Interview: Audrey Mika Talks “Y U Gotta B Like That” Remix
It’s still only April, but Audrey Mika has already had a blockbuster 2020. The 19-year-old rolled out of the year’s best pop EPs with 5 A.M. (pay special attention to “Fake Heartbreak” and “Pan!c”) and then unleashed a remix of her breakthrough hit. “Y U Gotta B Like That” has amassed more than 40 million streams since dropping last summer and is destined to find an even bigger audience thanks to the new version featuring KYLE. Earlier this week, I chatted with the breakout star about her just-released “Y U Gotta B Like That (Remix)” video.
Audrey also opened up about “Boys Ain’t Shit,” her recent collaboration with SAYGRACE and Tate McCrae, and revealed how she is keeping her anxiety at bay during the dark days of 2020. Other topics of conversation included the difference between being an independent artist and major-label signee, new music (something is coming sooner than you think) and building a fanbase on YouTube. Watch Audrey’s new visual below and then keep scrolling to read my Q&A with the talented teen.
How’s your quarantine going?
It has been all right. I think we’re all in the same boat. I’m just trying to stay busy. I’ve been trying to make music, cook and create content. It’s been hard because nothing is inspiring me at the moment. It’s hard to write with everything that is going on.
You also found the time to put together a video for the “Y U Gotta B Like That” remix. Was it filmed before or during lockdown?
It was definitely before the lockdown happened. It was really fun to do and it was simple. I got to do my own makeup and hair. It was really fun.
The original version did so well. What inspired the remix?
I can’t quite remember, but I’m pretty sure the whole thing happened in January this year. We were just putting out ideas, brainstorming and someone said, “What if we do a ‘Y U Got To B Like That’ remix?” We had a couple of ideas for a feature and KYLE was one of them. I’ve been listening to KYLE for so long. So it was actually a dream come true when he agreed to do it. That was super cool and surreal. I’m honored.
How did you feel the first time you heard KYLE’s verse?
I loved it the very first time we heard it. What happened was his producer made a whole new beat for the song. We loved the original so much that we wanted it to sound pretty similar. So, we switched that up… but I always loved KYLE’s verse. I think he fits the song’s vibe as well. KYLE is very energetic and goofy, and he’s really fun, so it just seemed like the perfect fit.
I love all the old tech in the video. How did you come up with the concept?
The video process was actually quite a long process. We got so many different treatments for it and we didn’t really click with any of them. Then, my team and I, we tried to come up with our own treatment and we were able to incorporate that in the visual too. We brought on a really good director and he just elevated it with the retro tech and animation. I’m super excited to see what people will think about it.
I think they’re going love it.
I hope so!
I still listen to your 5 A.M. EP a lot. What’s the story behind “Fake Heartbreak”?
That’s a funny story because the song was actually written about three years ago by my best friend, who is also my manager. She showed it to me about a year ago when we first met. I loved it, but it was just a verse and a chorus. I was very confused. So, we restructured it and I just fell in love with it. Then the process of getting it produced was so long. There were so many demos. I’m so happy that people like it and the video too. That was one of my first videos, so it was all very new to me.
Could you also talk about “Pan!c”? I love that song.
Of course. That one is very special one to me just because I have very bad anxiety and it tends to take over my life very easily. I went to a big party in LA and there were a lot of people. There were a lot of smells and it was just very crowded and overwhelming. I had a really bad panic attack there. As soon as I got home from the party, I just sat down on the piano and just started writing. Then I came back home to the Bay Area and finished the song. It was really satisfying to be able to put my anxiety into words.
Lockdown is wreaking havoc with my anxiety. How are you keeping yours under control?
Almost every other day I get really anxious about what’s going on, but I just have to remind myself that we’re doing everything that we can. Also, I’m constantly distracted at home. I am lucky enough to live with my best friend. We just check on each other and make sure we’re okay. Honestly, just surrounding yourself with people that you love and people that love you can be a huge part of staying okay. I think music also has helped us to get through it.
Speaking of music, you recently jumped on the remix of SAYGRACE’s “Boys Ain’t Shit.” How did that come about?
Those two girls (Grace and Tate McRae) are actually on the same label as I am. It was really fun. Grace and I got to be in the studio together. It all happened in the span of a week. We got to do a quarantine video. It was fun to be able to do that and still have this empowering moment even though we were just at home and making a video on our bed. I’m really grateful to collaborate with those two girls because they’re super dope. They’re upcoming, so I’m excited for their future.
How different is it releasing music with the backing of a major label after doing everything independently?
It’s definitely different. I have to get everything approved now. When I was doing things independently, I would just be like, “Let’s put out this song today.” But what I gained is an amazing team. Our video people are incredible, our marketing, our A&R people, everyone in our team is just so ready to go. It’s so amazing to have so many people helping me execute my vision. I still do a lot of stuff on my own. Yesterday, we shot the cover for my next single all ourselves. There’s still creative freedom, which is super important.
Is an album or EP next?
Ultimately, I want to put out an album but it’s still up in the air. I think we’re trying to figure it out. This quarantine has actually been a blessing in disguise just because I’ve had a lot of time to reevaluate and decide what the next steps are. I completely changed paths. I was going to do something else, and now I’m doing the complete opposite. [Laughs]. But, yes, I definitely want to put out an album. Hopefully, by the top of next year… maybe a little later. I’d also love to go on world tour.
How long will fans have to wait for new music?
It is definitely coming sooner than you think, but it’s a secret at the moment.
What was the goal when you started uploading YouTube videos?
I started YouTube about five years ago, actually. I posted solely because I wanted to. I didn’t expect anything out of it. Then I didn’t post for about four years. I started posting regularly again in January 2019. I was doing two videos a week. For five months, I made sure I never missed an upload because consistency is key. My videos seemed to be reaching a lot of people and I got so many amazing supporters. I wouldn’t be here without my fans at all. I think they are what made me confident enough to put out my own music.
When did you realize you were on to something big?
I don’t know. There have definitely been some really, really cool moments that got me thinking. But, at the end of the day, this is truly what I love to do from the bottom of my heart. I can’t even imagine doing anything else. I think I’m just so excited for everything. Everything is a first for me. I’m just taking it day by day.
Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you. Take care.