By Jon Blistein/Rollingstone.com
Miley Cyrus discussed unity in the age of President Trump and her decision to return to her rock and country roots in an expansive interview with Billboard.
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Cyrus will release a new single, “Malibu,” May 11th with an as-yet-untitled LP expected to arrive later this year. Cyrus wrote the lyrics and melodies herself and recorded the LP with producer/multi-instrumentalist Oren Yoel. The record reportedly includes songs about Hillary Clinton and women in the workplace, but Cyrus said the deliberate aesthetic shift from 2013’s hip-hop heavy Bangerz and her 2015 psych romp with the Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, was partly inspired by a desire to reach those outside her bubble.
“This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a fuck, but right now is not a time to not give a fuck about people,” she said. “I’m giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good – I love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”
Cyrus said this instinct arose when she began her stint as a coach on The Voice and had the chance to engage with fans of the country star, and fellow coach, Blake Shelton. Despite her Nashville roots, the country career of her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the fact that Dolly Parton is her godmother, Cyrus said she felt hurt that “country music fans are scared of me.”
“I like talking to people that don’t agree with me, but I don’t think I can do that in an aggressive way,” she said. “I don’t think those people are going to listen to me when I’m sitting there in nipple pasties, you know?” Elsewhere, Cyrus added: “I like the way I think right now. But don’t Trump supporters like the way they think? So I’ve also got to be open with the way I approach people with my opinions. That’s the only way to make real change.”
While Cyrus said her new album is political, she quickly added, “The sound bite doesn’t stop there. Because you can write something beautiful and you know E! News will ruin our lives and say, ‘This is a political record.’ Because then I’m the Dixie Chicks and I’m getting my album smashed in the streets, and that’s not what I want. I want to talk to people in a compassionate, understanding way – which people aren’t doing.”