Last updated on February 6th, 2024 at 08:44 am
Music In Minnesota: Tell us about the creation process of this project.
Yurow: So I’d written the songs for “Mischievous” everywhere-from high school at 16 to the University of Hawaii in college to the 720 LA Metro at 26-but I never imagined I would record it during a pandemic. I had moved to LA alone not too long before COVID hit, and my day job was working in medicine in Santa Monica.
It was both terrifying and exhausting trying not to catch the virus from my patients, and the economy became so wildly unstable I was also petrified of being out of work-which is so ironic to hear a nurse say during a pandemic but it’s true. Everyone I was close to there had left the city, and I just remember the God-awful feeling of gloom and loneliness.
I remember taking the bus two hours each way every Saturday to my producer’s (2x Grammy Nominee Natalia Bortolotti) studio to escape and record because I lost my car in a head-on collision.
So with all of that as a backdrop, here I am desperately trying to move forward in my life and in my music in a time where it felt like the universe was trying to pull us back into the dark ages. I had these maybe two hours of relief, where my producer and I would sit down and record and plan and make music, and it was such a godsend. It was truly a silver lining during one of the most difficult times of my life. This was where “Mischievous” was born.
MIM: What’s it like growing up in Hawaii?
Yurow: Growing up in Hawaii is such a unique experience. We were originally another country, but were illegally overthrown in 1893 and there’s still a lot of anger and resentment surrounding it, and I grew up around that. It definitely gave me a very nuanced perspective about the world and my place in it. I didn’t grow up in typical America-I was often the only blonde, fair skinned person in the room-and that’s how I learned to navigate the world.
Growing up so far away from the mainstream music world I’ve definitely felt like I’ve had to fight harder to get to where I am. You can’t just get in a car and drive to a lot of these opportunities. And culture shock was a very real thing, too-people on the mainland (and LA especially) aren’t always as friendly, or superstitious, or laid back. In some ways it really felt like living in another country. A lot of the best traits I got from Hawaii are on display in my single “Cuz I’m in Luv” – grace, being down-to-earth, even my ‘ukulele!-but it’s also definitely made me a fighter.
MIM: What does this project mean to you?
Yurow: Everything. I’ve always wanted an album I could call my own since I was 10 when I started writing music, but there were so many times life just felt too hard, and the project just felt like it would never be finished, so to hold the finished product in my hands-finally-on the other side of everything, feels like a miracle.
MIM: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Yurow: I think, handsdown, my biggest musical influence has to be Avril Lavigne. I remember when she first came on the scene and she was the first artist to really capture my attention.
I could only get so into pop princesses and boy bands, but she seemed to really stand for something, and I loved that. She taught me how to write. She inspired me to use lyrics to tell my own story, with the honest and raw way that she told hers.
MIM: What inspires you to create music?
Yurow: Honestly, I’m usually upset in some sort of way. Not always, but for the most part I feel like I have something to say that maybe wouldn’t be socially acceptable to blurt out. The best way I can describe it, is almost like pleading your case before a judge-and the world is your jury of public opinion and you have maybe those three minutes of song to just say your piece. Writing music is my way of getting out what I often want to say, but feel like I can’t.
MIM: What is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self, or anyone who is pursuing a career in music?
Yurow: I wish I could go back and tell myself-and anyone really-not to take the rejections so hard. Because you’re gonna get a lot of them, so don’t waste your energy and just enjoy the ride.
My first real, soul-crushing rejection was after a showcase where a rep from Atlantic records had really shown interest and gotten my hopes up. And they didn’t even reject me. They just said they’d call and never did. But I was devastated. Which is awful because what happened to me is so typical in Hollywood.
I wish I could go back and tell myself that I would be fine, that I would have many more amazing opportunities, and to just dust myself off and enjoy.
MIM: What can listeners look forward to from you?
Yurow: Authenticity. Knowing that when you’re listening to me, you’re hearing my honest-to-god thoughts. I mean what I say and I say what I mean, and that’s all I ever want to be. I have written hundreds of songs that I can’t wait to breathe life into and share, and a lot of them are really snarky and angsty and tongue-in-cheek. Mischievous, really.