Nova Scotia·Q&A

Halifax artist surprised to be featured on new season of HBO hit Euphoria

The music of a singer-songwriter from Halifax has officially been featured on the small screen — in the new season of the HBO hit Euphoria.

Jody Upshaw's song Straight Shooter was featured in the 1st episode of the new season on Sunday

The music of a singer-songwriter from Halifax has officially been featured on the small screen — in the new season of the HBO hit Euphoria.

Jody Upshaw, 18, has performed across Atlantic Canada and has worked with some of Canada's most experienced and talented artists, including Classified and Owen (O'Sound) Lee.

The R&B and pop artist has been nominated for several East Coast Music Association awards and has been recognized by the African Nova Scotian Music Association.

Her song Straight Shooter was played in the first episode of the Euphoria's second season, which premiered Sunday and stars actress Zendaya.

The first episode also featured a song by Thrillah, a musician from Dartmouth.

In the popular yet somewhat controversial teen drama, Zendaya plays Rue, a teenager struggling with addiction, relationships and her mental health.

Jeff Douglas, host of CBC Radio's Mainstreet, spoke to Upshaw on Friday to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Listen to the song and full interview with Upshaw here:

First off, did you know your song Straight Shooter was going to be featured on this big HBO show?

Well, it's kind of funny. I did receive an email about it a couple of months ago from Melissa McMaster and she was basically just asking for some information, and she did mention Euphoria, and I know her from other business experiences and other people in the industry like Quake Matthews.

But you know, when you get something like that, you're not sure that it's actually going to happen. I thought it was probably a shot in the dark, and I honestly kind of forgot about it because I didn't really expect this.

I was definitely surprised that night [it aired]. I was literally taking a nap, and then I woke up to so many missed notifications from everyone saying, "Am I crazy or is your song on Euphoria?" so it was really awesome.

Do you watch the show?

Yeah. I wasn't watching the season two premiere, but I have watched season one and obviously Zendaya — I grew up watching Zendaya on Disney Channel — and I'm still so inspired by her, so honestly, this was so incredible.

What was it like hearing your song when you did go back and watch?

I think this is actually good for me, too, because I've been used to focusing on having a spotless image growing up. I started doing music at such a young age and I was speaking to young people and I was just this really young, innocent, little pop singer, so packaging my music like that was really important.

But now it's really important for me to step into what is relatable to me right now and being true to who I am and that kind of audience.

So I think this was actually a perfect placement for me because the show is pretty mature and for a different audience, so it's nice to really tap into that and that's kind of leading me into where I want to take my music.

Where in the episode did the song play?

It's in the bonfire scene and it's just in the background of the scene, but it was cool because when you're watching, you can see Zendaya's face all over the screen and I can hear my song in the background, so it was awesome.

What is something that is more recent than 2018 that you'd like to introduce Mainstreet listeners to?

My latest single — I released it in November that just passed — it's called Evil, and this one is also produced by Classified and I worked on it with O'Sound as well.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.