Taylor Grey | Music in SF

Q&A: Local Rising Star Taylor Grey

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Rising local Bay Area pop singer Taylor Grey recently released her debut album “Space Case”, which was produced by award-winner Josh Abraham (Justin Bieber, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson). About the singer, Abraham called her “a gifted singer/songwriter with an extraordinary vocal range.”

At just 19, Grey is set to hit the road to promote the new release as the opener for Jacob Whitesides’ “Basically Happy” Tour. This marks her second time touring with Whiteside, and the smarty-pants singer (she’s currently a neuroscience major at Stanford) couldn’t be happier. “I’m thrilled to be touring again with Jacob and I can’t wait to connect with my fans this summer.” She adds, “it’s exciting and inspiring to get back on the road where I can continue my journey.”

In between rehearsals, Music in SF was fortunate to grab a few minutes of Grey’s time to ask her how she balances college with music, what it was like to work so closely with Josh Abraham, and what she likes to do when she’s in San Francisco.

Can you tell us about your upcoming album?

I’m so excited for “Space Case.” It has a really cool sound that I like to call space pop but also has songs that are infused and inspired by elements of country and alternative pop as well. This album is one about growing up and finding yourself and your voice. There are songs about falling in and out of love, but more importantly songs about empowering and loving yourself.

Taylor Grey | Music in SF
Taylor Grey | Music in SF

What was it like recording with producer Josh Abraham?

Working with Josh Abraham was surreal. When someone that accomplished, who has worked with the best, chooses to work with you, you do somewhat of a double take. Abraham and Nico Stadi really helped make this album come together as a cohesive body of work.

What are you most excited about your upcoming tour with Jacob Whitesides?

I’m so excited to see some of the wonderful people I met at the shows last year again. I love connecting with the audience and jamming out together.

You have a duet you did with The Vamps’ Brad Simpson on the album. How did that come about?

So I wrote the song Fallin’ last year and it just felt like a duet. My producers and I knew it had to be a duet from day 1. So we sent the song to a few people to see what would work and Brad actually sent the song back to me with a couple new lyrics to the song. I fell in love with those lyrics because it showed that he actually understood the meaning of the song. A lot of people think the song is a love song and it’s actually really about falling out of love so the fact that he understood it and put it into words really made me feel like he was the perfect fit.

You’ll be heading out on tour shortly, with a stop in San Francisco at Slim’s. Being that you’re relatively local, what’s your favorite thing to do in the city?

Does it reveal just how nerdy I am if I say I love the Exploratorium?

You’re currently a Sophomore at Stanford. Do you ever feel overwhelmed balancing academia with blossoming music career?

Absolutely, it’s definitely a great challenge in balance. But I wouldn’t have it any other way – I love music and I love school. I grew up valuing education but also valuing pursuing your dreams, so I’m really lucky to have the opportunity to do both.

If your career were to take off in a big way, would you still stay in school?

I’m getting my degree! High school Taylor would absolutely hate me if I dropped out of school because I worked so hard to get there. But I’d never be opposed to taking time off. I think there’s often pressure to finish in 4 years because that’s the norm and that’s what “everyone” does but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking your time and doing your own thing if you have that opportunity and if that’s what you want to do.

What kind of music are kids listening to nowadays in college? Are there any major movements going on?

I think college students listen to any and everything! I think a lot of people are listening to more EDM as a lot of popular artists are infusing it with pop now!

What’s your major and what have been some of your favorite classes so far?

I’m a neuroscience major. Some of my favorite classes have been about learning how the brain works, but I also love Italian.

When did you write your first song and what was it about?

I’m not sure what my very first song was, but one of the most memorable ones was a song I wrote in 7th grade after my boyfriend broke up with me right before my volleyball game. It was appropriately coined “All in a Volleyball Uniform”.

After the album drops, the tour ends, what’s next for Taylor Grey?

I’m going to start writing and recording album 2!

Taylor Grey plays with Jacob Whitesides, Castro at Slim’s on Tuesday Jun 20, 2017 – Doors @ 7:00pm / Show @ 7:30pm

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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