I have been a fan of Bree Taylor’s music…
since her debut single. I was keen to catch up and see how she was doing. Taylor reveals the story behind her latest track, What You’re Looking For, and the influences that go into her music. I ask how anxiety/depression and music connect with her – whether the former is helped by the latter. She tells me about the artists that have inspired her sound and what comes next.
I ask Taylor about the music scene in Canada (where she is based) and why there is such a proliferation of great acts from there; whether there are plans regards a U.K. jaunt – and how she will be spending this Christmas.
PHOTOS: Devyn Hill
Hi, Bree. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been great!
I’ve just been working my day-job and promoting the new single and music video for What You’re Looking For.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Bree Taylor and I am a singer-songwriter from Toronto, Ontario (in Canada). I have been writing since I was a little girl and have always had a passion for music. What You’re Looking For is my third single that I have released - and I am so excited that everyone is loving it. I also love acting, reading; spending time with my friends/family and dog; working out/yoga.
I also post weekly YouTube videos.
What You’re Looking For is your new single. Can you tell me the origins behind it?
Well. This song is based off a specific experience with a guy that I have a history with…
We had an intense connection from the moment we met but the timing was never on our side. However, this song has become about so much more than that experience. It is about how so many guys, nowadays, don’t know what they want when it comes to a relationship or dating - and end up wasting great girl’s time playing games.
With all the dating apps. now; guys find it so easy to meet girls and are so often just looking for a quick ‘hook-up’ - and want to use girls for their bodies instead of spending time getting to know them and letting things just happen. Unfortunately, I have encountered many of these guys in my years dating and have so many friends who have had similar experiences and struggles in the dating scene.
This song is about having the self-respect to walk away from a situation that does not serve you (or fulfil you). We all deserve to feel loved and wanted and to be someone's number-one - and that’s what I want people to take away from the song.
It seems to carry personal weight and relevance. Would you say love – and the conflicts and complexities of love – form a basis for your creative drive?
Yes. I have always been a hopeless romantic and relationships - and love/dating have been huge influences on my songwriting.
I find writing, especially songwriting, to be so therapeutic and a lot of my emotional struggles flow through into my songs. A lot of what fuels me creatively are things myself or my friends go through - and love/dating tend to be a large part of our lives and struggles. I am a storyteller and I write about anything that my heart needs to say so, whatever topic that may be...I let it flow out of me.
For now; my heart seems to want to write about love…
I know you have an impressive body of work under your belt. Will this translate into an E.P. or album soon?
Thank you (smiles) and, yes - I will have an E.P out in the spring.
I am also working on writing new music - so lots of exciting new things in the future.
It seems, from the video of your latest single, you have a natural flair in front of the camera. Do you think you will do more acting – and continue with music – as we head into 2018?
THANK YOU! That means a lot to me - and I have actually been pursuing acting as well for the past year. I do love being in front of the camera and have found a passion for acting in recent years.
Acting is something I have had a secret passion for growing up - but was always too scared to pursue as a kid. However, over the past few years, I have been training here and there and decided to really start pursuing it after filming my first music video for Broken Dreams (a little over a year ago). I have really been working on my acting this past year - and am so glad you noticed the work I have been putting in through this new video.
I definitely have plans to continue with acting into 2018...
It seems you were born to be in music. Is it right music was in your life as early as your delivery? Do you have an entertainment/musical background and family?
I was delivered to a mix-tape my dad made for my mom when she was pregnant with me. There isn’t a lot of musical background in my family, actually. My papa, on my mom’s side, plays violin; my grandma, on my dad’s side, can sing and had been in choirs - but that is about it for musical talent in my family history. In terms of entertainment, though; my grandpa, John Badham, had an amazing career in sports radio broadcast here in Canada.
However; I am really the first person to pursue a career in music/acting in my family.
Can you remember the artists you grew up with?
I grew up listening to so many amazing artists.
