Where are you currently based?
I’m in Sydney, born and raised.
How did you first start playing music?
I grew up in a musical household, so music came very natural to me. As a toddler, I was always singing, writing (terrible) kiddy love songs, choreographing something, drawing and painting, playing out scenarios with my toys by myself (only child syndrome), and just being creative.
However, as a career, I didn’t take music particularly seriously until 2017 when I randomly entered into an international ‘battle-of-the-bands’ competition, called Emergenza. Having never performed my original songs in public, I was absolutely shocked when I won the National title in Australia, and was then flown over to Germany to compete in the international finals, coming 4th overall! I came back home with a better sense of self and direction, and went straight into crafting my sound and artistry as Taylor B-W… and haven’t looked back since!
What’s been happening recently?
Oh my gosh, soooo much! Earlier this year, I released 3 singles (High Demand, ‘In Ur Net’ and Tears Of Coal’), then I released my debut EP, BTW TBW, in August, with a sold-out release party at Bootleggers, Newtown (upstairs Kelly’s On King), I’m about to embark on my first tour around Regional NSW in October, to celebrate my EP, I moved-in with my partner, and I’ve just released my post-EP single, ‘Last Child’! Talk about a lot in a year!
Your single ‘Last Child’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
After I wrote out the initial lyrics in a stream of consciousness, and stood back, I realised I was really channelling Lana Del Rey’s ‘sadcore’ style. I knew from then that I wanted the music to be big, epic, grandiose… a total soundscape. To also help with that grand sound, I used synths that would remind me of our beautiful planet – for instance, the low, brooding synths at the start sound similar to whales in the ocean.
As I was going through the production process, I would often return to these song references: Adele’s ‘Hello’ and ‘Skyfall’, Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ride’, Amy Shark’s ‘I Said Hi’ and, of course, Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ (the biggest influence) to reflect that epic, indie, dream-pop feel.
How did you go about writing Last Child and what does this song mean to you?
‘Last Child’ was a stream of consciousness as I was crying… it was 2017, the year I was studying to become a zookeeper (yes, I am a qualified zookeeper!), so I was learning so much about our world’s flora and fauna and it opened my eyes up to our climate emergency, more than ever before. At that moment, when I was writing ‘Last Child’, I was so depressed about the state of our planet, with so many politicians putting their head in the sand and avoiding the climate crisis, that I just put pen to paper through my tears.
‘Last Child’ is honestly one of my favourite songs I’ve written. I’m pretty proud of it!
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?
It was produced/mixed/mastered by Peter Holz at Love Hz studios in Leichhardt – early 2020! However, it never felt like the right time to release the song… till now!
How did you approach the recording process?
I actually had a fully produced demo going into the studio with Pete, but I wasn’t happy with it and wanted to completely start from scratch and approach the process with an open mind. I think it turned out beautifully, but I am bias!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Oh I listen to a lot of music, but I guess my focus artist at the moment is Finneas! Having just seen Billie Eilish in concert a few weeks back, I was so inspired that I thought I’d deep dive into this genius’ catalogue and now I’m obsessed! Also, Dora Jar supported Billie Eilish all through her world tour, so I’ve been listening to a lot of her music too!
Please tell us about your training with zookeeping and how it has mixed with your music career:
So I took a step back from the entertainment industry after suffering from a mental health illness back in 2016 and switched my attention to conservation after going on a life-changing wildlife volunteering trip to Africa, where I learnt so much about the caring of animals. I came home and immediately launched into studying more. Initially I just did an Animal Studies course at the Taronga Training Institute in Sydney, but I then progressed to a zookeeping course at Taronga Zoo in Dubbo which was the most incredible period of my life. I made so many beautiful friends (both humans and non-humans)!
Although music called me back after winning Emergenza (therefore I never actually got to apply for a zookeeping job), I now do as much as I can to use my very small, emerging music platform to advocate for wildlife conservation and fight against climate change. Even the smallest of lifestyle changes can make all the difference!
Your debut EP BTW TBW was released last month, please tell us about how this EP came about and what it means to you:
BTW TBW is a collection of pop, r&b songs that I had written over the past six years – it was a huge relief to finally release these songs because, although I love them all to bits, it is nice to be able to close a chapter of my life that I’ve been wanting to move on from for a while. I’ve dealt with a lot of demons and have also had some interesting experiences with people, and this EP lays it all out. I am so happy the EP has resonated so well with my audience!
Although I’ve had ‘Last Child’ for so long too, the sound and direction of ‘Last Child’ is so different to the tracks on BTW TBW that I didn’t want to include it on the EP – it deserves its own time in the limelight!
You are on tour this October, where are you headed and what can we expect?
Expect fun and high energy shows! This tour is a wonderful way for an emerging artist, like me, to be able to meet new audiences, explore new towns, and also help to reinvigorate the live music scene in regional towns that have faced a lot of hardship due to COVID, bushfires and floods in the past two years. I’m grateful that Create NSW was able to help fund part of it because this is a great new step in my career and I cannot wait!
I will be performing my songs with my band, along with local special guests, in: Wagga Wagga, Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Central Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, plus an extra show in Canberra.
What’s planned for 2023 and beyond?
Well 2022 was the year of releases… and I’m exhausted. I need 2023 to be a time for resetting myself. Like I mentioned before, my debut EP release, BTW TBW, allowed me to close a chapter of music that I had held close to my chest for a while. So next year I am going to develop more as a producer, delve more into different sounds and musical directions and release new music that will test me and my audiences… I’m so pumped for what’s to come!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Favourite cuisine: Japanese
Favourite vices: gelato and sweet potato fries!
Favourite place to hangout: dog parks!