Teenage Fever

Teenage Fever

The transition from your teenage years into your twenties can be bittersweet—you're still learning and developing, which can also coincide with the rollercoaster ride of love, heartbreak, and a general loss of innocence. All of those things exist in spades on Kaash Paige's debut album Teenage Fever, which at once captures the ups and downs of being a teen as told by one who happens to be one of music's rising stars. The Dallas singer-songwriter may have more access than the average adolescent, but some experiences are universal. “[I just hope people] take away the feeling of being vulnerable and just being yourself and being able to relate to my music,” she tells Apple Music. “We go through every emotion in life, and I feel like with this project, I set that in stone and just let it be known that we go through the same things.” Her songs are set against hazy, ethereal backdrops coupled with a delicate, wispy voice—a combination that lends her tracks an almost dreamlike effect. It's an apt soundscape for the moody musings that follow, and she navigates it with engrossing candor and striking aplomb. In her words, the album is as much a feeling as a world unto itself. “You're now entering teenage fever,” she says, “and this is what it is like—drugs, depression, relationships, sex, everything.” London “‘London’ is really just based off having fun and that 2016 summer-night feel. When I made that song, I was staying at The London during Rolling Loud weekend, and I was just experiencing a lot of crazy things that I would have never dreamed of. That song symbolizes freedom and getting it popping, under the influence and just having fun with your friends and living life.” Grammy Week “I remember when I first linked with Don [Toliver], it was kind of manifested by me. When I first made ‘Euphoria,’ I was like, ‘I can hear Travis and I can hear Don on this record.’ Then like a month or two later, they ended up getting on the record. Out of love, Don had did a swap for me. We had linked up at Cactus Jack studios and recorded ‘Grammy Week,’ and when I made that song, it was just based off of me manifesting and envisioning myself at the Grammys and getting that Grammy, because I do believe me and Don will get Grammys. And I do believe that we're both dope artists and to make that song just a success. I just want to be successful.” Lost Ones “I'm a huge fan of Paramore, and I was super into the Twilight soundtrack. And with 'Lost Ones,' it was to show versatility. I need this to really feel like teenage fever, and it can't feel like teenage fever if we don't have alternative rock involved or that pop song involved. So when I made the 'whoa whoa whoa,' I was like, 'This feels like a rollercoaster.' It's like my life is on a rollercoaster, and it gives me those tour night vibes—just traveling the country and living life and just having fun.” Soul Ties “This up-and-coming artist named SSG Kobe, he's from Baton Rouge. He reached out to me and was just like, 'Yo, you're my biggest inspiration. I'm a huge fan. This song I made, it was inspired by you, can you listen to it?' So I checked out the song, and I instantly fell in love. It's like Bryson Tiller mixed with Travis Scott, but he has his own sound, too. And I was just like, 'Yo, you're fire.' And we just locked in, and I listened to all his tracks, and then I had this open verse. I really love up-and-coming talent, so I had sent him a record, and he sent back some heat. He went bananas.” Fake Love “So when I made ‘Fake Love,’ it was around the time I was losing so many friends from them feeling entitled or just wanting to be a part of something that they weren't a part of. Just a lot of people just trying to come in. And at that time, I was very lost. I didn't know who was my friend and who wasn't my friend; I was lost from my family. It was just a lot of fallout. My fans get to listen to me vent, and I get to vent to a microphone. It was just really my feelings at the time. Everything that I wrote up to this point, it's just how I'm feeling. And at that time, I just felt as if nobody really was there to get to know me and be there for my journey. They wanted to have their own piece of the pie.” Jaded “First of all, I'm a huge Drake fan, so whenever I heard his song 'Jaded,' I wanted to make my own version. And my version was really trying to get at somebody and just knowing their intentions behind it. 'You're not pure, you're bad for my soul, but I like that. I want to be around you. I want to spend my time with you, but we're not good for each other.' So when I made that song, it was kind of just like being lost and stuck in love and in and out of love.” FRIENDS “So you know that one person that's like, 'Damn, I'm not trying to be your friend—you too fine, and I really want to take interest in you.' And y'all have already went there before, but y'all try to keep it at that friendship, but it's like, nah, we can't. I don't want to be friends if we can't have the benefits involved. When I was making that song, it was kinda just on my toxic hoe shit—that's what I'm on, that's my intentions, I'm just keeping it real.” Break Up Song “So my big bro JB had introduced me and K CAMP at Rolling Loud, and we just connected ever since. It was initially supposed to have Future on it—it was supposed to be like super crazy, like Future and K CAMP. It was going to be wild, but I'll work with Future in due time. CAMP just killed it. We knew what it was—the song makes you want to be single. If you listen to this, you're going to be single right afterwards 'cause you want to be on hoe shit. You want to be going up to the club, free agent, all that. So when I made that song, it was kind of just like, damn, I just want to break up with whoever I was talking to at the time.” Pull Up “‘Pull Up’ gives me that drive-on-Mulholland Drive-type feel, them late-night cruise and looking at the trees, looking at the whole aesthetic of the sky. It's that vibe where you get lost in spending time with somebody and just getting to know them, or that parked-car convo vibe, where y'all just vibing, smoking, and, you know, maybe a little fornication or just maybe just listening to music down low and getting to know each other.” Problems “So Isaiah Rashad is my favorite rapper, and I manifested working with him this year. It probably was never even going to make the project, but they sent back that verse and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, this is crazy. And it's my favorite rapper. And he don't drop like that. Yeah, the streets about to go bonkers.’ I just appreciate him for getting on it, 'cause damn, Isaiah don't even drop his own music right now. People are fucking waiting for an album, a single, you feel me? So the fact that he's even on my project is just huge to me, and I feel like a lot of people are going to get to see that side that they miss.” SOS “Man, when I made ‘SOS,’ it was just messing with the wrong people and friends dipping out on me and just calling out for help. I was really strong praying at that time, asking God to remove anybody that's negative, anybody that doesn't have the right clear intentions around me—just remove them from my life. So when he was actually doing that, it gets scary, because you're thinking the people that's closest to you aren't grimy, but they really are. And so when I made that song, I was like, 'Damn, this beat speaks to me. I have to really talk my shit.' And that was the first time I wrote in a year or two. I actually sat down and typed that up in my phone, and I have not wrote in a long time.” Mrs. Lonely “When I came up with ‘Mrs. Lonely,’ of course everybody in the studio was like, ‘Yo, this is for sure, we can reference this off some Akon shit.’ I made that song so you don't feel depressed and alone. I'm with you, and I understand what you're going through. Everybody has those lonely times when they feel like they have nobody, and I just wanted that song to basically hold you in a sense. 'Mrs. Lonely, stuck in my thoughts, come hold me.' We all get lost in our thoughts at night, and we think we don't know what's going on, and we really don't, but you don't like feeling lost at all. Everybody should feel like they have somebody, so that song is really just to show that you're not alone.” Karma “I don't even know how we came up with 'Karma.' I don't even think I was supposed to record that day. I think I was super sleepy, they're in the studio like, 'Kaash, just say something,' and everybody started vibing out. I want that song in a scary movie credits—I want that song to give that cinematic feel of just a dramatic moment in your life when you know karma is going to come back and either get you or somebody that did you wrong. That's a teenage emotion, like we all have got our karma. I know I got my karma from being a little heartbreak kid sometimes, so I know exactly how it feels. It was just the finishing touches on Teenage Fever.”

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