EXCLUSIVE: CARYS chats new single, “Crush” and upcoming debut EP

Featured Photo Credit: Ryan Faist

CARYS burst onto the music scene with her single,  “Princesses Don’t Cry,” which accumulated over 50 million combined streams, as well as the soundtrack for over 1.4 million TikTok videos.  Her latest single, “Crush” has potential to follow that same trajectory with its catchy pop melody and relatable and authentic lyrics. 

Check out what the singer-songwriter had to say about “Crush,” the video, and her debut EP, To Anyone Like Me.

What was the inspiration behind “Crush”?

This song is about my current partner and the feelings I began developing for him the week we met. It had been a while since I had met anyone I connected with and he came out of nowhere and made me feel all weird. It reminded me what it felt like to be a kid again having crushes in school; how the feelings would override your whole brain and you can’t be around them without blushing and if anyone found out you’d be mortified. On top of that, we met at a songwriting camp so we were there to work but it felt like a cheesy rom-com. 

What did the writing process look like for “Crush”? 

I was in Copenhagen with Gavin Brown and Kasper Larsen, who both happened to be present at the camp where I met my partner, so naturally that trip was the first thing I wanted to write about. Gavin started playing a melody on the keys and it felt like the whole song plopped into my head. It was one of the quickest sessions I’ve ever had. 

You collaborated with Kasper Larsen (Selena Gomez, Calum Scott), Gavin Brown (Three Days Grace, Metric), and Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen, Alan Walker) on the track. How did you all get connected and what was it like to work together? 

We’re all connected through networking and songwriting sessions! Gavin, Kasper and I wrote my second single, “Some of You” together, and Ryan Stewart wrote my last single, “No More” with Gavin and I. We had gone into writing this song with the knowledge that we’re a good team. They’re all brilliant musicians who I’m always happy to have an excuse to spend time with. 

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Crush,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

Oh, I LOVE this. Big field. Pink skies. Mountain range. Flowers of every kind and every colour all over the place. Calm stream running through the field. Big trees. Fairies. Gravity ceases to hold us to the ground. Everyone can fly. The clouds are close to the ground and double as super comfy chairs. Everyone has a great time.

What was the inspiration for the visualizer and what was it like filming it? 

Our director, Ryan Faist came up with the idea and we shot it at my house from a distance. We set up pink lights and a fog machine in my parents bedroom and Ryan stood on a ladder outside and shot the window from the other side of the backyard. Big moves. Ryan is always fun to shoot with, we had a great time filming it which definitely comes through in the visualizer.

Your song, “Princesses Don’t Cry,” went viral on TikTok and was used in over 1.4 million videos. What was it like to see reception like that to your music? 

Super surreal thing to happen to a girl from Markham, Ontario. I’m still not even sure it really happened but I’m grateful that it did. I feel so proud that it could reach such a wide audience organically and the opportunities that have come from it have been incredible.

What can fans expect from your debut EP, To Anyone Like Me?

Pop bangers. My heart and soul on a platter. Quality beats. 

How do you hope people feel after listening to your music? 

I hope they feel valued and understood. I decided to call the EP To Anyone Like Me because I want my music to help me find my people. I’ve always felt a little bit alone in the way I see the world and my pursuit of music is tied to wanting to have that sense of loving community. I don’t want it to be “my” music, I want it to be ours.

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?

“Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.” – Emil Cioran