I listened to EVERYTHING growing up...from Country, Punk; Pop - even Metal. Some bands/artists are: Blink-182, Sum 41, Avril Lavigne; ABBA, Shania Twain; Amanda Marshall, Michelle Branch; Elton John; the Eagles, AC/DC; Red Jumpsuit Apparatus; Christina Aguilera…the list goes on and on…
Some write music to normalise and rationalise anxieties and deeper feelings. What does music mean to you - and how important is it regards your happiness and spirit?
Music saved me...
I am the exact same, in that music and writing is therapy for me and, 100%, helps me deal with my anxieties and emotions. Music and creating/writing is so essential to my very existence and happiness that I can’t see myself doing anything else.
Music was there for me when I had no one; when I was struggling; when I have been at my highs – and, especially, my lows - when my faith was wavering and I want to create music that does the same for someone else. When I am singing or writing or performing, I feel like I am doing what I was meant to do and I am my happiest, best self. I thrive when I create and there is nothing better than seeing something you created come to life and people connecting with it.
Music is SO essential to my spirit and every fibre of my being.
Canada is a breeding ground for great music. What is it about the country that leads to such excellent sounds?
I have no idea!
I think we just have incredible talent here. I know myself and many artists I know from Canada have been through a lot in our lives and have a lot to say - so that might have something to do with it. Lots of passion comes through in our music. Canada does have so much incredible talent and I think that isn’t necessarily credited to where we are from - but how we are brought up; how music has influenced and shaped us as artists - and the experiences we have to share through our music.
Are there any tour dates coming up? Where can we see you play?
Well. I am performing at a corporate Christmas party in a couple weeks - but that is a private show. I will be booking a lot more shows/festivals in the New Year; though, so be sure to check my website for show dates.
Will you be heading to the U.K. next year, do you think?
I might be!
No solid plans yet - but I would love to come out to the U.K. at some point.
IN THIS PHOTO: Meghan Patrick
Who are the new artists you recommend we investigate?
I highly recommend my good friend Nicole Rayy. She is an incredibly talented songwriter and performer!
I also am in love with Meghan Patrick’s music. She is a Canadian Country singer who is killing it right now.
I also LOVE Phoebe Ryan. She has such a unique voice and sound.
IN THIS PHOTO: Phoebe Ryan
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Such a tough question! There are so many!
Shania Twain - Up!
Because I grew up a huge fan of Shania’s music - and that was one of my favourite albums of hers. It really helped me get through a lot as a kid. It holds a special place in my heart - and pretty much any Shania song brings back wonderful and happy memories for me.
Paramore - Riot!
Because it represents my Punk-Rock phase - in my teen years - that really helped influence me musically - and helped me through a lot of tough times battling depression/anxiety and dealing with being bullied in school. I listened to a lot of Punk-Rock and Metal at that time. Paramore are one of my favourite bands. There isn’t a single song on this album I don’t love and it just takes me back.
Misery Business and Crushcrushcrush are two of my all-time-favourite Paramore songs.
Taylor Swift – 1989
Because there isn’t a single song on that album that I don’t love - and I can listen to it over and over again. Lyrically, all her music just speaks to me - but there is a song for every mood on that album.
It is just such a well-produced and well-written album.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Surround yourself with a great team of people who can help you make your dream come true. It is a lot of work and effort to make it in this industry and every bit of wisdom and assistance helps.
Keep your circle small and filled with positive and supportive people - and be aware of negative people who will drain you of your energy or try to take advantage of your and any success you start to have.
Also...family is everything!
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I don’t have any plans yet - probably will spend a lot of time with friends and family and catching up on some of my favourite shows (that I don’t get to watch often with my busy schedule).
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
I am OBSESSED with Taylor Swift’s new song, Gorgeous
It is so FUN and catchy; fresh and flirty - I love it! I think it is a song that all girls can relate to when they are crushing on someone. She just slays with lyrics
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