California dreamer Taylor Grey may not be old enough to legally drink yet, but she is more mature and graceful than anyone I ever went to college with. She selflessly helped raise money for victims of the recent hurricanes by reaching out through her social media channels. And she’s also super smart – a neuroscience major at Stanford University – coming off her mini-radio tour just in time for the beginning of the fall semester.
Grey released her debut LP Space Case earlier this summer with notable executive producer Josh Abraham (P!NK, Kelly Clarkson). The album has a likeable mix of pop, electronic, and a smidgen of country. Its first single, “Never Woulda Letcha” was catchy, cute, and embodied those young, first feelings of having an unrequited crush, while the title track, though deceptively playful-sounding, tells her story of craving unexpected undertakings beyond just of chasing boys. Her latest single “Miami” is one of the album’s most mature, featuring Spencer Kane and oozing Flume vibes.
It’s Grey’s ultimate goal to advocate for women everywhere. In an interview with Audiofemme, we quickly learned that her message goes beyond living it up at college frat parties or making through the occasional all-nighter — she wants listeners to find beauty in themselves, inside and out. Check out her album below, and read on to find out why she refers to her sound as “space pop.”
AF: “Never Woulda Letcha” is so catchy and sweet. I like how your feelings were circulating around this guy that broke your heart, rather than the song bringing down the “other” girl. To go through heartache is really tough, especially in a situation like this. What advice can you give girls that are going through a similar situation?
TG: It’s a hard lesson in life to learn. There’s no way to make someone love you, or make someone like you. I think the important thing is taking stride in realizing your worst is not defined by whether or not someone has romantic feelings for you. It’s unfortunate to not have your feelings reciprocated and
[to] feel heartbroken. [These are] totally normal feelings. But at the end of the day, you have to realize you’re worth more than someone’s opinion [of you]… even though if their opinion means a lot. If you’re friends with the person that you secretly like, then… you know, still have that relationship in your life, one way or another!
AF: Definitely. Don’t let it consume you. A hard lesson to learn so young. So, Space Case is such a gem. Is it inspired by a specific event? Or did it spring from this stage in your life?
TG: Thank you! It’s actually not inspired by a specific event. It’s like when I talk about in the stories, from third person. It talks about this girl who has big dreams, kind of “space cases” [that] aren’t necessarily realized by other people. Her head’s in the clouds. Someone with big dreams trying to actualize them. It’s almost like an alter ego I want to be – I want to be more of this carefree space case. I feel like everyone has a part of themselves that would rather be on Mars. And part of the reason I chose it as the title was that I love the words. Although I write a ton about boys, love, and heartbreak, it’s not what the songs are all about. It’s about [being an] individual. I really wanted that to summarize my body of work. When it all comes down to it… be yourself, be true to who you are. Accept it!
AF: You’ve said you want to be an advocate for girls everywhere, to help them love themselves. What does that mean to you and how did you decide to make that your mission?
TG: I love being an advocate for self-love, because it’s something really challenging. I would have loved to hear it from someone, especially from the music world, because I was always questioning from such a young age. I’m still learning, and growing, and learning how to love myself. It’s important for young girls to know that it’s not black and white. There are ways to learn and grow. There are some days that I wake up, and I feel amazing… and others, I look in the mirror and I’m like, ugh, no, not today. And it’s okay to not love yourself everyday. I wish I had had that voice telling me that as long as you’re trying, and you’re your own biggest fan, at the end of the day, you’ll feel fine. So, I want to be that voice for girls my age, and younger girls, to [help them] realize that there are others going through this process with them. There are people on this journey with them. It’s not this unattainable thing, self love.
AF: You have a great relationship with your producers. Can you talk about the guidance your team provided?
TG: As a team, we have a lot of trust. I came to them [Josh Abraham and Nico Stadi] with my songs, then it was time to really create sound and melodic structure behind it. They put a lot of trust in me and my message, and in turn, I trusted them with production aspects. I think the goal, what we strived for, was to create a good sound – tracks for the radio, [but with] artistic and different angles. They have been super supportive. We made an album with every song sounding different. Some songs have an alternative vibe, some have a country vibe… and they were like, this is you, all of these songs are different facets of you.