Interview: Noah Cyrus On Her New EP, 'The End Of Everything' NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to the singer-songwriter about stepping out from under her family's shadow, the end of the universe and the influence of her grandfather's gospel music on her songs.

Noah Cyrus On Growing Up In Public And 'The End Of Everything'

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Singer-songwriter Noah Cyrus wants you to know that you're not alone in feeling alone. Her new album blends the spirit of classic country music with the sensibilities of today's pop.


NOAH CYRUS: (Singing) Everyone you love is going to die. But, darling, so is everything. Don't cry.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's called "The End of Everything," which feels, I've got to say, like a good title for this moment.


CYRUS: (Singing) And there might not be a sadder thing than watching Saturn lose her rings and black holes slowly dancing in the dark.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Noah Cyrus joins us now from her home in Los Angeles.


CYRUS: Hey. How are you doing?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm doing. How are you doing?

CYRUS: Honestly, same, you know? I think before we just hopped on this call, we were just saying there's really nothing else to talk about but quarantine. But I'm good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So tell me the story about the name - "The End Of Everything."

CYRUS: I had seen a video. It's called "A Timelapse Of The Future" (ph) by John Boswell. It shows you the stars blinking out and the universe going dark, and Saturn's rings will one day disappear. And the universe will all one day come down to two black holes that'll dance together. And I started crying - like, man. You know, my mom is my best friend. And I was, like, my time with her and my family is so limited. And that hit my heart so heavy.


CYRUS: (Singing) It's a song that we were born to sing about the end of everything until it all goes up in one last spark.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Throughout this, you sing about feeling separated from your family and your friends, going through this dark period. Let's listen to "Lonely."


CYRUS: (Singing) I don't have a romantic life. And everyone's dying, so I keep on trying to make 'em proud before they are gone. But can't someone help me? Oh, please, someone, help me. I don't care, anyone, anything, 'cause I'm so sick of being so lonely. Miss all my family.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was happening in your life when you wrote this?

CYRUS: I had just come off of tour, and I had just gone through a very, very public breakup. And I also - I struggle with depression and anxiety, and I have since I was very young. And I also have suffered from body and face dysmorphia. I just could not look in the mirror.

And my eyes would water, and I would cry, and I'd tell my mom how much I hate myself and how ugly I feel and how I just feel like this speck in the universe that didn't matter and that the universe didn't care to hear from me. They didn't care what I had to say. They didn't want me here. That's how I felt.

And I've learned how to control that. But for a while, you know, it's hard because a lot of people around me tell me not to let the public and their view weigh in on my life.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we should mention at this point that your sister's, of course, Miley Cyrus, and your dad is also incredibly famous. You come from a famous family.

CYRUS: You know, that was - as many pros as that comes with, as the public sees, there's a lot of cons that come with that. I was to the public eye Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter and Miley Cyrus's little sister. And that hurt me. I felt as if I'd lost my own identity.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Your music has a lot of different influences, but it also pulls a lot from religious tradition, like the heavy choral chants in "Ghost." Let's listen.


CYRUS: (Singing) Why don't we kill the lights? I'm no good at hiding underneath a sea of tears. Flood, pouring through my eyes. I can't even close 'em, I can't even see you clear.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Can you talk a little bit about the religious ideas and why including them was important to you?

CYRUS: Yeah. I - honestly, my grandfather was in the Crownsmen quartet in Kentucky. It was a gospel group, and gospel music had been such a big part of my life. Listening to Pappy's (ph) music, you know, there were harmonies - always so many harmonies. And there's something about harmonies that are so beautifully haunting.


CYRUS: (Singing) I'm staring at a ghost.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What do you want people to take away from this album? What do you want people to know about you, Noah?

CYRUS: I would say, you know, you really get a glimpse of, like, the inside of, like, who I am and stuff that I've gone through and just how deep of a thinker I am and depth of things like the universe, you know? I think of things kind of further than, like, what's beyond the surface. Like, well, why are we here or how are we here? And it just all blows my mind. And that's the kind of person I am. I just - I wonder so much. And - I don't know. And this EP is just really kind of just a glimpse inside of me.


CYRUS: (Singing) They say, you should smile more. Darling, show your eyes more. Aren't you satisfied?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Noah Cyrus talking about her new EP, "The End Of Everything." You can find it on all music streaming platforms. Thank you very much.

CYRUS: Thank you.

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