One-On-One with Tayah

Here to bless ya stereos this week is Tayah with her debut full-length project, ‘Wonderer of the West’ taking listeners on a journey of reflection, self-actualisation and rediscovery.

For those unfamiliar with Tayah’s sound, think of a fusion between the likes of Ella Mai, H.E.R and a sprinkle of Victoria Monet.

A project partly inspired by the current state of the world, Tayah takes the time to acknowledge the positives, choosing to “slow down” and “focus inward”.

Throughout the course of the project you can hear Tayah document stories from her adulthood through her effortless, smooth slinky voice which instantly radiates this calming aura.

For Tayah, this has also been a space to delve into her own tough personal experiences including separation from her family.

There’s pretty much a tune for everyone on this EP, from soothing minimalistic tracks to more mid-tempo R&B party jams with so empowering anthems added into the mix that just make you want to get up and groove.

But this is only the beginning for Tayah and it will only be a matter of years until you see this talented gal blow up big time.

So we took a moment and sat down with this top-notch gal to get all the latest deets on the new project plus her future plans.

Hi Tayah, how’s everything been going with the new release?

Everything is right on time. I feel like now I have something that’s out in the world and it’s not mine anymore, it’s whoever is listening. I’m basically releasing all control. It feels good, especially after creating something so personal.

Firstly, tell us how your love for music began?

Personally, I wouldn’t say that my love for music “began”, I’d say it’s something that is a part of me. Something that I have always had and heard. I grew up in pretty inconsistent environments but music was always that constant thing throughout it all.

Who were some of your biggest inspirations growing up?

I grew up on a lot of 80’s funk, rare groove, reggae and R&B music. Such as Usher, Teedra Moses, SOS Band and Alton Ellis to name a few. I would say the inspiration came from the complete honesty of the music and how well rounded it was. It’s not just music you hear, it’s music you feel and understand. Like the one universal language.

How would you describe your sound?

R&B/Soul with hip hop influence. I dive into trap soul a little bit too. My sister has described it as “old school in the newest way”, which is cool. I don’t really like to describe myself too much as I just want people to have their own experience at first.

We dig your tune, ‘Queens’ – can you tell us a bit about how the song came about?

Crazy, I made this song during a time when I was moving about a lot. Actually the original title for the track was ‘Missions’ but I ended up changing it. I wrote the majority if not all of it on the grass and a park bench. It’s about the fact that all of us are getting on and going off to our own places mentally and physically.

It’s about sticking to your mission and if knowing that whoever is meant to be on your journey will be on it and if they’re not it’s not a bad thing. We are all walking different paths that connect and disconnect to each other along the line.

Your upcoming debut project, ‘Wonderer Of The West’ is getting super exciting – tell us what can we expect from the record?

Listeners can expect a very honest tape. The concept was very personal. I wrote this when I was forced into solitude for personal reasons, so it’s quite introspective but I’d also love people to connect to it in their on way melodically and lyrically. So yeah, it wasn’t made with the intention of being consumable for everybody.

What were some of the biggest inspirations behind the new project?

One of my sisters, my upbringing and God. The project is very focused on how the positive side of some of the issues I’ve encountered in my life. But at the time, I didn’t always feel this way but I knew if I sung it or longed for it, the positivity would appear somewhere.

What’s your favourite tune from ‘Wanderer Of The West’?

‘8 ‘Til Late’, this is like an ode to some of my favourite songs. It’s one of my more recent songs, so it describes me more as the artist I am today. I also love ‘Still I See (Blu Skies)’, as it’s the most personal to me, especially lyrically.

What do you hope listeners take away when listening to your music?

I hope it connects with listeners as something that I comforting, especially in times like this with lockdowns. I live in the UK so we have just entered yet another lockdown.

I’m hoping it can give anyone who may be in isolation a sense of belonging and also a chance to really do some self-discovery because I really found myself during this process and knowing yourself is the best thing you could ever do for yourself.

Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with in the future?

I have never really thought about this but off the top of my head but I would say Ari Lennox and Zilo. I like musically-honest work and from what I’ve heard, they’re so good at that.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to upcoming young musicians?

Meet people! Like in person! Of course now is a bit hard to be outside but generally I would say meeting people who you network with on social media is so important for you and for them. You really get to know what works and what doesn’t. Nothing’s ever as it seems, so realise that we are all just humans away from the screen at the end of the day. Know the people you mix with!

Finally, can you reveal any exciting upcoming plans?

Well firstly, I need to give myself a week to just be as I’ve been on the go for such a long time.

Hopefully some more visuals and some live stuff. Performing this song live is something I really want to do so I’m hoping we can get it done in a safe way. I am also looking to collaborate, whether that be lyrically or vocally.

Get your Tayah fix and snatch your very own copy of ‘Wonderer Of The West’ HERE.

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