Flaunt Premiere | Agnes Azria: Paper Cut

by Paulette Ely

Agnes Azria’s power resides in her devotion to personal narratives of pure honesty, and her new single Paper Cut is no exception. Born and raised in the art and entertainment industry of LA, Agnes immediately awoke to the truth of the sparkling yet strenuous scene around her. Her first single, Beauty Myth, challenged the expectations of women in the fashion industry, but her new single cuts deeper into the challenges of her own life. Paper Cut was devised prior to the unfortunate passing of Agnes’ father, the iconic designer Max Azria. Feeling compelled to promote the importance of health prior to her father’s official diagnosis, Agnes crafted a hauntingly stunning song that sang to something in her life that was maybe even too hard to speak out loud. Now, Paper Cut serves as a public announcement to prioritize health and to not get caught up in anything that may cloud your connections, whether they be inward or outward. With the platform Agnes has produced herself, a connectivity was created within Paper Cut that is powerful enough to change the lives of so many. We are proud to premiere Paper Cut right here as well as get some words in below with Agnes about what it’s like to be one of the most candid creatives around. 

Paper cut has a meaning that cuts really deep for you. Do you mind taking me back to what it felt like to first conceptualize this song?

It is an understatement that health is everything. Before my dad got diagnosed.. I think the whole family felt that something was off. There was this one evening at dinner on Yom Kippur, when it was obvious he was not well. That night sparked the beginning of the song. I remember feeling so concerned, and helpless because I could see that someone I love was suffering. I didn’t know what but I knew something was clouding his judgement, and this song was a plea for him to take care of his health, mentally and physically. 

You now want this song to be a message for others. Do you feel that music often serves as a wake-up call to you as a listener and songwriter/ producer?

Making this song did validate and conceptualize my feelings before I even knew what was coming. But that was unintentional, I really used music as a way to express myself in that moment, not as a wake-up call. I just want everyone to be healthy, because being sick is like a prison. I want to stress that we are not invincible, we can be very resilient but we’re not invincible. 

This song is representative of one of the hardest times in your life. You’re only 22, yet you have been through so much, but have also done so much for yourself! Do you feel that your experiences have made you grow up at a faster rate?

It definitely did, I developed this sense for urgency. I realized that I have no choice and I need to take care of myself, and love myself. It was an insane reality check of what life can do to you, because my dad’s passing is irreversible. Thats just it. So I have no more tolerance for bullshit; like self-sabotage, playing the victim, bad company etc. since I know that life is too short.  

IMAGES BY ANDY NOEL/TEGAN BULTER

IMAGES BY ANDY NOEL/TEGAN BULTER

You often self produce your music, which is badass. Do you feel that being in charge of every channel of your creation helps with your connection to the music?

Right now I love working with producers and in fact; Sam Eaten produced this song for me. I will release completely self - produced songs on the Ep, but I have so many amazingly creative people around me that I can’t help but want to work with them. I am very fortunate in that respect. In terms of connection to the music there is a powerful sense of pride when you feel like something you did is 100% from your mind, body and soul. For now I definitely love being an independent artist, and responsible for every aspect of my creative vision. It’s liberating to not rely on anybody but yourself when it comes to writing, producing and performing songs. 


How does your style of music match your tone in the lyrics? Is your creation process always the same when it comes to music and lyrics?

I try to make my tone like Zohan, “silky smooth” and let the instrumentation carry that in contrast. I usually get carried away with harmonies, and I think the chaos in that reflects my lyrics. It’s usually unpredictable what’s happening when I’m creating, each session, each track is always different.

IMAGES BY ANDY NOEL/TEGAN BULTER

IMAGES BY ANDY NOEL/TEGAN BULTER

You’re a true LA native, which is seemingly very far and few nowadays. From your experience specifically growing up around influential people in the art/entertainment industry, do you feel that LA aligns with its given stereotypes?

The stereotypes are real if you’re addressing like superficiality and clout chasing. But thats a narrow perspective of LA because it is also filled with such diversity and good-hearted, creative people. Inevitably, there will be icky people everywhere, but in Los Angeles motivation and ambition is unmistakable. So I think you’ll be good if you’re easy on yourself, patient and find a good group of friends, colleagues and collaborators. Also being close to family has always been an important priority for me, so I love being with them and drinking all the overpriced smoothies I can get.

After all of this change in your life in the past year or two, you have an EP dropping soon! How is this EP going to be reflective of your journey/ what imprint do you want it to leave on the world?

I am so excited to drop my first project! I’ve been making music and dedicated for so long but I didn’t know how I wanted to present myself or truthfully, what I wanted to say. I had a problem wrapping my head around the notion of people telling me to curate an artist persona. I always felt that if I was not honest, as an artist, then whatever I was doing wouldn’t last. So in this Ep, I just lay it all out on the table like a diary, unfiltered and open, about my story and experiences. From my first love to family, to people who’ve hurt me and abolishing ICE. Its just a bundle of expression.


STYLIST: APARTMENT403

MAKEUP: ASHLEY DONOVAN (ONLY.AGENCY)

PAPER CUT WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY AGNES AZRIA