Rising pop sensation Kayleigh Noble recently graced fans with her debut album, Just a Girl, which dropped on her 23rd birthday, Oct. 19. Through the 13-song offering, the Dublin native navigates themes of love and self-reflection, culminating a journey that’s both personal and universal.
Just a Girl refuses to be confined to a singular genre. Instead, it’s an expedition through Kayleigh’s diverse musical influences, all while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic that’s unmistakably hers. The journey begins with the somber notes of “<3” and transitions into a melancholic narrative with “Meanie.”
The latter half lifts the veil of melancholy, ushering in a more upbeat tempo with tracks like “Duh!” and “Cheater.” It’s a deliberate stride from the somber to the energetic, mirroring the stages of moving on from a dysfunctional relationship to rediscovering one’s essence. In the interlude, “Hot Mess,” Kayleigh harks back to her earlier EP, intertwining snippets of unreleased music and voice memos from the album-making process.
Emphasizing the female-driven effort behind Just a Girl, Kayleigh mentions, “I had a really strong vision for what this project needed to be, and I couldn’t have done it without my girls around me.” Below, we spoke to the musician about her life growing up, fashion, and standout cuts from the project.
Hey Kayleigh! Walk me through your childhood, what’s it like growing up in Dublin, and how did you eventually become a musician?
My childhood was a bit mad. We moved all over Dublin. I was always moving schools and had to be the new girl, so it was a bit shite.
Who did you grow up listening to, and what kind of influence did they have on the music you make?
My mom and dad listened to a lot of house music. They were ’90s ravers, that and 90-2000s R&B I grew up on, and it definitely inspired me to do what I do!
What inspired you to create this project as well as choose the title Just a Girl? Are there any themes you had in mind when recording the songs?
I went through a lot of ideas. I had “Sad Girl,” but I didn’t want to tie myself to being a sad girl. I felt something like that was very closed off, whereas just a girl was a lot more open. I’m forever changing and growing. I’m not always going to be a “sad girl”; it was an emotion and moment during that time. But I’ll always be just a girl!
As a rising artist, the pressure to create a debut album is pretty intense. How did you navigate that?
Oh god, it was and still is so hard. You have to take on so many roles to get things done. I was lucky to have Jessica as we worked as our own PR, management, and so much more. We created spreadsheets with timelines and emails we could find for press. You have to be so passionate to find that drive because it’s a lot of time, mental energy, and money! I worked so many shifts to afford to even make the album.
If you had to choose, which songs practically sum up the overall tone of the project — how would you describe the records?
I’d say track one, “<3,” “Meanie,” “Just a Girl,” and “Flirtin’ W My Dealer” would be a short summary of the album. There’s so many emotions I couldn’t tie it all into one song really.
Can you tell me a bit more about the cover art? What pieces are you wearing, and how did you land on the final artwork?
I’m wearing Minxxworld! Millie handmade the pieces and was so kind to allow me to wear them for the cover. I think they are so unique and beautiful. I landed on the artwork as the idea I had was “just a girl in a big world,” but then I liked me being big —empowering — and the world being small, like I can take on anything!
Speaking of, I wanted to ask you about your wardrobe. How would you describe your style, and what are you wearing these days?
I love a crochet moment, anything shredded up, and if I can say, cunty upcycled pieces or bits I’ve been asked to wear and style. It’s so fun, lots of different tights layering, it’s such a nice way to express myself, and I’m lucky as people are reaching out and sending me bits to wear, and I’ve been given some beautiful pieces.
Being a Dublin gal, what are some things you think every woman should have in her closet this season?
1,000,000% a big fluffy hat! It just makes everything.
I know you love lace and cut-outs when putting together a look. What advice would you give to other people when it comes to feeling sexy, confident, and empowered?
Listen to my album!! Just kidding, well… whatever works for you, wear whatever makes you feel sexy. Don’t follow trends unless you like them, be original to your own likes, and build your own style from that! That’s how I formed my own “look,” I guess, from what I like on me and what I like in general, and it makes me feel confident!
With that in mind, what’s next for you? What are some of your other goals?
To make more art, more music, collaborations! I just filmed a music video for “Just a Girl,” so I’m so excited to see the release of that!