so sorry. My brain is so scattered and I’m feeling really antsy.’ And they were great songwriters so they were like, ‘Well, tell us what you’re antsy about?’ And that’s kind of how the song was born. It was just that day I was feeling not the best and wanted to write about it. 

V: So, how does your songwriting process usually work? 

U: It depends on the day because when I’m in LA or not on tour, I’m always in new sessions every day. But when ideas come, I just type them in my Notes app, so on my phone there’s just a long list of random ideas. So going into a session, I’ll just scroll through that list and see what sparks. I think I’m more of a lyrically driven writer, so I like to start with that–a concept and then base it all around that. 

V: Why “Antsy” to kick it all off and announce your upcoming EP? 

U: This EP is going to be very different from what I write sonically. I've never really put out a ballad before. And it's a very vulnerable, new kind of sound for me. So I thought, "Antsy" would be perfect because it has that energy. 

V: And can you talk about the inspiration and themes behind the EP? 

U: I’ve never really been into astrology until I moved to LA, but I’ve always felt like a very fiery person. I’m a Sagittarius, which is a fire sign and so it makes sense that I’ve felt this way the whole time. For the EP, each song represents a different personality trait or aspect of me that makes me who I am. And I think because of that, whoever listens, will be able to find little pieces of me throughout. But yeah, I'm really excited. 

V: What do you want to say with this upcoming project? 

U: This was the first time I wasn’t writing about a breakup or writing about someone else, I was just writing about me and my life. It was a super vulnerable experience for me but it was really fun. So I hope people listen to it and they can dance and fucking vibe to it. The EP is very much about owning your shit, so I hope that rubs off on people. 

V: I also read that you’re about to head on tour. What can people expect from a tour of yours? 

U: Very high energy, for sure. It’s kind of a roller coaster–there’s going to be some high highs and some intimate moments. I grew up listening to a lot of punk rock music, so it’s going to be a lot of jumping, dancing, and raging. And while my music isn’t super rock-inspired anymore, the energies are going to be there for sure. It’s definitely going to be a fun time. 

V: Do you have any specific pre-show rituals? 

U: Yeah, we listen to some hype music before, and I warm up for 30 minutes. I take a tequila shot with my band, and then we go on stage. That’s pretty much it. 

V: Why tequila? 

U: I’m normally a vodka martini girl, but before shows, I like tequila because it energizes me. 

V: Finally, what’s next for you? What are your long-term goals? 

U: Taking over [laughs]. I feel like everyone feels this way, no matter what you do, you’re always chasing one goal and then the next. It’s so rapid and exhausting because you’re like, “What’s the next thing?” And most of the time, you don’t even appreciate that five years ago, you would be dying to be where you are now. Something I’ve been working on in the past couple of years is remembering that music is my job. I get to do what I love every day, and yet it’s still the thing that stresses me out the most. I’m just trying to find gratitude in the fact that I get to do this every day. 

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