Photo Credit: Matthew Thirteen (@mxiiiew)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // September 8, 2022
Straight out of Philly, Noah Richardson is the alternative pop star in the making. With musical influences across practically every genre, the gifted 23-year-old has mastered the craft of storytelling through gorgeously intricate sonics. A young man who grew up in a funeral home, Richardson is ready to share his life’s story through his stellar debut album, Dead To Me.
On Dead To Me, Noah Richardson shared,
“It’s been a journey for sure. Each song is special, each song has its own story. To compare songs to chapters, or moments in the past couple years would be pretty accurate… If this album does anything for anyone at all, I just hope it provides some form of comfort like it did for me making it.”
To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with Noah Richardson about funeral homes, people pleasing, and of course, his stellar debut album, Dead To Me.
HH: So we’ve gotta ask… what was it like to live in a funeral home?
NR: Yanno, I never really thought anything of it. When you sort of grow up in something, you kinda think all those things are normal… even if it is a morgue in your basement or E-A-G-L-E-S chants in the middle of funerals (Yes, that did happen… us Philly fans know no bounds). I grew up fairly normal here; my house was kind of a hang-out spot for neighborhood kids playing hockey in the driveway and even had parties there in high school (sorry, Mom and Dad). ‘The Funeral Home,’ as it was often called, was really a sanctuary for everyone… families coming in to pay respects to their loved ones or neighbors coming in to talk about their week. Everyone had a place. I’m gonna miss it.
HH: Can you describe Dead To Me as an album in one sentence?
NR: The Birth of Funeral Pop. Lmao no, just kidding… I would say that is truly an introduction to myself. My sound, my personality, my inner monologue. It’s me. Especially with the album cover… being able to incorporate my upbringing and what my grandfather built was super special to me now that it’s gone.
HH: A few of the tracks on Dead To Me are unapologetic in the best way. What’s your advice for people who are afraid of speaking their mind?
NR: To be honest, sticking up for myself has been a real process over the course of my life, and really something I’ve begun to face during the making of this album… Talking with my therapist, he really opened my eyes to something I’d avoided for so long: I was a people pleaser. Long story short, this is your life. You’re allowed to trust yourself and be yourself.
HH: What we adore about you is that your musical influences span several genres. What would you say is Dead To Me’s sonic inspiration?
NR: Man, there’s so much tucked into this album. It almost feels like you get a taste of everything… some John Mayer here, Dominic Fike there, Mac Miller over here. I feel like Remi Wolf’s sort of bite and all-around fun sort of fell into some of these songs as well.
HH: It seems like interludes are becoming more prevalent nowadays in albums. What led to you including some in Dead To Me?
NR: It was impossible not to really. My producer, Ty Ripley, made this beautiful, cinematic intro to “Oh No” and we really felt it was a perfect way to jump into this fast-paced, white knuckles on the steering wheel sort of song. “Tony Hawk” felt like a little nostalgic world to jump into for a moment before the next song.
HH: How does it feel to finally have your debut album out in the world?!
NR: Relieving?? Am I allowed to say that? Hahaha. No, really, this has been lots and lots of work and it’s super exciting that I’m able to finally share these songs. I’m glad I can share these stories with the world and hopefully connect with more listeners.
HH: What’s your biggest goal as a musician? How do you plan to achieve that goal?
NR: My biggest goal I think is to help people. In the most unselfish way possible, I wrote these songs as a sort of therapy for myself… to help me process and speak things I didn’t talk about. In writing music and performing, it I hope to help others feel some sort of comfort or clarity.
HH: What are your hidden hits?
NR: Oh I love this…
Nana Lourdes – “That’s How It Goes.” Absolutely insane song.
Devon Again – “Head”
Madi Diaz – “Hangover.” This song will rip you in half.