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MEET YOUR NEW
ROLE MODEL

Get to know the 24-year-old making genre-bending bedroom pop that will have you cry-dancing all night long.

Tucker Pillsbury, better known by his stage name, ROLE MODEL is not your everyday Gen Z music maker. He’s not interested in being a one-hit TikTok wonder, he’s not into glossing over his depression and anxiety with a romantic aesthetic, he’s not about sharing secrets. Instead, since 2017 he’s dropped 18 singles, 3 EPs and now he’s got a full album under his belt, all before his 25th birthday. And more importantly, everything he’s created is all about him, it’s all about what he believes in. Never shying away from a meaningful topic – be it mental health or masturbation – he’s never afraid to confront himself. In fact, ROLE MODEL’s work captures a whole lot of what is good about his generation. It’s as self deprecating as it is affirming, playful as it is raw, and he’s only just getting started. 

For his debut album, RX, ROLE MODEL captures all this and more, and mostly, it captures love. What it means to be in love, what it means to find love in all forms, even what it means to believe in the concept of love. “I made a name for myself early on by singing about being closed off to love, struggling with depression, and hating everyone”, ROLE MODEL tells us, “I hope this album gives THEM hope…”. But these are love songs done Tucker’s way, he might be a singer songwriter but you should probably throw all your preconceived ideas out the window before you press play: blending genres, emotions and messages, it’s music to dance whilst crying to, so scroll down and get to know ROLE MODEL…

Hey! How are you doing?

I’m doing great ! Stressed, but great.

How has this year been for you so far?

Went from 0-100 real quick. Had so much downtime during pandemic and only thing I had to think about was writing songs. Now it’s full speed ahead going into this tour with my first album out in the world.

Who is ROLE MODEL?

A sewer rat who is slowly learning how to sing…

Do you remember the moment you fell in love with music?

I was a freshman in college studying film and there were two kids on my floor who rapped and recorded themselves. I had never been exposed to that, coming from Maine. As soon as I tried it, I fell in love with it to the point where I stopped going to classes to record in my closet.

Were you surrounded by music and creativity growing up?

Definitely did not have any musicians in the family, but I was always into painting, drawing, ceramics, film, etc. Anything creative, I was into. Writing was a big part as well, that was the only class that I ever got excited for.

"As soon as I tried [making music], I fell in love with it to the point where I stopped going to classes to record in my closet."

How would you describe your sound in 3 words?

Sad horny pop.

You’ve spoken about how Mac Miller was one of the first people to see you as an artist, tell us a bit about that experience? What does Mac’s work mean to you?

Man, he is just one of those people whose approval/validation meant everything. I would show him records and just the slightest head bob would put me on cloud 9. When I put out my first EP Arizona in the Summer, his manager dm’d me and told me Mac loved ‘stolen car’. Long story short, they flew me out to meet him and work with him for a few days. It was at a point when I was ready to give up, but that trip gave me the motivation to keep going full speed.

Who are your biggest influences? Where do you draw inspiration from?

It comes from everywhere, as it does for everyone now I’m sure. I’m just as influenced by rap as I am rock music. I listen to a lot of Neil Young, Van Morrison, Drake, gunna. I’m all over the place, and I think you can hear it on the album.

What are the albums that have shaped you the most, as an artist or simply as a person?

Probably Blonde. That really made me start singing singing early on. And focusing on writing in different forms. Blonde was insanely influential to a lot of artists I’m sure. I was also a HUGE Tyler the Creator fan in high school and used to dress like him every day with the cut off shorts, upside-down crosses drawn on everything, fake Supreme 5 panels. Whole package.

Your new music lyrically explores love in innovative new ways, tell us a bit about what it means to put them out into the world?

It was the first release that really gave me anxiety. I never wanted anyone to know anything about my love life because it changes the way they listen to the music. However, so far the top tracks people like are surprising me (in a good way) and the way they are talking about it and analyzing it online is honestly very respectful for the most part.

We love RX, talk us through the process of making your new album.

It was a rollercoaster. I made the whole album with my producer Spencer Stewart, and props to him for putting up with me. We probably made three albums worth of music, but I would scraps like 3 songs a week and tell him we have to keep trying. I put an insane amount of pressure on myself for this album, whether that was necessary or not, I don’t know. The process was fun overall though, we got to take some writing trips together which was a first for me, and I figured out that’s the best way for me to work. Getting away from LA hah.

What message do you hope people take away from the project?

I made a name for myself early on by singing about being closed off to love, struggling with depression, and hating everyone. I hope this album gives THEM hope that they can find someone they truly love, because I would never have imagined I would in my life.

What is your favourite track from RX and why?

‘Neverletyougo’. It’s just so simple and I got to talk my shit with a tiny bit of a hot head which was so fun.

What’s next for you?

TOURx BABYYYYYY DON’T MISS OUT.

Press play on ROLE MODEL’s ‘RX’ below now…

Words by Kitty Robson

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