The Minneapolis-based pop artist and singer-songwriter HONEY expands on the extremes of perception through her latest conceptual single, "Sleeping Ugly."
After going viral with over 500k views in under three days, HONEY quickly got her music into the speakers of both domestic and international audiences. Having performed at Madison Square Garden, the Excel Energy Center, and the Nassau Colosseum, HONEY has managed to gain recognition from celebrities like Zendaya, Hunter Hayes, and James Franco.
Now introducing us to the second song she wrote during the pandemic, HONEY's "Sleeping Ugly" was created merely due to her increasing confidence after dealing with addictive patterns on her road to recovery. "'Sleeping Ugly' is a cheeky way of me expressing the authentic being I have become while calling out those who try to put me (us) in a box or place expectations on who I (we) 'should' be," states HONEY.
Listening to "Sleeping Ugly," the journey opens with mid-tempo drum breaks accompanied by a fluttery woodwind-like sample while an array of explosive synths drench the sonics alongside HONEY's powerful vocal appearance. This song is incredibly dense right off the bat, especially reaching the hook, as HONEY's vocal production seeps deeper into a low-pitched demonic and ominous tone.
As she begins jumping into a heated rap verse, HONEY continues to expand on how she's continuously growing love for herself and gaining confidence in who she is, inevitably inspiring listeners to do the same. We adore the raw and dark tones of this track, as it makes for a powerful and stimulating ode to self-love.
Begin your journey to self-acceptance with help from HONEY's powerful anthem, "Sleeping Ugly," available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, HONEY. We truly appreciate the reflective and inspiring concept of your latest single, "Sleeping Ugly." What inspired you to create a song that reminds listeners to accept who they are?
First off, thank you so much for taking the time to get to know me. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share my story! So many things inspire me to write this music. It's a coping mechanism for one thing. Music has always been a way for me to express what’s going on inside of me. More than speaking words ever could. Early in my recovery, I would practice DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills to avoid relapse, in which case I turned to music. I’d write, listen, hum melodies into my phone at all hours of the night. It was my meditation and a way to purge all the thoughts running through my restless mind. Mental health has always been a focus for me. Growing up, I struggled with eating disorders and later developed anxiety, which lead to substance abuse. I always felt like I had to be a certain way for everyone like I had to adjust how I felt on the inside so that I wouldn't be a disappointment. Eventually, there came a point when I could no longer hide how I felt, so I would mask my pain by turning to vices that would help mute my emotions. It was a way to control something in my life, however, I was losing myself and sinking deeper. And that's why I write this music! If I had taken the time to stop adjusting to what I thought people wanted of me and learned to sit with myself and acknowledge what it was that I was needing, maybe I wouldn't have been through half of the chaos I have. However, I will say, without my pain, there’d be no gain, and I have gained so much! In recovery, I was able to find myself and hear the voice within that I had silenced for so long. At the end of this journey we know one thing for sure... we end with ourselves. Why not love ourselves to the fullest? The happiness, the sadness, the confidence, the insecurity. Let's wear it on our sleeves and show our peers our flaws and our beauty! We have so much to offer to the world just by being who we are without anything added on. We don't need to adjust, we need to BE! Be ourselves and be free to live our lives to the fullest by existing exactly as we are.
Why did you create the sonics and production for "Sleeping Ugly" to be so dark and ominous? What inspired this tone and feel for the song?
My producer Josh Zegan (aka Josh Zegan) is the mastermind behind the production of this song. I wanted a quirky, yet ominous tone so the listener could feel the darkness I had once felt. The whistling in the background during the verses is pensive as if looking back on my past, but with a lightheartedness. I decided to sing with a light tone in the verses to embody the grace that I have learned to give myself and to invite listeners to take it easy on themselves. I also threw a rap in the second verse not only to challenge myself with something new but to symbolize my growth, transformation, and new beginnings! Think of it as a “level up”.
Did you work alongside any fellow creatives, producers, or engineers when formulating and executing the sonics/production for "Sleeping Ugly?”
Yes! Josh Zegan (aka producer name yesh) is the mastermind behind all the music! He produces, mixes, and inspires me to set high goals for myself, musically and in life, which is a gift in itself! Make sure to check out his music on all streaming platforms!
How does "Sleeping Ugly" contrast or relate to your previous released single, "Oh Lawd?" Did you create these singles around the same time period?
Yes! I actually flew out to LA at the end of 2020 and wrote a few songs during that session. We wrote "Sleeping Ugly" 2 days before "Oh Lawd", but they were released in reverse order. All my music works in conjunction with one another. They're all songs from pieces of my life. "Oh Lawd" was written as an expression of gratitude for having the opportunity to see the light in my life again. I was so thick in my struggle, but when I was lead out of the darkness, I couldn't help but rejoice. It’s a song that emphasizes hope, gratitude, and love. "Sleeping Ugly" is a cheeky way of me expressing the authentic being I have become, through my recovery and inspires self-confidence. They work hand in hand.
What's your favorite release of 2021, from an independent artist you admire?
I truly admire my producer yesh. Not only is he a talented artist, but he's also just an amazing person. And he just released his 2nd single of 2021, "troubles" with Molly Kate Kestner and Helena Mayer (also insanely talented artists)! Make sure to check it out!