Miley Cyrus on Her Music Makeover: 'I Want to Start as a New Artist'
After ditching her saccharine-sweet Disney darling image, Cyrus has emerged with a brand new edge: from her punk pixie cut and her revealing rocker-chic style, to dabbling in drugs and twerking to rap.
But now as she readies to release her first album since 2009's Can't Be Tamed, she wishes she could swipe the slate completely clean.
"Right now, when people go to iTunes and listen to my old music, it's so irritating to me because I can't just erase that stuff and start over," Cyrus, 20, says in her Billboard cover story. "My last record, I feel so disconnected from — I was 16 or 17 when I made it. When you're in your 20s, you just don't really know that person anymore. I want to start as a new artist. I consider my upcoming album my first, really."
Though Cyrus concedes her new work is still "a pop album," she certainly is trying to push new boundaries, teaming up with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Will.i.am and Dr. Luke to add a hint of hip-hop to her country roots
"I've always wanted country-rock influences, but now I'm moving over to a more urban side," she says. "It's not a hip-hop album.... I'm not coming in trying to rap. It's more like, 'I don't see any girls out there doing what Miguel and Frank Ocean are doing. We've been calling it 'count-step,' because it's like country, dubstep and a little trap."
As she continues to transition from child stardom to adult artist, Cyrus' new sound has helped her define herself.
"It's not like I'm losing who I am — I actually found out more about who I am by making this music," she explains. "I'm going on a journey, and that's more than a lot of 20-year-olds can say. And I'm still going to change so much. Because I'm not the same person I was six months ago — I'm not even the same person I was two weeks ago."
But one thing stays true: "I never stop working, ever," Cyrus insists. "I put my track list together this morning. I want my record to be the biggest record in the world, and I've given everything to get here, even down to friends and family and relationships — I've just put this music first. That's been kind of a trip."