Miley Cyrus was among those who lost their homes in the devastating California wildfires. The songstress and her fiancé Liam Hemsworth’s Malibu home burned down in the Woolsey Fire, but she’s taken the devastating loss and turned it into what she’s dubbed “post-traumatic growth.”
“I’m in a really good healing place right now,” Miley told Ryan Seacrest on-air on Tuesday, December 4. “I definitely learned a lot. My dad [Billy Ray Cyrus] has always told me ‘Life is a series of adjustments’ and sometimes we never understand what our parents are telling us until we start to experience life more,” she continued. “… I’m starting to really understand what that means now experiencing something as life-changing and devastating as a natural disaster. It’s a really deep character challenge to see the way you react to loss.”
Miley, who recently dropped politically-charged track “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” with Mark Ronson, added that her father’s advice has always stuck with her.
“Something else I kind of took in that I heard was for me I had a choice of post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic growth and I think you always feel you don’t have control especially when something happens that’s a natural disaster because there’s no beating nature … so to be able to go into your self and to find that growth and say ‘What am I going to do about this?’ And being an active member of my community, not as a celebrity figure, but just as a neighbor, has been a big growing experience.”
All that was left of their house, as Liam previously shared on social media, were large letters that spelled out the word “love.”
“Liam posted on his social these love letters that were physically left at our house,” Miley added. “We had these big gorgeous letters that said ‘love’ when you drove up to our house and they actually made it through the fire … and that’s literally and physically all that’s left so I felt that was really poetic. You can always rebuild a physical structure, but that love that can’t be destroyed is always there and always stayed strong so that gave me a lot of light during a dark time.”
Her new collab with Mark Ronson, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” also eerily features a lyric that spooked Cyrus. In the song, which also speaks to the current political climate, there’s a lyric which references a burning house.
“We’ve been working for the past year and a half on the next record … so I didn’t know the best way to come out of this blackout period but it’s actually really crazy because I wrote this song with Mark in May before we actually lost our Malibu house and one of the lyrics is ‘This burning house / There’s nothing left / It’s smoking and we both know it’ … it was like this strange premonition so the timing just worked out,” Miley shared, revealing that the track also offers important messages.
“[The song has] really important messages that I wanted to physically share … especially with pop music when we think of brokenness or heartbreak it’s easy to just assume it’s something about relationships and it’s something so much deeper than that,” she explained. “It was ‘What really breaks our heart?’ And it’s the loss of children, the loss of lives — just all the violence that we see every single day. … For this song, we really focused on the video, on celebrity culture versus like the important things in life and how you can marry the two because politics are a big part of my life, but just fun entertaining pop culture is also something I really love and that escape in music … we tried to make a video that everyone could be entertained by and also make people think a little harder.”
“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” is just the first song to come from Miley and Mark Ronson, who have been working on her seventh studio album.
“We have a bunch of songs together on my next album … I’m kind of an all or nothing kind of person and now that I’m back in it, I just want everyone to hear all the music I’ve made because I think it’s some of the best music I’ve been able to make.”
We can’t wait! Listen back to their full interview in the audio above.