December 1, 2021

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There’s Freedom in Rock That I Wish for All Genres


Rock has been making its way back into the mainstream lately, especially because some popular artists have been infusing their music with rock elements. Miley Cyrus is one of those artists, and she believes there is a freedom that rock ‘n’ roll has that other genres are lacking

Cyrus’ latest album Plastic Hearts was released this past November, and it reached No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums chart. It features collaborations with rockers such as Joan Jett and Billy Idol, who’ve both been major influences for her throughout her life.

The singer was featured as the latest guest on the Spotify podcast Rock This With Allison Hagendorf, and she explained that she didn’t grow up listening to a particular genre or trying to make a particular style of music.

“‘Pop’ is short for popular. And when I was a kid and I would listen to pop radio on my way to school every single day, it was everything. It was country music, it was David Bowie, it was the Rolling Stones, the Beatles. Those are big pop songs — those are big, mainstream, popular songs,” she reflected.

“And I think now in 2021, when you think of pop music, you don’t think of the word ‘genuine’ or ‘authentic.’ You think of ‘formulaic’ or ‘strategic’ or, you even heard about the formula, especially as a songwriter. I mean there are producers and writers that write music off of a formula that they feel that works, and that’s just not the way that I wrote Plastic Hearts,” the vocalist admitted.

“There are those calculations, but I don’t follow those structures.”

Throughout the interview, Cyrus repeated that she’s happy to see that music playlists and other related means of music consumption are starting to be curated based off of a mood now more than a genre. However, she does have her own definition as to what rock ‘n’ roll really means.

“Rebellion, and I feel that it’s confrontational,” she declared. “I feel that there’s a freedom in rock ‘n’ roll music that I wish for every genre, and I wish for my own… Rock ‘n’ roll is a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle choice, it’s not taking ‘no’ for an answer, and that’s something that I’ve learned from a lot of these females, like Joan.”

“I would say that’s what rock and roll used to represent is crossing the line. I think now it’s about erasing it.”

Listen to the full podcast episode below.

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