The 24-year-old former Disney Channel star has chosen to put down the foam finger and teddy bears in favor of a more laid-back look that is reminiscent of her country origins to begin her new era of music. With the release of her brand new single, “Malibu,” off of her upcoming sixth studio album, Miley Cyrus is ready to move past her scandalous “Wrecking Ball” phase and delve into meaningful pop music.
In a recent interview with Billboard Magazine, where Cyrus announced her new single, the “We Can’t Stop” singer revealed that the inspiration behind this new beach-y track is none other than her fiancé, actor Liam Hemsworth. After a two-year hiatus between the couple, who met while filming The Last Song in 2009, Cyrus and Hemsworth rekindled their romance in mid-2016. “I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard. Suddenly you’re like, ‘I don’t recognize you anymore.’ We had to re-fall for each other,” Cyrus shared in her highly candid interview.
Cyrus also shared that her upcoming album, which she intends to release in October, is going to be on her own terms and is also solely written by herself. “I know exactly where I am right now. I know what I want this record to be. And not in the sense of manipulation—wanting something from my fans or the audience, like some slimy thing—’How do I get attention?’ I never thought about that.”
“Malibu” is a clear departure from Cyrus’ recent releases over the past few years. After finishing her hit Disney Channel sitcom, Hannah Montana, Cyrus struggled to transition into a more “grown-up” image with the release of her album Can’t Be Tamed in 2010. However, after a 3 year hiatus from the pop music scene, Cyrus returned with her album Bangerz, which was unlike anything she had released before. On this album, Cyrus collaborated with many hip-hop producers, such as Mike Will Made It, to achieve her new, mature sound.
The former child star was also the center of controversy at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. During the show, she performed a medley of her single “We Can’t Stop” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” This performance received much attention as it focused on Cyrus’ lack of clothing, “twerking,” and the inappropriate use of a foam finger, which enraged many parents. A few months later, Cyrus released the music video for her hit single “Wrecking Ball.” In the video, Cyrus is seen inappropriately swinging on a wrecking ball, and even licking a hammer.
Though the Bangerz period in Cyrus’ career caused much controversy, she eventually once again altered her image with the release of her album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz in 2015. For this album, Cyrus chose to opt out of including it in her multi-album contract with RCA in favor of releasing it online for free streaming on SoundCloud. For Dead Petz, Cyrus collaborated with the psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips to create what she considers a psychedelic experimental album, that is “still in the pop world.” Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz once again shocked Cyrus’ fans with its explicit lyrics and mature themes.
Now, in 2017, The Voice mentor insists that she is her truest self in her new music. In “Malibu,” Cyrus reveals, “I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song.” Even Cyrus’ father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, revealed in her Billboard interview that “this is Miley leaning into her roots” more than he’s ever heard, and that “for her, this is honest.”
Despite the fact that Cyrus has reinvented her image multiple times over the past few years, she has made it clear in “Malibu” that this version of herself is here to stay as she sings, “It’s a brand new start, a dream come true, in Malibu.”
To prepare for Cyrus’ new back-to-roots album, listen to “Malibu,” which is available on all music platforms now!
To view the music video for “Malibu,” click the link below: