Pop star says in new interview that tripping on psilocybin enabled him, for the first time, to "write actual stories about my life and put it into my music."
The New King of Pop himself Lil Nas X says experimenting with psilocybin mushrooms helped him “open up” when creating his debut album Montero.
During a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Lil Nas X said he tried psychedelics for the first time while working on the album. The artist described it as “a pivotal moment in the [album creation] process.” He said that psychedelics “allowed [him] to push past lots of lingering feelings of self-consciousness.”
Lil Nas X told the publication that he did not record any music while under the influence of psychedelics but used the experience to reflect on his life in the company of his two producers David Biral and Denzel Baptiste, who are better known as the production duo Take A Daytrip.
“I was able to open up a lot,” Lil Nas X said. “I was able to write actual stories about my life and put it into my music. I actually did that for the first time.”
Lil Nas X is the stage name of 22-year-old Montero Lamar Hill, who achieved fame with the release of his country rap song Old Town Road in 2019. The song went viral on video-sharing platform TikTok as part of the #Yeehaw Challenge meme. Montero, released on September 17, is Lil Nas X’s first full-length album.
The artist was being interviewed by The Wall Street Journal after receiving the publication’s Innovator Award. In the article, Lil Nas X also discussed controversies around his sexuality and what was next for him following the success of his debut release, with the singer-rapper currently the fifth-most-streamed artist in the world on the music streaming platform Spotify.
Lil Nas X is just the latest musician to credit psychedelics for playing a part in inspiring their music. For years, artists have been using psychedelics to enhance their creative processes. The effects of these drugs, particularly LSD, can be spotted across a variety of music genres, not just limited to psychedelic rock.
Recently, actor and musician Jaden Smith said he's a bit of a psychonaut, regularly ingesting psychedelics to explore “mystical states of consciousness. Even his movie star dad, Will Smith, recently came out of the psychedelic closet, revealing for the first time that he had taken part in more than a dozen ayahuasca ceremonies. Other artists who say psychedelics have influenced their creative output include country music star Kacey Musgraves, pop stars Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus, and Lorde, and indie musician Ben Lee. The Beatles’ Paul McCartney also said an experience the band had with LSD in the late 60s “explained the mystery of life” and inspired the song “Tomorrow Never Knows.”