I have been speaking with Bree Taylor...
about her latest single, You Played It All, and what its story is. I was eager to learn what is happening next for her and whether there are plans; the sort of music she was raised around and which albums ranks as personal favourites.
Taylor talks about the role plays in her life; what advice she’d give to rising artists and which new names we need to get behind – she ends the interview by selecting a great track and reveals what Christmas present she would have given a choice of anything.
Hi, Bree. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, Sam! My week has been great so far! Found out my dad booked me a surprise trip to Nashville for the first week of June as an early Christmas present, so I am super-excited about that.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Bree Taylor. I am a singer-songwriter from Toronto, ON (in Canada) and I recently released my six-song E.P. called Unbreakable in August 2018 and am currently promoting my single, You Played It All, off the E.P. This E.P. is a Pop record that I have been working on the past three years that I am excited to finally have released.
You Played It All is your new track. What is the story behind it?
This new single I wrote a few years ago as a sad piano ballad but, when I took it to my producer this past summer, we started playing around with it in the studio and we ended up turning it into this fun, upbeat yet-emotional Dance ballad. I absolutely loved the entire creative process of this song and where it ended up. It turned into something so special that I didn't see coming when I first wrote it - which is the coolest part of being a musician and songwriter.
It is a song about dating and relationships in today's dating era where many guys play games and lead girls on and don't take relationships seriously. They get scared of commitment or just purely enjoy the chase and are emotionally immature; but a lot of great women get hurt by them in the process. What I want people to take away from this song, however, is that if someone is playing with your emotions in any dating/relationship scenario they aren't worth your time or energy and you're better off without them. So, what seems like a hurtful situation is actually a blessing in disguise because you deserve so much better than that.
Are you looking ahead to next year in terms of material?
YES! I am already doing a bunch of writes (sic) and working on new music and will be releasing a Pop-Country single in the New Year and taking my music a bit more in that direction. My roots are originally Country; that’s what I was writing before I started on this E.P. but have always had a love for so many genres that I wanted to put out a Pop record. I’ve since been getting back into my roots and also have gotten so much feedback at my shows that I have a killer voice for Country music, so it seems that’s where things are taking me and my music next.
Can you give me an idea of the artists, older and new, who inspire you and compel your own sound?
I have honestly listened to so many different artists of different genres of music my entire life that I couldn’t quite give a direct answer to that. I have always just been me. I am sure all the different musical interests I have had my entire life have influenced me and my sound in one way or another. I grew up loving Shania Twain, Amanda Marshall; Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson; Taylor Swift, Faith Hill; Sade, Avril Lavigne...the list goes on and on!
My current sound is just me - I write and sing from the heart and whatever comes out is where we take things. I love being able to experiment with my music!
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Well. I kind of spoiled this bit already by mentioning that I will be taking my music in a new direction in 2019 and releasing a Country single early-2019. I also mentioned earlier that I will be down in Nashville for about a week or so the first week of June 2019 so I am planning to set up a bunch of writing sessions and meetings while I am down there and take advantage of my time in town.
I also have plans to be doing more shows and festivals in 2019 and am hoping to potentially plan another tour as well. I have some things being planned behind the scenes that I am hoping will work out that I can’t talk about just yet - but I will update everyone on my social media once I am able to.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
My favourite memory thus far in music would have to be being on my first tour this past May 2018. I did a twelve-show tour across Canada sponsored by Silhouette Eyewear that was absolutely a great experience for my first ever tour. It was very low budget and wasn’t the most lavish experience per se but it was great experience. Myself and all the other artists on tour had a lot of fun; bonded and made friends for life.
My ultimate favourite moment would be getting to perform on stage at the Hard Rock Casino in Vancover, BC. That is the biggest stage I have yet to perform on and it was a stage that several dozen incredible artists and bands that I admire have performed on like Pat Benatar, Michael Bublé... the list goes on. Their sound system and team were incredible too - it was a great performance experience.
What does music mean to you? How important is it in your life?
