Caturday with Tayla Parx

Jessica Gianelli

Tayla Parx is an American singer-songwriter who balances enjoyment of the moment, and the constancy of levelling up. With an unwavering virgo spirit, she continues to cultivate a confident platform for herself within pop culture. As no stranger to some of music highest accolades, the 26 year old Texas native continues to capture the engagement of her fans (‘Taylatotts’ as she calls them,) by using her work as a reflection of her innermost happenings – engaging with a lighthearted empathy to allow listeners to feel good while feeling heard. This Caturday, Tayla shares with us the importance of pushing past boundaries, as well as the her very own musician’s antidote for maintaining mindfulness while too, masterfully topping the charts.

JG: Songwriting allows you to step into the mind of another person, to engage with their psyche, as well as that of their audience, with hopes to unearth something new—something that speaks to them. How do you think writing for other people has influenced writing for your own songs?
TP: Writing for other people has allowed me to be a sponge; soaking up hundreds of life experiences in a few conversations. All of those conversations give me perspective far beyond anything one person can experience alone. It’s definitely added to my ability to be able to invite people into my world in a relatable way.
JG: Before taking on being a full-time artist, you used to act as well, where you spoke of feeling ‘pigeon-holed’ by roles. Do you find any similar phenomena since taking centre stage in your own music career?
TP: Throughout my career I’ve had that feeling whether it stemmed from people’s attempts to typecast in acting, or box me into one genre as songwriter or artist. Or even my role as both creative & business woman. I’ve actually learned that people just find it harder to categorise someone who’s a bit different than what they’ve seen previously. I’m not mad at it, i just do me and help rewrite the norms. The further I push the limits, the further the next person can do the same.
JG: I really admire the confidence and courage it takes to follow your dreams when everyone around you is telling you that you ‘can’t’. What advice would you give to other young creatives facing similar challenges?
TP: My advice is going to sound so cheesy but it’s actually the hardest thing to do for most of us. It’s as simple as believing in your vision. Other people might not see it as clearly and that’s fine because it’s YOUR destiny. You were/are meant to understand it even if it takes others a bit longer to catch on.
JG: As a black woman in contemporary popular culture, do you feel that the climate offers space for you? Does it matter?
TP: I definitely think right now as a black woman in music, we have an opportunity to continue creating spaces for ourselves that didn’t exist. Over the years we’ve continuously pushed the boundaries of every genre & it’s the perfect timing and climate throughout the industry to keep that going.
JG: Your aesthetic is bold and vibrant, seemingly unconcerned with what is accepted or what is expected. Where do creative decisions—such as music video concepts, or album artwork—come from?
TP: I always try to use my artwork/videos as an expression of what I’m going through in life. ‘We Need To Talk’ was me exploring all of the extremes within myself. My version of femininity & masculinity, my version of love, my interpretation of heartbreak. Every aspect of my visuals has to add to getting that point across & making my taylatotts feel their own unique version of that story I’m telling.
JG: What’s the most exciting thing about where you are right now?
TP: Right now the most exciting thing about where I am in life is that I have the freedom to do whatever I want… whether it’s in the studio, on stage, on set or on vacation. I am content in knowing that I am living for me.
JG: You’re a virgo! I am too. There’s a pretty great tendency to strive toward imagined perfection, even if that means doing too much, and pushing ourselves too far. (With 3 grammy nominations behind you, and 11 Billboard 100 singles,) how has paying attention to things like mindfulness and ‘tuning in’ to yourself altered your way of life?
TP: Yesss Virgo nation! I truly believe that once you gain the accolades as an entertainer, eventually the only thing left is to do the same thing again and again and again.. so how do you stay inspired if that’s the motivation? I started working so young and because of that I learned that for me personally, I have to keep the balancing act of enjoying the moment, because I always have a new level I want to take it. I’m growing, it’s continuous and will level out eventually I suppose.. but until then, let’s go!
JG: Many music industry retreats are focused on writing or producing, mainly musically-related productivity. Your ‘Burnout camp,’ however, is more like an antidote to the pressures of the era. It’s really an incredible contribution to the industry. Who is ‘Burnout camp’ for? And do you think it’s something that can sustain the overwhelming need to always be producing?
TP: Burnout camps are for everyone! From the up and coming to the solidified producer/writer. It’s really taking a silicon valley approach to the music industry in the way that they understand healthy creators are happy creators which produces the best results. We split the day into two portions , play and create to fuel the fire so they don’t burnout. Sound baths, Tai chi, colour therapy etc. I had friends and even saw other companies starting to incorporate the Burnout concept into their camps since the first one in New York. This should be the new normal.
JG: On that note, what does a balanced life look like to you?
TP: A balanced life for me personally involves traveling , playing video games, seeing my friends, yoga , and practicing mindfulness… when I’m not working my ass off, of course lol.
JG: What do your dreams look like? What’s the soundtrack to them?
TP: My dreams look a lot like my reality. Sometimes they’re happy, sometimes they’re scary. But at least they’re never boring!

Click to listen to
Tayla Parx’s playlist