Wonderland.

GAYLE

The American pop sensation gets candid on the unfiltered stories behind her unapologetic hit single.

Gayle

All imagery taken from our Autumn/Fall 2022 issue.

Coat, top, stockings and shoes by MIU MIU, Skirt by ALPHATAURI, Gloves by HANDSOME STOCKHOLM, Earrings and bracelet by CARTIER

Gayle
All imagery taken from our Autumn/Fall 2022 issue. Coat, top, stockings and shoes by MIU MIU, Skirt by ALPHATAURI, Gloves by HANDSOME STOCKHOLM, Earrings and bracelet by CARTIER

Taken from our Autumn/Fall 2022 issue, order your copy here

“We did it! We managed!” GAYLE says cheerfully, as she finally manages to connect to our FaceTime call after 15 minutes of tech-induced trouble. GAYLE is situated at her family home in Nashville, and I in my quaint little flat in London. But the power-pop sensation has quickly soared to stardom in both locations, and in doing so, clamorously taken over the music industry. GAYLE first rose to fame mid-pandemic in
2020 when her hit tongue-in-cheek break-up single “abcdefu” went viral on TikTok, racking up over 1 billion streams to date. After successfully sitting at the top of the Billboard Global 200 for weeks on end and taking Adele’s coveted No.1 spot in the UK charts, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter – known for her young-spirited and unfiltered sound – has released her debut EP “a study of the human experience volume one”, while her highly-anticipated follow up, “a study of the human experience volume two” will be out on October 7th. Sitting down with Wonderland,
GAYLE tells us everything from the intimate stories that inspire her songs to her childhood experiences – and who she hopes to one day collaborate with.

Gayle
Gayle
All imagery taken from our Autumn/Fall 2022 issue. Coat, top, stockings and shoes by MIU MIU, Skirt by ALPHATAURI, Gloves by HANDSOME STOCKHOLM, Earrings and bracelet by CARTIER

CATY PENZA: Do you remember what first made you fall in love with music?
GAYLE: I think it started with hearing instruments for the first time. I was taking a music class before I got homeschooled, and I remember hearing pianos and xylophones and just learning all about things like harmonies and scatting and I just found it all so interesting and inspiring.

CP: You released your hit single “abcdefu” back in 2021, racking up over one billion streams to date and held #1 on Top 40 radio for three consecutive weeks. How has your life changed since its release?
G: It’s changed so much, yet it hasn’t at the same time. When I’m at home with my friends it feels like my life hasn’t changed at all. But when I’m on
tour, and somewhere like in Ireland about to open for My Chemical Romance, or playing at Wembley, then my life feels completely different.

CP: Yeah I bet. The lyrics on the track are very honest and unapologetic. Can you talk us through your writing process?
G: I wrote the song in 2020 so it was during quarantine. My brother, best friend and her brother moved in with me so we could be in our own little bubble, and during that time we just all started writing together. I was going through a bad breakup, and Dave, my best friend’s brother, said “What if we write a song called ‘abcde fuck off’” and that’s just when it clicked. Ultimately we didn’t write the song thinking it would be the peak of music, we just wanted to shit-talk my ex-boyfriend because I was mad and I didn’t allow myself to be mad for so long.

gayle
gayle
All imagery taken from our Autumn/Fall 2022 issue. Coat, top, stockings and shoes by MIU MIU, Skirt by ALPHATAURI, Gloves by HANDSOME STOCKHOLM, Earrings and bracelet by CARTIER

CP: Congratulations on releasing your first EP! It’s titled “a study of the human experience volume one”. Why did you land on this name and how long was it in the making?
G: So, I’ve been writing this EP since I was 14 but I don’t believe any songs I made when I was 14 made it onto it, more like songs [I made] from 15 to 17. I felt that every single person I worked with for this project left a piece of themselves in it – some of their personal experiences and observations of life – and so it almost felt like this EP was a small-scale study of the human experience.

CP: One of the singles from your EP that’s gained traction is titled “ur just horny”. What’s the story behind it?
G: I had a long-term friendship with somebody and we crossed a line, after which he started changing his behaviour in subtle ways that made me feel crazy. I just realised that he wanted something from me and he had gotten it now, so all of a sudden I was less interesting to him. I just had a problem with how he treated me when all of it was over, so I wrote a song about it.

CP: Finally, who do you dream of collaborating with?
G: There’s a few people. I would love to make a song with blackbear. That would be ridiculous, like a dream come true.

Gayle
Gayle
All imagery taken from our Autumn/Fall 2022 issue. Coat, top, stockings and shoes by MIU MIU, Skirt by ALPHATAURI, Gloves by HANDSOME STOCKHOLM, Earrings and bracelet by CARTIER
Photography
Jack Alexander
Styling
Anastasia Busch
Words
Caty Penza
Hair and makeup
Elizabeth Rita
Fashion Assistants
Lily Hobman, Nadiya Hassan
Special thanks to
Studio 44 Holborn
GAYLE