Music is everything to me. I don’t know how I would function without music in my life - it has been so ingrained in me that it is vital to my existence. Creating fuels my soul and music is every part of that. Listening to music has always been something my parents surrounded me with and creating it is such a deep part of me that not being able to sing or write would probably kill me or, at the very least, my spirit. I can’t see myself doing anything else and that is why I work so hard - because I really have no choice.
I have invested so much time, energy and money into my career but it is just something that doesn't feel like work to me. I even love things like this - interviewing, press; performing, writing; designing my website, acting in and creating a music video. Every angle of this industry and my career in music I adore. It’s second nature to me and is so enjoyable it just comes naturally and is everything I want for my life.
I also love that it gives me the platform to be an advocate for things I care about. I can not only write songs about topics that mean so much to me and writing very much is therapy for me...but I can bring awareness and share my story with mental-health as someone who has suffered with anxiety and depression almost my entire life as well as bullying in school, body-image issues and eating disorders.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Shania Twain - Come on Over
I would steal this album from my mom growing up and dance and belt out along to her tunes. It reminds me of all the happy times in my childhood when everything was blissfully happy and unaware of the stresses of adult life. Before I was bullied in school when things were easy and fun.
Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin
I went through a lot of teen angst and was bullied really badly throughout my school years and this album really stands out to me because it had a lot of deep and emotional lyrics that I could connect to. It got me through a lot of hard times growing up.
Michelle Branch - The Spirit Room
This album stands out so clearly to me because Michelle Branch inspired me to pick up the guitar and want to sing professionally and have a career in music. I had always dreamed about being a professional musician but, when I fell in love with her music and saw the passion she had and heard her lyrics, I knew it was how I wanted to spend my life. I can’t quite explain it but this album took me dreaming of having a career in music and gave me the drive and ambition to really go after it and make it a career.
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
One present I really want this Christmas is love: love for me and for everyone. I want everyone to feel loved and wanted and to know how much they are valued especially at this time of year; especially those who don't have anyone or are going through hard times. This time of year is hard for many people, especially those who have lost loved ones who can't be here with us.
Since losing people close to me, the holidays have become a hard time for myself and my family and my heart goes out to everyone else dealing with similar things. So, all I want is love. I am a simple person and my pursuit of love and happiness has been a long and tiring one - and it's all I want in life but especially this Christmas.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I would want to tour with either Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood. I admire them both so much as women, artists and businesswomen. I love their music and everything they represent and would LOVE to be able to open for either of them on tour.
In terms of my own rider - I am fairly easy going and modest so I don’t expect much. Haha. I would probably want some essential oils with a diffuser; hot ginger/lemon tea, a comfy couch to relax on; some good lighting to do hair and makeup and a little bed and treats for my dog - who I would want to bring with me on a big stadium tour like that.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I always say that, for anyone wanting to get into this industry, you not only have to eat, breathe and sleep music but you also need to educate yourself on the business end of it as well. It is such a highly competitive industry that you not only need to have talent and passion but you need to run your own business and build your brand along the way. Music isn’t just about music anymore and there are so many area’s to this industry that are vital to your success. You need to find a way to stand out from the rest and set yourself apart.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
The only current show I have booked for 2019 is February 22nd, 2019 - a charity event for Team Dog Rescue; Part with a Purpose at Chateau Le Parc. I am booking shows and festivals right now for 2019 and will post on my website any upcoming shows or people can join my mailing list to find out.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Reklaws
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I really am loving The Reklaws. They are a brother-and-sister Country duo and I saw them this past summer at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival and really fell in love with their music. I also love Kira Isabella - and her new single, Little Girl, is killing it. I just love her lyrics and the powerful messages behind her music. She also has a great voice!
IN THIS PHOTO: Kira Isabella
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Music is pretty much my life and I am constantly surrounded by it because my drive and determination to make this a full-time career for myself is relentless so I never give up. However, I do let myself socialize with friends and family and I date when I get the chance as well, which not only fuels my music creatively but it had given me a lot of experience to give advice to my fans on my YouTube channel or upcoming podcast.
I like to unwind at home with my dog, in my P.J.s, with a good blanket and either a good book or show on Netflix. Or, I love doing yoga or going to the gym to help me de-stress and help me with my anxiety.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Halsey - Without Me
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