My record is called 99¢. It didn’t have anything to do with me going to 99-cent stores; it was called 99¢ because I was commenting on how, in this cultural climate, artists are pretty much viewed as products. In the making of this, I was exploring ideas of narcissism, consumerism, and commercialism, and how I felt, as an artist, like a product, and how I was constantly having to focus on marketing myself and putting up this perfect image and always engaging on social media rather than being focused on the art. This record is really playing with all those ideas: talking about them, and highlighting them in a really playful and fun way. [For the cover], I decided to literally climb in a bag and shrink-wrap myself as product and stamp on a little 99-cent price tag.

Most of the things [on the cover of the record] are things from my life. That’s the whole idea: My life in a bag, for 99 cents. But doing the artwork, I of course paid a visit to a 99-cent store. I thought it would be cool to get some actual 99-cent store products, which I happen to love. It’s like how most people love going into drugstores: You’re always finding stuff that you need, and it’s so cheap that it’s justified. You’re like, “Oh! I need this vitamin case! I need this revolving fan!” [Laughs] Anything. That’s the part that messes with your brain, that tricks you into buying more and more and more, because you think it’s so cheap.

I’m doing all these projects—not all of them are out yet—where I keep ending up at 99-cent stores, and I love them. I think they’re the most fun. I was recently shooting my “Chasing Shadows” video, and it wasn’t a 99-cent store but it had these vending machines, and I got these Beavis & Butt-Head balls out of there, and they’re, like, my favorite things that I’ve gotten all year. [Laughs] Throughout the creation of the art that goes with my record, I’ve been really interested in all these things that I’ve been finding at 99-cent stores. It’s been amazing. ♦

(As told to Derica Shields.)