Lighter side Tai­lor-made for R&B

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHTMUSIC - THERESE OWEN

THE FRAG­ILE rock ge­nius that I thought was Tai­lor is not Tai­lor any­more. Sit­ting in front of me at a café in the artsy Joburg sub­urb of Parkhurst is a strong, as­sertive young woman who ra­di­ates pos­i­tiv­ity.

The angst, fear and dark­ness that char­ac­terised her al­bum, ap­pro­pri­ately called Dark Horse, has not nec­es­sar­ily dis­ap­peared, rather it has re­treated. For now.

Her new al­bum, aptly called Light, re­flects this new Tai­lor.

“I am much lighter now,” she agrees, her green eyes shin­ing with con­fi­dence.

Cast­ing my mind back to the first time I met Tai­lor a few years ago, her eyes were anx­ious, fiercely in­tense, ready to pounce at any mo­ment if threat­ened.

“I came to un­der­stand that I need to live in the now,” she says, ex­plain­ing her new­found light.

“I was asked, ‘what is the longevity of this al­bum?’ when I first be­gan record­ing and I got scared. I be­came quiet and still in my own life. But it didn’t come im­me­di­ately.

“This al­bum was made in the now. That’s how I wrote it.”

Light is pro­duced by Fabian Sing and her pre­vi­ous pro­ducer, Matthew Fink. She is very happy with the pro­duc­tion. How­ever, the mu­sic is a far cry from her ini­tial re­lease.

“It’s tai­lor-made for the mu­sic I was lis­ten­ing to at the time which is ’90s R&B and kwaito. I also got in­spired by Ukhozi FM.”

A far cry from the US-in­spired al­ter­na­tive rock scene she pre­vi­ously took her cue from.

“It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that the mu­sic is re­flected on the al­bum. It is def­i­nitely pop mu­sic. I guess ev­ery now and then you can hear a bit of tribal sounds. I cer­tainly want to cross over to other mar­kets with this al­bum.”

Tai­lor had a light-bulb mo­ment at this year’s South African Mu­sic Awards: “Peo­ple like AKA, Mafik­i­zolo and Black Cof­fee pitch up and win all the awards. I started won­der­ing, ‘what are they do­ing right?’ I got out of my box…”

This new de­par­ture saw her col­lab­o­rate with Just Mu­sic stable­mates, Lcnvl: I learnt so much from them,” she says. “Any­way, I left the Samas feel­ing charged. I thought th­ese artists were for a dif­fer­ent mar­ket. I am not forc­ing the change. It is a truth­ful change. I even wrote a house track, but it wasn’t right for this al­bum.”

What has re­mained of the old Tai­lor are the lay­ers and tex­tures of her song­writ­ing. Like ev­ery­thing about her, the mu­sic is mul­ti­di­men­sional and com­plex. Her fans should not be daunted by her new sound, be­cause it is a log­i­cal and wel­come pro­gres­sion from the rea­sons why we ini­tially fell in love with her. The jour­ney and the mu­sic has just got more in­ter­est­ing.

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