Money is a mindset to UPSAHL.
The 21-year-old breakout alt-pop artist, whose hit single “Drugs” skyrocketed the singer-songwriter to viral stardom in 2019, is feelin’ cash-money—without or without actual coin—in her fiery music video for new single “MoneyOnMyMind.”
The clip, which was inspired in part by 1999 cult classic Fight Club, sees the performer bathing in stacks of cash as she goes back and forth with a doppelgänger, who may or may not be a figment of her imagination.
But the attitude-laden song, which swaggers forth with a punchy guitar riff and all the confidence of a criminal mastermind post-heist, packs a double meaning.
“I wanted this song to feel like a glow up,” UPSAHL shares with PopCrush. “After a weak moment, the bounce back is always the most empowering thing for me, so I wanted this song to capture the power of that energy. I don’t mean money as a literal thing in the song; it’s all about the mindset and feeling money as f–k.”
Below, UPSAHL dishes on how Fight Club inspired her new music video, what it was like going skydiving for the first time and how she’d spend her money if she were the richest person in the world.
What was your vision for the music video?
The director, George, and I based the whole video off of the aesthetic of Fight Club. In quarantine, I’ve been catching up on all the classic movies that I’ve never seen, and when I saw Fight Club for the first time a few months ago, my mind was blown. Since the song is about the mindset of money, I wanted to play two different characters: me and my ego, a.k.a. “The Mindset.” This draws a lot of parallels between The Narrator and Tyler Durden in Fight Club, so we definitely drew inspiration from those characters.
If you were the richest person in the world, how would you spend your money?
I recently read that Jeff Bezos has enough money to cut every single person in the U.S. a check for $572.04, so maybe I would do that. And buy some sushi.
Your dad toured on the road even before you were born, so music runs in your blood. What artist or album that he introduced you to when you were little really changed your life, or influenced you the most?
I’m pretty sure Weezer was being played in the delivery room when I was born, so naturally, they were my favorite band growing up. My dad taught me how to play some Weezer songs on guitar, and we would always jam it in the car, and you can definitely hear that influence in the music I make today.
“Drugs” currently has more than 22 million streams on Spotify. What was your first thought when that single started blowing up for you?
F– yeah! “Drugs” was the first song I wrote that I actually felt expressed a big part of me, so when people started to stream it and care about it, it meant the world.
A few days ago, you tweeted that you “started today by jumping out of a plane…” So, what’s the story, and what was that experience like?
I promised my little sister that we would go skydiving on her 18th birthday, so we started the day by jumping out of a plane. Highly recommended. I think I want to get my skydiving license now.
What songs on your personal playlist have been getting you through quarantine and keeping you sane?
Frank Ocean, Radiohead and SZA have been the soundtrack to my quarantine. “White Ferrari” by Frank, “High and Dry” by Radiohead and “20 Something” by SZA are the best driving-late-at-night-down-PCH songs.
You’re stranded on a desert island and only have one CD with you to listen to until you’re rescued. What album is it and why?
An album that I don’t think will ever get old is SZA’s Ctrl. I could listen to it on repeat and still love every second of it.
What do you miss most about performing in front of a live crowd?
I miss the connection with fans. Keeping in touch with everyone over social media is amazing, but there’s nothing like being in a room, dancing with people to your music and then getting to hang with everyone afterwards. I can’t wait until touring is allowed and safe again.
You’re currently working on your upcoming EP. What’s one thing you can tease about it?
The EP is the most vulnerable I’ve gotten from a songwriting perspective. I feel like everyone will be able to find a part of them in at least one of the songs!