From her confessional songs to her outrageous costumes, twerking and tongue-wagging Miley Cyrus is all about exploring — and exposing — her individuality.
Now, with her new global campaign with Magnum ice cream — including a recent livestream concert in immersive 8-D, Miley In Layers — the multi-platinum singer-songwriter is encouraging fans to embrace the many layers that make them unique, pursue what brings them pleasure and proudly share it with the world.
“From the beginning of my career, it’s been my purpose to express myself and externalize everything that internally is going on in me,” the “Can’t Be Tamed” singer says.
Here, Cyrus, 28, talks more about the importance — and thrill — of celebrating her individuality, and spills some secrets about her deepest self along the way.
Your new campaign with Magnum is all about showing your layers. What does that mean to you?
MC: It means accepting and loving all the different versions of myself, even when I can be very contradictory. There’s, like, cycles of my identity. You know, some days I’m stronger, some days I’m weaker. I’ll go onstage feeling totally confident, and sometimes it feels as terrifying as the first time. Being a human is very complex, it is very layered. But all these identities and experiences and little micro-moments build up to make [you] the person that you are.
How do your different layers come into play as an artist?
I try to be experimental, whether it’s the music maker, the actress or the storyteller in the songwriting. It’s about having that fearlessness when it comes to trying something new and saying, “OK, this feels authentic, this doesn’t.” You dig inside and find all these different cool textures and colors that you have and let them come out. Even if you fail, you’ve succeeded because you didn’t just live in that fear. You’ve made a piece of art that is you.
Can you give an example of being fearless in your music?
My psychedelic pop/rock album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. It was obviously dedicated to animals that I’d lost, but also lovers, and it was a kind of stream of consciousness where I exposed so many feelings. I’m proud of myself for making that choice because it was on the heels of Bangerz, one of my biggest records, but pretty mainstream. There was a brazenness to doing something I really wanted to do and not worrying how it was going to be received.
Have you discovered new parts of yourself during the past year?
I’ve started to take pleasure in the smaller things that I kind of took for granted before the lockdowns, social distancing and isolation. I forgot what an honor it is to have dinner with my family and my dad wanting to say grace and for us to be holding hands. That’s something I would have rolled my eyes at and been like, “Can’t we just sit down and eat?” And now it’s like, “I didn’t get to have this for a year, and I missed it so much.”
Anything else you missed?
The littlest thing that I miss the most is being able to smile at somebody and say like, “How are you doing?” with a big smile on your face and them feeling like you care and just connecting.
Do you have any secret layers that would surprise fans?
People see me doing glamorous things on stage, wearing bedazzled clothes and being kind of over the top, but I really like going back home [to Tennessee]. I go wash my horses, which seems like something that’s a chore, but I’m out in the city so much that actually being able to get dirty and be on the farm the way that I grew up makes me super happy.