HITS Daily Double


In making your album, what came easily and what was the hardest to deal with?
It took over a year to complete the album and in that year I was experiencing so much, the hardest part was picking what topics to write about. The melodies and production came easy, but choosing a topic and then writing about it was difficult.

What was the most key to your development between being an independent artist putting out mixtapes, to getting signed by a major label?
I work pretty much the same. I'm still independent. I run XO with my team but now I have Republic as my partner to help take the music to the next level. We worked very close with them on this project, it was a great collaboration.

Who played the biggest role in helping you define your sound for Beauty Behind The Madness, and what did they do for you?
Everybody's role was important. Daheala (producer) is the only one that helped start the album from the genesis and was there when for the finish as well. Illangelo (writer/producer) helped complete some of the songs near the end of the process and of course mixed and did some additional work. Stephan Moccio (writer) brought a musicality that I've never had before. Ben Billions (producer) brought hard hitting sound and of course Max Martin opened my ears and brought a sound that connects with a much wider audience.

What connects you to a song that makes you feel, “OK, this one is special"?
That's a hard one to answer. Usually, it's the replay value. It doesn't matter what kind of song it is; if it makes me repeat it, then I'm connected.

I was shocked at how many I was nominated for and how diverse the categories were. It's really important to me that I wasn't thrown in one category because of how I look or how I sing.