What the 2013 VMAs Taught Miley Cyrus About Influence

Miley Cyrus talks about new music, Dolly Parton and shares advice from Billy Ray

Seated on a jewel toned art deco chair, strike that, throne, on top a white pedestal in front of a pitch black backdrop, Miley Cyrus joined RADIO.COM to talk music, the impact of her influence, and shared the best advice her dad Billy Ray Cyrus has given her about songwriting.

Chatting with Boston's Mix 104.1 Karson and Annie, Miley expressed, “I think all of us are looking for ways to get creative with our environments right now… to bring some entertainment and some fun in a time where we’re all looking for a little bit of that.”

Well she ain’t wrong, if there’s one thing we’re definitely not concerned about, it’s being entertained by Miley. After joking about Karson’s summer dad shirt, with Miley contributing the genius pun of “summertime dad-ness” (obsessed with that and her), the conversation shifted to Miley’s upcoming album, She Is Miley and her most recent single “Midnight Sky.”

Karson praised MC for sounding the best she ever has on her newest track, saying “it’s probably the best song you’ve ever released," adding, “it just felt really in the pocket.” Miley pointed out that her main focus has been her music, “that’s why in the visual… I wanted to have my microphone, it’s very anti-gimmick… which has been such a big part of my storytelling.” Her aim with “Midnight Sky” was to “bring it back centered, to focus on the music.”

Speaking of focusing on the music, Karson was interested in Miley’s writing process, asking her to walk, or rather talk us through what it’s like for her. Miley’s writing process for “Midnight Sky,” was a little different than with previous songs, admitting to writing the song in two parts, “one part of it is like experience, and kinda knowing I wanted to control that own narrative.” And then on the other hand, when it actually came time to put lyrics to paper, as a self-proclaimed autobiographical writer, she tangled with accepting the surrealism of what she was referencing and being okay with the fantasy of it all, since scenarios of “dancing under disco balls” and going out is just simply, “not our normal right now."


Annie took a moment to let Miley know just how much her music brings people together, sharing a personal story proving just that, then expressed her admiration for Miley. Even through all her different evolutions, the one thing that has always remained consistent is that she uses her voice for people that don’t necessarily have one as loud as hers.

For Miley, and her family, that has always been a priority, but it wasn’t until after her notorious 2013 VMA performance that, “I realized how much attention could be on me for such a silly reason, I mean I was a sexy bear.” It really opened her eyes, she realized the power of her platform, and knew it had to be used for a greater purpose.

While it might not seem like it, Miley is methodical when it comes to her career, and right now her main concern is making music and content that is timeless, and not “just that at home 2020 period.” She referred to a letter her father Billy Ray once wrote her, in it he said, “Don’t think outside the box, there is no box.” Which in retrospect makes a whole lotta sense when you look at Miley’s career.

She also shared the best advice her father gave her about making music and creating a song, which is to “stay aware of who’s coming up, what’s new, don’t get to comfortable, don’t be scared to collaborate.”

Besides obviously being inspired by her famous father, Miley spoke about how her godmother Dolly Parton, “is an influence on every element of my being.” From professional matters, to personal, as an activist and humanitarian, Dolly has imparted her wisdom on Miley, for which she is beyond appreciative, saying, “you know when they say don’t meet your heroes… unless it’s Dolly Parton. Because she’s better in real life.”

Additionally, Miley talked about working with Billy Idol and performing at Glastonbury, as well as focusing on each single giving it its rightful attention before releasing her album, and even made time to answer fan question.

For all that and more check out the entire interview above.

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