Bree Taylor is a Canadian singer-songwriter of pop-inspired country tunes full of authentic feeling and deep affirmations of life and love. The just-released video for her song “Drive” is a delightful road trip full of fun, natural beauty, and the joy of female camaraderie. Taylor recently took the time to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions about her music, her life, and her life’s mission.
What kind of childhood did you have, and what role did music play in it?
I actually had a rocky childhood. I dealt with a lot of bullying all throughout my school years and a lot of depression and anxiety that, at the time, I was unaware of. However, all throughout my childhood music was my saving grace.
I turned to music when I was being bullied at school and dreamed of a day when I could show them all that I was good enough, that I was worthy and that I could prove everyone wrong. Music was my friend when I didn’t have any, and songwriting was my emotional outlet for everything I was feeling.
Who—or what—in your life was the best influence on you as an artist? As a human being?
As an artist I am influenced by so many things and by all the people in my life in one way or another. This is why I try to surround myself with positive, happy people and to remove negative ones from my life. I don’t need any negativity influencing or surrounding me.
In terms of someone influencing me as a human being, I would have to say that my good friend and manager Maria Luisa Sivitilli is someone who has majorly and positively impacted me and influenced my life for the better. I feel truly blessed to have met her and to have had her come into my life, and her friendship means the world to me.
Why did you choose the country music genre?
I always had a love for country music growing up because I’ve always been a story-teller in my lyrics. My mom has always been a huge country music fan, and she surrounded me with country music (my dad was more my rock and pop influence) which inspired me.
I started songwriting country tunes in high school and university but went off more in a pop music direction a few years ago when it came to original music. However, despite the success I was having as a pop artist, I felt that my songs translated better into a country-pop sound. It feels right for me as an artist right now in my career. I love so many genres of music and grew up with such a diverse musical interest that I find it truly makes my voice and music unique.
Did anything funny or weird happen while you were taping the video for “Drive?”
Yes! We were filming the last scene of the music video (popping champagne) and we were losing the light for the sunset, driving as fast as we could to catch the light. On our way to our filming location the road was blocked off, so we had to turn around and find an alternative spot to film the ending. Then (while still trying to catch the sunset) we had two champagne bottles in a cooler in the secondary car that we used, but as we took them out to shoot the bottles popped themselves!
It was so hot in the desert that even in a cooler in the trunk of a car they got so hot they popped on their own when we took them out, and I didn’t get to pop my first bottle. In the shots we used we faked it to make it look genuine and realistic! It was actually pretty hilarious.
What conditions do you need in your life in order to maintain your creative output?
I make sure to surround myself with positive people who inspire me, people who allow me to be myself and to feel good about who I am and what I’m doing. I’ve had to remove people from my life that bring negativity because I can’t have any of that with what I am doing. For someone who’s dealt with depression and anxiety that’s an important part of my self-care.
Negativity and negative people are unnecessary distractions and block my creativity and flow. At this stage in my life and career I can’t have that. I have to focus on the positives and on solutions to problems that may arise. It doesn’t help to dwell on the negative, and this is a life lesson I’ve learned in the last several years of my life.
If you had an artistic mission statement, what would it be?
My artistic mission statement would be: “My music is my escape to find my truth and to be able to connect with others and hopefully create a positive change in people’s lives the way music did for me growing up.”
You support some important charities. Why do you make this a part of your career?
I feel that my creativity goes beyond just making music. I feel that all the things I went through growing up were for a bigger purpose. I don’t believe that negative events happen just to cause pain; I believe they teach us lessons and and we’re meant to grow from them. I’ve chosen to take this mindset, follow this path, and use the negative things to fuel me and my mission in life instead of being a victim.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on finishing up my new EP, which is due out in early 2020. I have a new single that will be released at the end of January 2020, called “Cry,” that I’m extremely proud of and absolutely love. It’s an emotional ballad that I feel so many people will be able to relate to, and, so far, the couple of times I’ve performed it at a show people have just loved it. I can’t wait to release this single and for more people to hear it and get a chance to connect to it.
I’m also booking shows and festivals for 2020 and can’t wait to bring my show and music to more stages across Canada and hopefully into America. I’ve been getting so many requests to perform in the US, and America is a second home to me, so I’d love the opportunity to perform there.