Phoenix native Upsahl, a new signee of the recently relaunched Arista Records, makes her official debut with the label Friday (Nov. 2) with the release of “The Other Team,” premiering on Billboard.
“‘The Other Team’ is my first release on Arista, which is so rad, and I’m so grateful to have such a badass team of people doing this with me,” Upsahl tells Billboard. “I wrote this song about a year ago during one of my first writing trips to L.A. I remember walking into the session and just blurting out, ‘I think we should write a song about falling for a gay guy.’ I feel like everyone can relate to crushing on someone that in no way can be into them. I’ll see a hot guy walking down the street, and then his equally as hot boyfriend will walk up. Or my gay best friend will see a guy and as soon as we start getting ideas, the guy’s girlfriend grabs his hand.”
The bouncy pop track’s underlying message is thinly-veiled — as is intended, clearly — and is somewhat reminiscent of Ariana Grande‘s Childish Gambino-assisted “Break Your Heart Right Back” from My Everything. What the song lacks in a star-studded rap feature, it makes up for in an instantly catchy chorus — the vocals sound refined enough to be taken for an industry mainstay.
The single serves as a promising debut for Upsahl’s career with Arista. It appears that the label is going to give the young artist plenty of room to breathe with her creativity, allowing her to branch out with her subject matter, though Upsahl maintains that “The Other Team” is applicable to all of us in everyday life.
“At the end of the day, everyone is always swinging for somebody else’s ‘Other Team.’ I wanted this song to just embrace the feeling of unrequited crushes and put a playful spin on something that we all experience every day,” she adds.
The indie pop artist is barely one year out of high school, but don’t be deceived by her young age. She dropped an EP at 14, has been playing both guitar and piano since the age of five and played at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in both 2016 and 2017 — an event that boasted headliners Beck, Kid Cudi, Flume and The Shins in those two years. She’s practically a veteran.
Listen to “The Other Team” below.