Artist Interview: Rising Artist Spritely Shares Her Thoughts And Her New Video

We have dug the tunes from Spritely for awhile. The product of the music program at The University of Southern California, she is able to make pop tunes with a high level of intelligence and heart. Her website calls her brand of artistry “emo music, grown up” with mixes of electro and indie rock for good measure. We got the opportunity to speak with the rising artist as well as a special bonus – the release of the brand new (like, today) video for her single “Miles”. She has some cool things in store for the new year. Check it out below.

Tell us about Miles. What was the process of writing it and what’s the meaning behind it? 

I wrote “Miles” for a friend who had fallen into a particularly intense bout of major depression. Overnight, I saw a bright person shatter: her eyes wouldn’t focus, she could barely communicate, and all that she did say was terrifying and cryptic. She alluded at ending her life, and I knew she wasn’t kidding. So I sat on her bed for a day and watched her sleep. Once I had expended all methods of trying to get through to her, I turned to music and wrote this song out of desperation for her to see the love around her and her value in this world. Lo and behold, playing her the song seemed to be the first step in coaxing her out of that panic state.   That fateful weekend (which was just one particularly bad chapter of the ongoing battle of depression) had shattered my very naive ideas about happiness, vulnerability, and the human condition; but in that broken space, I was blessed with a bond of friendship that knew no boundaries. I was also given the courage to take a deep look at myself and recognize that I, too, needed help. For such a long time I thought I wasn’t sad enough to deserve medication or therapy, but seeing my best friend break down like that showed me how good us humans can be at hiding our problems from the world and ourselves. My mission in talking about this so openly is to show people how prevalent the issue of mental illness is, and hopefully make it easier to ask for help.
Who are your biggest influences as an artist? 
Death Cab Death Cab Death Cab!! Ben Gibbard’s lyrics combined with their chill emo pop-rock arrangements make my heart siiing. 
Growing up though, my main influences were an interesting mix of emo, pop, musical theatre, classic rock (Zeppelin and Pink Floyd) and post-rock (Sigur Ros). 
If you could play a show with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be? Why? 
Death Cab (see above) and Jonsi. His orchestra-tribal music and whimsical-woodsey aesthetic draws me so vividly into another world. It’s enchanting and breathtaking and such a blessed escape from reality. I would love to share that stage. 
How did you come up with the name Spritely? What’s the meaning behind it? 
Growing up, I was always lazy about music because I thought it was an unattainable dream. I was also physically lazy, and never thought I had it in me to be a salad-eating gym-goer. Throughout freshman year of college (as a popular music major), I slowly realized “Oh shit. I’m a musician. This is really happening,” and spent the year holed up in practice rooms, writing a studying. That following summer, I did a 180 and completely transformed my physical health. The word “sprightly” kept popping in my head to describe how amazing I felt—light, buoyant, optimistic, and ready for a new chapter in life. I think that physical transformation was the embodiment of a creative/spiritual/identity breakthrough, and “sprightly” was the motto throughout. It took me a few months to realize it, but once I considered “spritely” as a potential artist name, it was a clear go. 
 

Where do you gather inspiration as a songwriter? 

My life, surprise surprise! I am a hopeless (& dramatic and tragic) romantic, so many of my songs stem from that kind of thing. But at some point I started to realize that all my ‘heartache’ came down to a sense of existential loneliness, and thus began the path of spiritual/self-discovery that now dominates a lot of my writing. I still write about love and my experiences, but from more of an existential perspective: why are we lonely? Why do we hurt? What is God?

 

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing? 

I was oh-so-close to going to college for communications, because that’s what my older sisters did and it seemed to be the responsible choice. I’d probably have graduated early, moved to Manhattan to be with my sisters, and snagged a quasi-creative 9-5 job at some company. I initially want to say that I would be miserable, but I think happiness is relative; without having seen and lived this musical world out here in LA, I probably would have been okay. However, I would not be thriving. 

 

What made you get into music? Why did you want to become an artist? 

I don’t know where the love of singing came from—it seems like I knew on some instinctual level from the day I became conscious/realized I was a human. The first distinct memory I have of expressing it was when I demanded that my mom to “get me an agent” so I could be Annie on broadway (which of course didn’t happen). But I knew that I wanted to “be a singer” years before that.  

 

How would you describe your sound? 

Catchy melodies over existential-love lyrics and angsty pop-rock arrangements. Really expressive vocal performance, big builds, wall-of-sound, lots of cathartic release. Boom. 

 

How did you come to find that sound? 

When I first started playing with a band I had absolutely no idea how to describe what was in my head, and I was terrible at giving song references. After years of them (and me) trying to figure out what I meant by “broken” or “floaty” or “grooving”, we developed the sound. As I started working one-on-one with producers, their tastes helped refine the sound even more. It’s constantly evolving. 

 

What are you working on musically right now? 

I am working on a big EP with my producer and best buddy Michael Armstrong. I’ve never been this stoked about music before—this is going to majorly expand the definition of Spritely, and I think people are really gonna like it. 

 

What can your fans expect from Spritely in the next year or so? 

See above, wink wink 😉

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