By: Nancy La, Staff Writer
SFU alum Taylor Waters‘ musical career is gaining a foothold within the industry. Her hit single, “Little Sister,” is trending on Spotify’s indie pop & chill playlist. She has also recently released two new songs, “No Excuses” and “Patiently.”
In an interview with The Peak, Waters discusses the inspiration behind her songs and her experiences with being a musician during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“‘Little Sister’ was one of my first ‘pop’ songs that I wrote,” Waters recalled about the song written for her younger sister. “The song is quite literal. It was more of a letter to her. Girls can be so mean in high school [ . . . ] So I just wanted to write something that would remind her how amazing she is. And that I would gladly kick some ass if needed.”
Waters’ newer songs, “Patiently” and “No Excuses,” also tell a story. The former depicts Waters’ relationship with a friend who “had recently become something more” and was written as a “fantasy [of] what could possibly happen.”
“I tend to over-romanticize situations, unfortunately,” Waters admitted lightheartedly.
Waters mentioned that “No Excuses,” on the other hand, was written after that same friend “screwed [her] over.”
Waters does not consider her style to be bound to any one genre. “I’m inspired by so many different artists, styles, and genres, I just let things happen naturally. I think this way of thinking has really allowed me to create songs that differ in style,” she said.
Indeed, Waters’ musical inspirations are very diverse. From Mahalia and Kiana Ledé to The Weeknd, Phoebe Bridgers, and Billie Eilish, Waters’ long-term inspirations are all musicians who break boundaries in the music industry.
“I really like writers who are honest, blunt, and sassy,” Waters said.
Our conversation turned to how COVID-19 has affected Waters’ musical work. The answer was, surprisingly, not at all. “I’ve always been a bedroom pop musician anyways. I do almost everything in my room [ . . . ] It’s always been virtual,” Waters admitted with a smile.
Bedroom pop, explained Waters, is a style of music that came from independent artists who may not have had the support of a production team to help create their music. “I think that this kind of pop does differ in its influence. It’s a lot more indie or alternative,” she said.
She also noted the accessibility of bedroom pop, saying, “It shows you don’t have to have a label or fancy studio to make cool art. Anybody can do it.”
Along with her exposure on Spotify, Waters took part in CBC’s 2021 SearchLight competition — a competition for budding musicians to submit their music for a chance to win prizes such as studio time or development classes. Having her songs played on CBC radio in the northern BC region was a great experience for her.
Though Waters mostly creates bedroom pop, she would really like to “start playing shows when [COVID-19] dies down.”