Q&A: Daytona Beach's Aprilann is here to inject some noughties magic back into pop music

"I want to fill the unused space in pop music with the good vibes we got from artists like Avril Lavigne, Blink-182, and Linkin Park."

Daytona Beach star Aprilann is back with her dreamy new single, 'Bad Friends', the ultimate 2000s pop rock anthem, perfectly timed to kill those Covid blues.

The Floridian singer, songwriter, actress, and producer-in-training, penned the thought-provoking, feel-good anthem after meeting a "standstill" in her personal and professional life - and she almost didn't end up finishing the track.

Thankfully, with the help of a dedicated producer in Toby Scott, they persisted and ended up with a powerful noughties poptastic banger.

Like her idol, Billie Eilish, Aprilann is here to prove that pop music is ambiguous and there is always room for something new to come along and set the trend.

With 'Bad Friends', Aprilann has raised the bar and set a blueprint for other up-and-coming artists to never conform or compromise when it comes to their art.

Here's everything you need to know about this megastar in the making...

Describe your music to us in the style of a Tinder profile bio?

Fun, playful pop with a twist.

Your new single 'Bad Friends' is the perfect anthem to stick on when negative thoughts creep in during these unsettling times. When did you write the song and why was it the hardest to write? I wrote the song during isolation about two months ago when I was home in Florida feeling lost and unsure about how to move forward in my personal life and career, which made the song hard to finish.

I couldn’t decide how it should end when things in real life were at a standstill; anything we’d try just wasn’t sitting right. I thought it should go in a dark direction at first, but then realised nobody needs that considering the circumstances we’re in. So we turned the original dark vibe into a bright fun one, and I’m so happy we did because it’s the most special song on the EP to me now. The hardest ones are usually the best! 

With this song you really experimented and stepped out of your comfort zone. Was that daunting? Well when the song wasn’t going that well at first, I thought I’d have to scratch it off the EP because of time constraints. Then I had one last Zoom session with the producer and we decided to just start over completely, and six hours later, my computer was dead but the song was done. It was really amazing starting over at the home stretch, and daunting YES, but it got our creative compasses going in the right direction. I love the song for forcing us to experiment, and I was really lucky to have a producer willing to scratch everything we did to get the song right. 

You cite Taylor Swift as an influence - was It inspiring see her release 'folklore' out of nowhere? Do you think there is room for more variety in pop music? That was amazing in every way and so Taylor! I think there is a lot of opportunity in pop music to be different. Artists like Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus, are a few proving that fact on the most massive scale. Personally, I miss the music from the 2000s, and want to fill the unused space in pop music with some good vibes we got from artists like Avril Lavigne, Blink 182, and Linkin Park.

What can we expect from your upcoming EP?

The EP consists of five songs that I’m releasing one at a time every two weeks. You’ll hear 2000s' pop rock vibes, ocean blue heartbreak, guitar riffs, melodies, and lyrics I’m really proud of. 'Bad Friends' is the first song I’m releasing that I wrote by myself, so I’m pretty nervous and excited to see how people react.

"Athletes and artists have a lot in common because they both require an abnormal amount of falling."

What do you want people to walk away with from your music?

I want people to walk away feeling like they know me better than three-minutes-ago, that they can connect to me, that they can trust me. Meaning . . .  I want the listener to walk away knowing that what they just listened to was honest and made with a lot of thought and care behind it. I hope they catch the humour, I hope they relate, I hope they care. 

What has kept you motivated and inspired during lockdown?

I keep myself motivated by looking at a clock on any given day at any given time (haha). 

I always want to make more music and come up with new videos. It’s what I love to do so it’s easy to stay motivated. 

"I want to be both a musician and actress, and be seen as an all-round entertainer and not only a singer-songwriter."

In between writing, you are playing ping-pong, tennis and basketball.

Would you say your energetic lifestyle has an influence on your music? All that adrenaline no doubt gets the juices flowing!

I grew up in a family of athletes not musicians, so sports have always been a part of my everyday life, specifically basketball. And I really think athletes and artists have a lot in common because they both require an abnormal amount of falling. So absolutely it has an affect on my music, but mostly in terms of mental and emotional strength. 

It’s paramount to learn to practice and discipline to develop your skills. It gets my creative juices flowing when I’m active on a daily basis, so I’m grateful for my sports background growing up. It’s also why filming the music video for 'Bad Friends' was the best set day I’ve ever had.  My muscles are still screaming at me four days later - but it was SO worth it! There are some incredibly empowering female artists on the pop scene. Who are you loving?

Taylor Swift is inspiring in so many ways for young female artists, but I could go on for days about her so you shouldn’t get me started, seriously! Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, CYN, Winona Oak, Terror Jr, are a few artists I’m absolutely loving who are killing it right now. 

What is your dream goal in the long run?

My dream goal would be to make music when I want, how I want, with who I want ... Isn’t that everyone’s? Really, I want to be both a musician and actress, and be seen as an all-round entertainer and not only a singer-songwriter. I love being creative in too many outlets to stick to just one (even though that’s what’s usually advised). So my dream is to be creatively productive on a consistent basis in as many forms as possible, oh and as much as possible, please!

What’s coming up next for you?

More releases, more videos, more music. I’m going to start making my next EP right away; I have a zillion ideas and actually plan to produce these future songs myself, which I’m super anxious to begin.  The shutdown allowed me time to take a music production course, and then my best friend surprised me for my birthday and turned my basement into a music studio, so I’m just getting my feet wet in music production - but I'm really excited to jump in the pool.

'Bad Friends' is out now.