At 15 years old, Nashville pop singer GAYLE is tackling all the issues ingrained into the large group of youths who fall into the category of “Generation Z.” As a followup to “dumbass,” she’s exclusively premiering her lyrically vulnerable music video for “z” with AltPress.
Online, young people are poked and prodded through memes and jokes. The young artist harnessed these words and turned it into a mesmerizing ode, offering a strong narrative and powerful voice to Gen Z.
You can watch her green-centric and electrifying music video as well as check out the full story behind her track and writing process below.
You write about many vulnerable life experiences. How does putting that into your music help you as an artist and a person?
My biggest pet peeve is when someone tries to decide my feelings for me, and I find I can fully explain my emotions when I write them down. I know exactly how I’m feeling when I’m writing a song, and no one can tell me otherwise. It’s extremely empowering and therapeutic.
As a young person who writes about those types of experiences, do people ever doubt you because of your age? How do you overcome that, if so?
I find I’m more likely to receive discouragement to write about certain topics because of my age. I occasionally receive criticism by having sexual references in my songs, but I feel it’s important to talk about, so I’ve learned to ignore it.
Tell us the story behind “z.” Which personal experiences helped shape the song, if any?
Funny enough, Twitter and the meme culture against Gen Z is what really inspired the song. Of course, I’ve dealt with drama inside friend groups which helped shape the song, but honestly, I owe quite a bit of the inspiration to Twitter.
In the music video, you go through a variety of scenes with spectacular color schemes. Where did you draw inspiration for the music video visuals?
When I write a song, I almost immediately associate a color with it. “z” was green from the beginning for me, so I always wanted some aspect of the color in every scene. The whispering in the ear scene was inspired from the first verse, and I knew I wanted that to be a video visual, too.
How are you staying creatively in tune with both yourself and listeners during this period of self-isolation?
For the first four years in Nashville, I just wrote on guitar, so I’m just reverting back to that. I’m currently quarantining with two of my favorite co-writers, so that’s been helpful, too.
What can listeners expect this year? What do you hope to accomplish in 2020?
Especially now, it’s hard to know what performing is going to look like this year, but I do know that I’m going to be releasing more music. I’m going to be talking more about personal relationships and experiences that I’ve had with people and really experimenting with production style.