THE terrific Taylor-Louise...
has been telling me about her new track, Blessed with a Curse, and what it is all about. I ask her how music arrives in her mind and what her process is; how her current material differs from her earliest work and what the next steps are.
Taylor-Louise reveals a few albums that mean a lot to her and recommends some rising artists to follow; how she unwinds away from music and what music she grew up around – the songwriter selects a great track to end the interview with.
Hi, Taylor-Louise. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello, I'm very well, thank you - I hope you’re okay too. My week has been busy! I love being productive…
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Absolutely. I’m a singer-songwriter who has been recording and releasing music for, just coming up to eight years. However, I have been playing and writing for around ten.
Blessed with a Curse is your new single. Is there a story behind it?
Blessed with a Curse is the first song of its kind for me. I realised that writing music didn’t make me become who I am: it’s who I already was. I can never change that no matter where I go, what I do or who I meet…or how much I try to normalise my life and confirm to society, I will always be pulled back to the music.
As the lyrics in this song specifically emphasise, it’s “something I have to do”. It’s the only song I have written about my relationship with music, although it definitely comes with many sacrifices and hurdles that others may not be aware of. Being able to write, sing and hear music inside my head constantly is a major ‘blessing’ or ‘talent’ as some may describe - but it’s also a very isolated place at times.
How do you think your new single differs from your earliest work?
In terms of production, it still has elements of past works. I was very open-minded with my other releases which led me to experiment with different sounds and genres/styles. I haven’t changed in this sense but now, when I have written a song, I can almost feel the style that would best suit it. This track has a more Rock essence, which I think really highlights and supports the mood of the lyrics.
How does music come to you? Do you find it easy to come up with song ideas?
If I feel a lot of emotion come over me, it will pour itself onto paper or just linger in my mind; sometimes it can be so intense that a song can be written within the hour. The majority of the time it doesn’t happen during the same day, week or month of a situation but, once I’ve realised the feeling, it just manifests.
Writing is my coping mechanism for a lot and it’s driven by the need to share with others so that nobody feels alone with anything they’re going through. Music is the best language on the planet - it connects everybody. I recently read a quote that “music is the decoration of time”.
Might we see more music later in the year?
Yes, absolutely. I have a lot more on the way - and I’m so excited to put them out.
What sort of music did you grow up around as a child?
I actually grew up around a lot of R&B, Soul and Reggae. But, I’m in a very open-minded family so we always listened to everything; no genre-waster judged. This meant I was able to listen to a good mixture dependent on my mood! I think it’s good to not get yourself ‘stuck’ in one place.
As a new artist, what are the best aspects of being in the music industry?
Meeting new people and connecting with lots of like-minded people is amazing. Being able to listen to initial opinions from people who have never heard of me before is a great way to either evolve and grow or know I’ve positively affected someone; I think, sometimes, this can become a blurry journey for bigger artists.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
Any time that I am on a stage and can see the audience involved in the moment stands out. There’s no better feeling than a crowd being able to feed back the energy that I’m giving.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
This is a tough one, it really is. I think the albums that helped/shaped me through tough points in my life have to be the most important (keep an open mind): Black Veil Brides - We Stitch These Wounds, Set the World on Fire and Wretched and Divine. (Yes, I’m afraid they’re all from the same band!). The meaning behind it is a lot deeper/dark but I really connected with these albums and songs at the time and I’ll always carry a part of that with me. Something resonated and still does; I go back to these occasionally.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Billie Eilish. Every track is unique. She isn’t afraid to stick to one sound/genre. And that exactly what I’m all about. I’m terrible with riders; I’m so easy going. As long as I have some water, I’m happy.
Might we see you on tour in 2019?
I definitely want to arrange this in the near-future…
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
Performing live is everything - it’s an extension of the art. If an artist sounds great in a studio but can’t perform live they won’t capture my attention. If you don’t seem like you feel or connect with the words you’re writing or singing about, it leads me to ask if those emotions were ever even ‘real’. Personally, I will always prefer performing live and its entire exhilarating buzz. Its raw and no one time is ever the same as the last.
IN THIS PHOTO: Lewis Capaldi
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I make sure of it. I was such a workaholic in my teenage years that I would get ill and burn out quite a lot. Now, I’m in a much more balanced place, dividing my time between music and my passions with meditation/yoga; crystal healing and general health/wellbeing. I’m massively into the gym and weight-lifting and pushing my body to do things that I may never of known was possible. Feeling strong is such a reward.
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).
LP - Tokyo Sunrise