What It’s Like to Have a Record Deal and Justin Bieber For a Fan at Age 14

Do you write a lot of your music from experience? Or is it more imagination?

Half and half. Now it’s more experience. [When] I started off, I really never had a story to tell. I had to kind of make up stories and fit it into the song vibe. But I also think that’s what helped me get good at music and other aspects like writing, too. I think it’s good to do a little bit of storytelling. I’ve been writing stories since I was super little.

When you were in L.A., you did your first live performance at Emo Nite. What was that like?

Leading up to it, I was super scared. We did a lot of rehearsing and stuff. And I was just super scared of the people, but I think the second I stepped on stage everything just numbed out. I don’t know why. I think I was so nervous that I was just not nervous anymore. I just went out there and acted like I was performing in my living room in front of my mom, like I did when I was 3. And apparently I killed it. I don’t even remember. I went back and watched some of the videos, but I’m still kind of scared of what I did.

That seems pretty intimidating.

I didn’t really know how [concerts] worked. I mean, I’d watch them on YouTube and stuff but I didn’t know if people really had to go crazy like that.

You have a new single out now, “I Will Wait.” How do you feel it compares with what you released previously?

It has a little euphoric type vibe to it. It’s definitely different than a lot of stuff I’ve been making recently. Honestly all the music I have out was made like last winter so I’m glad to put out some music since I’ve grown.

On one of your most recent songs, “Too Fast,” you collaborated with another teenaged artist, Matt Ox. Did you guys get to know each other very well?

He hit me up last March. I already had a song done and he was like, “Send me an open. I really like your music.” We’ve just been talking a lot since then. He’s probably one of my better friends in the industry. My mom and his mom are really good friends. Super cool.

There’s a whole crop of other artists, like Olivia Rodrigo for instance, who’ve gotten famous as teenagers. Have you learned any lessons from their examples?

I think I’ve learned a lot from their mistakes — more [from artists] on the underground, not like Olivia Rodrigo. Olivia’s killed it. I love Olivia. Shout out Olivia. But I’m learning from their mistakes. Another thing that helped me is they’re also getting hate. I’m not the only person in the world who’s getting hate, so that helps me out a lot.

So you just started high school. Is that correct?

Oh, I’m homeschooled [now]. I just became homeschooled. It was really just a problem of trying to find a school to go to and I was running out of time. So I was just like, I might as well home school.

Is that a hard transition to have to make?

I’ve been more bored. I definitely kind of miss it. It would be super cool to be making music and like, oh, guys, I’m missing Friday because I have a show, and just come back to school the next Monday. That’d be super cool. I know a bunch of my friends, like Baby Santana, are in real-life school. It seems like it’s pretty cool for them.

Being as young as you are, are you cognizant of, say, doing too much too soon and not letting things get too carried away?

Yeah, I’m definitely taking breaks and just having fun. That’s a thing I’ve always been scared of, getting burned out. I haven’t gotten burned out yet. But I know that happens to a lot of younger artists and I really don’t want that to happen to me. I want to make music for as long as I can live.

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