Taylor Grey is an American singer/songwriter from California who entered the music scene in 2016 and has already carved a promising path for herself in the industry. On her previous tour with New Hope Club, one of our Veracious Magazine’s staff members had the privilege of conducting an interview and portrait session with the artist. You can read the full interview below and expect more photos in our next issue!
Interview & Portraits by Lexi Schnell
How’s tour been so far?
So fun! Probably the most fun tour I’ve been on yet. I’m such a big fan of New Hope Club in general so that’s always fun getting to watch them and listen to music you like. They’re also so nice, beyond nice, so it’s always amazing when you’re working with people you like. And it’s so cool, the fans are very very welcoming.
You seem to have a great relationship with your fans, how has it been meeting them after the show each night?
So fun, I mean I never am the person that thinks that people A.) know me or want to see me or talk to me. People used to wave to me, and my friends would be like “they just waved at you did you ignore them?” and I’d be like “no they weren’t waving at me” and they’d say “who else would they be waving at?” and I’m like oh shit now I look mean. But I never think that people are looking. They were doing a VIP thing at the Troubadour and I walked down to go to the bathroom thinking nothing of it and some girl was like “Oh my god Taylor” and that moment hit me and I was like oh wow that is so special that after doing this for three years people know my name before I go on stage. I was like “me?? okay” I’m like “Hi yes anything, pictures? Yes absolutely! Anything you want!”
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
I think the connection is the most important. The writing process is really really special, I started writing in middle school to kind of understand complex emotions. Which I mean how complex is a 6th grade emotion? I mean probably a lot actually; puberty is shitty whatever [laughing]. That was a profound take, good one Taylor. At a meet and greet I had this girl come up to me and was like “I heard your song for the first time yesterday and it really hit me, and I used to be bullied and felt invisible and hearing your song made me feel like I was less alone.” She started crying and I started crying, because that’s all that I want to do. Cause I used to be so invisible in high school and now having a platform where quite literally I am on a stage. People are going to see me whether they like it or not, unfortunately or fortunately, whatever they want. Being able to make that connection and kind of be like if she can do it I can do it.
If you weren’t doing music what do you think you would be doing right now?
So, I’m still in school studying psychology. I would probably be… my friend just sent me an article saying that Stanford has the highest average salary of its graduates and I was like shit look at what I’m giving up for music right now [laughing]. I think it was over $100,000 a year, and I’m like I’m in the wrong field [laughs]. But I would definitely be doing something psychology related.
Has it been hard balancing college courses with music?
What usually inspires you when writing music?
I tend to try to create stories because I’m so busy and I don’t know if you’ve had this experience at college, where most of the guys just like suck in general at that age [laughing]. So, I have zero relationships at all and even if there were eligible bachelors, I don’t have the time for that so I’m like shoot. But most of my songs are love songs so I either use my friends’ experiences or kind of just come up with stuff or will have people tell me stories. I just recently wrote a song and they were like “Oh yeah I was texting this girl and she misunderstood what I said,” and I was like, “that’s a song”. So, kind of just taking what I can, because I’m like dang I just need to get my heart broken, can you imagine what songs would happen?
Out of all the songs you have written which one is the most personal?
I think the most personal to me, that feels when I’m playing it, it feels very vulnerable and intimate is “Non-goodbye” which is kind of like a B-side track of my EP Grey and no one ever listens to it. It’s the last song on the EP and it’s a long one and it’s just me and piano. But I played the piano, I insisted that no one else could play it, so the piano is very average. Cause I was like I need to play it its my song. But that’s the most personal to me, but the most lyrically like you know a lot about me is the song “Impossible” off my first album Space Case that came out over two years ago now. It was when I was so in love with this older guy and he just saw me as a little sister. I literally just wrote… it was the most Taylor Swift of my songs, and Taylor Swift is what got me into writing, but of course I don’t have the stories for it so I was like “I have this story” and I was like just let me lay it out.
You recently just released “My Girl”, what was it like recording it in London?
That was fun, when I was asked to do a couple covers for a project that will be… hopefully it will come to fruition, but I’m not allowed to say anything yet. But I was asked to record a couple of covers and they gave me a long list of songs and that one immediately stood out. I don’t know if you did choir growing up, but my high school choir did “My Girl” and I was like such an American classic I wonder if I can take it and make it super broken down and different but still maintain its integrity and not change it lyrically or anything. But recording in London was awesome, Jaime Sellers I did it with him and I was like dang I just want to move here everyone’s so much nicer.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
So many it’s insane, I have a warmup that I need to do that takes like total 30 minutes and I will split it up. I used to have to sing a little bit of every song that I was going to sing which took up so much time, and now I don’t need to do that anymore. But I’m the worst and take forever to get ready so there’s that. Me and my guitar player do three cheers to Neal Daniels, who is a random drummer that we used to play with. He’s off doing other tours now and it just has really stuck, three cheers to Neal Daniels.
What is your favorite tour memory so far?
I mean overall going to the UK was great, it was the first tour bus experience that I had which was insane. That’s like sleeping in a coffin but a really fun one where you’re like oh I like it [laughing]. Just getting to wake up in a new city every day and be like wow I’m in a foreign country right now, that’s kind of cool. Also, I did it during school, I just left school for a month. I told one of my teachers and she was like “super excited for you… you’re going to need to write a three-page paper for each class that you missed,” which I never did, but I still got an A because she liked me. I wrote like an extra… I had to write like a 25-page paper at the end. I know all the answers to any questions you have about adolescent development [laughing]. But yeah that was the most fun.
If you had one message to give to your fans what would it be?
Thank you, I don’t know what to say. I still don’t even believe that I have people that genuinely like my music. I know that’s not an appropriate thing to say as a musician but I’m always so insecure so I’m like “No, no one really likes my stuff”. So, I guess thank you for existing and being real, like physically real. But also, genuine real and connecting with me and allowing me to do what makes me super super happy and feel the most alive. A really intricate and unnecessarily long thank you [laughs].