Women are killing it in the music industry, and the world of song lovers couldn't be happier! In our new column, #WomenCrushWednesday, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.
To kick off the new year, we spoke with Taylor Grey. Part pop star, part college student, and all-around amazing individual, Grey is conquering everything she touches. In between finals and papers, she released the lyric video for her single "Poison," and we're definitely digging it. Grey spoke with us about her inspiration, her motivation to never stop going, and what she's got coming up next in her very busy schedule.
How did you get interested in writing and performing music?
I was really shy when I was younger so my mom told me to try out for the school musical in hopes that being on stage would help my confidence. Ever since, I've found my home on the stage. Music lets me express myself in a way words never did.
Your music has been described as "alternative pop." What does that mean to you?
I think it's a way to describe pop music with a twist. I write my own songs and pour all my emotions into them, and sometimes those resonate in a more moody way than regular pop. I guess when I write my feelings, that's the genre that just flows out.
You've worked with producers who have also worked with some of the biggest names in the pop industry. What has this experience been like and what artists have most greatly inspired you?
It's incredibly fascinating to learn for them and such an honor! Right now Julia Michaels is my inspiration because she is such an incredible songwriter. Writing a song with her would be my dream collaboration.
What has been your experience as a woman in the music industry?
I've felt like I've had to prove myself a lot more than perhaps a male counterpart. This is by no means exclusive to the music industry, but I've felt that despite my intelligence and having achieved the honor of studying at Stanford University, my appearance still speaks before I do. One example is the old and unfortunately familiar "dumb blonde" stereotype. I would like to think my abilities would say more about me than my choice of hair color, so it hurts when my thoughts are undermined by appearance and gender. I say gender, because I genuinely have never heard a man's opinion discredited because he was blonde.
You're also a student at Stanford University. What encouraged you to pursue this education and what are some of the challenges of balancing this with your music career?
I've always been a nerd. I was the girl spending her lunch period alone in the library. I never felt like I belonged in any of the social groups at school so I focused on both school and music. It makes sense to me to continue to pursue both.
This summer, you released your debut album, Space Case. What was the writing and recording process for this project like?
I felt like I had full artistic control of it. I've evolved both personally and musically since I wrote those songs, but I love looking back on them because each song is like a snippet of my life. It evokes a lot of memories and can take me back to the place I was when I wrote it; for example, the bathroom of a hotel bawling my eyes out (the song Impossible).
You recently released the lyric video for your song, "Poison." What's important about this track that made you want to showcase the lyrics from it?
I wanted the lyrics displayed because I felt like such a representation of me. The lyrics really highlight a lot of insecurities I've had in the past that I'm now coming to terms with. I used to be insecure and introverted and could never feel comfortable at parties or in large groups. It felt weird for me to admit as a college student - aren't I supposed to love those things? Admitting "that's just me" felt really good and I wanted to memorialize it so that if I ever feel insecure again, I know I've conquered it before.
Are there any other tracks from Space Case that we can expect to see come to life in video form or have transformed in some other way?
Not from Space Case, but new music for sure!
What's coming up for you in 2018?
So many things! Lots of music and lots of touring! I'm hoping this is the best year yet. I'm ready to learn and grow with the people on this journey with me.
Rachel A.G. Gilman is a writer, a radio producer, and probably the girl wearing the Kinks shirt. Visit her website for more.
Have a female or femme-identifying artist we should profile? Send a pitch email to Rachel.
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