Artist Spotlight: Baby Taylah

Combining dark electro pop with a classic Celtic sound, Baby Taylah’s music is fuelled by a sense of empowerment. Born Amy Louise Ross, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter had been active in the Glasgow music scene since the late aughts before she decided to take a three-year break from songwriting. More confident than ever, she returned late last year having signed to Swedish label Icons Creating Evil Art with a bold new single called ‘Reclaim’, a track whose power lies in its minimal yet effective production, presenting Taylah as a force to be reckoned with. Closing her new EP Good Enough with lyrics like “Just look a little, little higher/ Be all they all thought you’d never be”, ‘Reclaim’ marks a noticeable narrative progression from the EP’s eponymous opener, a bright synth pop jam in which she finds herself wondering whether there’s an afterlife, and if so, would she be good enough to make it through? Across the EP, Taylah showcases her versatility as an artist, exposing a more vulnerable side on ‘Home’ and an edgier, more experimental side on the infectious  follow-up ‘Imposter Syndrome’. There’s a lot to be excited about in Baby Taylah’s future, and we can’t wait to hear more.

We caught up with Baby Taylah for this edition of our Artist Spotlight series, where we showcase up-and-coming artists and give them a chance to talk a bit about their music.

What inspired you to start making music?

I make fun of my Dad for being an ‘Ex-Rock Star’, when in all honesty it was him who initially inspired me to make music myself. I would go to see him play from a really young age, and his passion for music is unmatched to anyone I know.

I began to play guitar when I was around 13, and I picked up the Celtic harp at 17. I was always influenced by Scottish traditional music, and film scores. The first CD I owned was the ‘Titanic’ soundtrack, and James Horner’s work still influences me to this day. I am a huge film fan, which, in a roundabout way, is another reason why I got into music. I love cinematic sounds, and how music contributes to how you feel while watching a film; it is such an emotional experience.

What are some artists you look up to?

I am influenced by Canadian band Stars – I discovered them when I was beginning to write music. Their album ‘Set Yourself on Fire’ is a batch of short stories wrapped up in music. I lived on their music when I wrote my first album.

Bruce Springsteen is also a massive influence on me. Similar to Stars, he makes music so immersive you can get lost in his work for hours.

I also look up to some really big pop-queens like Lady Gaga and Madonna. Madonna because of how revolutionary she was, and her work has paved the way for everyone following behind her. I remember going to see Lady Gaga perform in concert when I was 18, and I’d never seen anything like it before. Her energy on stage, the power in her voice left me in awe. She is a true talent, an all-round queen.

What were some of the ideas you wished to explore on your new EP?

I wrote the EP after I’d taken a few years off, and in all honesty I didn’t know if I wanted to continue pursuing music anymore.

I figured I had two options when it came to how I saw my music: I could play the victim, and use what has happened in the past as an excuse for never pursuing what I really want. Or, I could take back control and do things differently this time.

I wanted the EP to be uplifting and empowering, filled with the things I told myself in order to keep going. Tracks like ‘Reclaim’ and ‘Imposter Syndrome’ are written about being self-sufficient, and taking back the wheel after you’ve lost yourself. It was a really great way for me to remind myself I wasn’t doing what I do for anything else other than the fact I loved writing music.

How was the writing and recording process like?

I wrote this EP differently to how I had done in the past: I focused on writing the hook lines first, then added music to them afterwards. It meant I could write down what I wanted to say and let the meaning of the song lead the track rather than try and cram lyrics into a piece of music I’d written.

I recorded the EP with Lewis Gardiner, and we worked in a way where I’d bring in the hook lines and a structure to how I wanted it to sound and we would take it apart to build it back up again. It took around a year to finalise the project.

When I signed with Icons Creating Evil Art, we did so on the basis that I would re-produce the title track ‘Good Enough’. I worked with on the track with Theo Bard down in London, and we sat for a few days trying different ideas to try and make it bigger.

I had been playing gigs with ‘Good Enough’ using the demo, and I had a lot of people coming up to me asking to have a copy, which was weird for me to have a song people were excited about before it was released. It made it more important for me to be 100% sure on the final version – it took us a good few months to get it right. Both Theo and Lewis were so supportive; I feel really lucky to have had time with them in the studio.

What’s your favourite track from the EP, and why?

 My favourite track from the EP is definitely ‘Reclaim’. It’s not the track everyone points out, but it meant so much to me, probably because it was the first track I wrote when coming back from giving up music. I feel like it is such a dramatic track, and I love the message behind it.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

For the next few months I’m going to start writing my next EP, which I’ll be mixing and engineering by myself this time. I’ve always co-produced, and I’ve recorded the vocals on my tracks, but I’m hoping to make a move over to doing it by myself now.

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