From an early age, rising pop artist Cars has always looked at life through a different lens.
Growing up near Charleston, West Virginia, Auti’s “old soul” often caused her to stand out among her classmates. One thing people didn’t know about Auti really was how talented she was as a singer/songwriter and continues to be in 2022.
Having been bullied herself and seeing the bullying drive her best friend to kill herself, Auti has always been dedicated to using her singing ability AND her storytelling ability for good, creating incredibly meaningful tracks.
Auti’s new song “4 Years” is a perfect example. The track is extremely powerful, covering difficult topics not only in the music industry, but in general, including the passing of his best friend, Luke. The track “embodies grief, denial and acceptance” in such a beautiful way.
As a mental health advocate AND a rising star, Auti truly is an artist like no other, and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store musically. Her goal as an artist is to “spread a message of hope”, and it’s clear she’s already working on that with her previously released tracks.
Read our full Q&A with Auti below, where we dive deep into her genuine and caring soul, and let us know what you think of her by leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets.
You can connect with Auti by giving him a follow on Instagram at @autimusic.
Celeb Secrets: For people who may not know you yet, can you explain your musical style and a bit about who you are as an artist?
Cars: “Hi, I’m Auti. I prefer to describe myself as a German Shepherd mom to my dog Clementine, an 18-year-old pop artist, and mental health advocate and ambassador. In that order, of course.
CS: You started creating music at such a young age. Do you have any advice for young women who want to get into the music industry but are just afraid to take the plunge?
Cars: “My first tip for anyone wanting to get into the industry as an artist is to learn an instrument – guitar or piano being preferred. You don’t even have to know everything about it, just try to take the time to learn something. For young women who are nervous about getting into the music industry, in general or as an artist, I encourage you in every way possible to do so. It can be daunting at first since the industry as a whole is male dominated (although we as women in this industry have come a long way.) Stand up straight, be loud enough to be heard and know that you deserve to be in the room as much as anyone else.
CS: Your new single “4 Years” was released in September, and it’s very special to you. If you’re comfortable, can you tell us a bit more about the story behind the track?
Cars: “’4 Years’ was inspired by a close friend of mine who committed suicide four years to the day after I wrote the song. The song originally started out as a letter more than anything, just telling Luke how I handled things, then ending up asking him about all the things I’ll ever get to do. It carries a message of “why”, which I believe is the main question you ask when someone dies by suicide. ‘4 Years’ also embodies grief, denial and acceptance, as well as healing.
CS: How do you find the courage to put yourself forward and create such personal music?
Cars: “Since I was little, I have always tried my best to be as mentally independent as possible. When life really started taking unexpected turns, I didn’t want to talk to anyone about how it was affecting me mentally, so writing became my outlet. I’ve always written, whether it’s short stories or lyrics, or even poems, so it came easily to me. When I started sharing the songs I was writing, I noticed people telling me they felt the same way I did and they really understood where I was coming from. I think I relate to my fans as well as I do, because when they say to me “you talking about your mental health has helped me feel less alone” I really stand there like “yeah, same for you”. Somehow it created this place where we all came together and just let it be known that we are not alone in life.
CS: You’re known for being an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, which is really amazing. How does it feel knowing you’re using both your talent and your platform to make a difference in people’s lives?
Cars: “To be able to share the things that have saved me countless times, via my music, to save others, it’s really an amazing place. I think, given who I am as an artist and as a than anyone, it would be hard not to integrate mental health and suicide prevention into what I do. I have to thank Pivotal Moments Media, the mental health organization I am an ambassador for, for being able to properly integrate my music and my sanity on a larger scale. They are truly genuine in what they do and I thank them so much for trusting me as an artist, and the other artists who are part of this organization, to spread a message of hope through our music, really.
CS: What advice do you have for those who might have mental health issues?
Cars: “I am by no means a mental health professional, but coming from someone who has struggled and deals daily with maintaining cooperative mental health, I think the best thing to keep in mind is that this you’re going through won’t last forever, and while you’re in this space, you’re not alone. Whether you achieve this through therapy, by personally acknowledging and working on your mental health, or in some cases even letting the grief take its course, there will be a time when things feel lighter. To be completely honest, the second time I fell into depression, I really thought I would feel what I felt forever, and even after a while, I remember wanting to stay in this place because it had become so comfortable for me. On the other side of things, getting the help you need and eventually falling from that darkness into a brighter space is a better place to be. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to lose who you are if you do, because I can promise you that all that is good about you is magnified when you are mentally in a better space. .
CS: Who/What are some of your musical inspirations, whether as an artist or in your personal life?
Cars: “I seem to mention Ariana Grande in almost everything I do, but she’s really been an inspiration to me for years. I remember being a little girl and listening to her second single over and over, then watching her grow as an artist and hoping that I could follow a similar path. She has also been a great inspiration in my personal life. How she’s stayed as strong as she has through everything she’s been through, and being able to speak openly about it with her fans, is truly amazing.
CS: I know you’ve collaborated with MattyBRaps in the past. What is your dream collaboration in the future?
Cars: “Again, I feel like I mention the same artists in every article or interview I do, but Hozier has always been one of my dream writing collaborations. I also listened Shawn Mendes lately and harmonizing with his voice over his music, and maybe I’m a little delirious, but I have the impression that our voices mix well. I seem to have so much appreciation for a lot of different artists, including artists from different genres or even different languages, who carry a similar pattern of being personal in their music, so I think I can collaborate with anyone who also writing music this way would be a dream.
CS: What is the process like when you create a song? Are there any quirks to your method?
Cars: “I’m a very situational writer, which in a way just means there isn’t really a writing process for me, but also everything I write is personal to how I feel. right now or what I empathically pulled from elsewhere I find that I write best when I am alone and when things are completely calm.
CS: What’s next for you musically? Do you have any releases we can expect in the near future?
Cars: “I’m going back to the studio to record some of my favorite songs I’ve written to date, and with more written every day, I hope the world will hear them soon!”
CS: Can we expect an EP or an album soon?
Cars: “I think once I’ve collected enough officially released singles, I’ll be interested in doing something like this. For now, I want each song to have its own moment and then possibly release an EP in the future. We will see!”
CS: Do you have any career goals for yourself in 2023?
Cars: “I would definitely like to do some sort of tour in 2023, or just more shows in general. I have these new songs and new songs in the works right now, and I want to perform them, you know? So hopefully more shows and more music!
CS: Lastly, since we are Celeb Secrets, do you have any secrets about yourself or your music that fans may not know?
Cars: “It’s honestly pretty sad, now that I think about it, but my biggest musical secret would be that some of my songs, especially my most overwhelming love songs, are made up entirely of my imagination. So don’t hanging around this answer because it’s the last thing I need to do, but I get a lot of inspiration from movies or TV shows, or even short stories I’ve read while writing love songs .
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