An Interview with Rachel Taylor Of He Is We

Interview By: Zaneta Padilla

Rachel, from He Is We, is amping up for a big year of recording, a new album release, and an international tour. She took time from her much-needed holiday to speak with me about getting back into music, something that resonates so deeply within her, to offer a part of her soul into the music she produces. Be on the lookout her all of her upcoming music and tour dates at facebook.com/HeIsWe.Official

Side Stage Magazine:…I just wanted to talk about you and your music.

Rachel Taylor: I’m finally singing again. I kind of took a hiatus to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing and kind of unplug. I had to apologize to my manager, cause I, I did. I definitely unplugged. I knew that was something that I needed to do. Not hide, but I stayed off of Facebook, I stayed off of that kind of stuff and just lived and became OK with who I am and definitely figured out if music is a job for me, or is it a part of who I am? It’s definitely, it’s who I am and I’m singing in the shower again.

Oh, that’s so good!
Yeah, it’s really good! I wanted it to be natural again and so I probably made my dad a little scared cause I wasn’t texting back and calling back immediately, but it’s definitely what I needed. For the first time, I’m having that self-reflection. It feels really really nice.

Especially as a creative, it’s definitely important to take care of yourself first.
And just be. Well, and it’s hard to when you’re someone who generally the one who wants to take care of people. So the idea of taking those moments to just be, it kind of gives you anxiety for a minute cause you don’t know what to do with yourself. So that’s why I kind of just unplugged from everything and it feels pretty phenomenal.

Something circulating on Facebook that I think illustrates it perfectly, it shows a teacup on its side and says “you can’t fill up anybody else’s cup, if yours is empty.”
Absolutely! That’s something my dad says. He calls it his “love bank.” It’s like I can’t distribute any finances of love if my bank is empty, and he needs to take moments for himself. So that’s alright, I’m filling up my love bank. It’s perfect.

So, are you now getting back into the recording studio?

Yeah. I’m finally to that place where I’m singing songs that I wrote years ago. Now, I’m remembering melodies and lyrics and guitar parts that I wrote back in 2008, 2009 that I never recorded and have stuck with me. A lot of it has to do with just going back to when I loved it because I loved it. I wasn’t forced to have a LLC and required to worry about taxes and things like that. I was able to do it because it was a part of who I am and it’s kind of emotional. It’s really emotional to think about that and I can do it because it’s a part of me and no one can say anything about it, cause it’s for me.

There’s always the fine line between “if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and there’s also the other side of it where you do something you love, but if you do too much, you can grow to resent it.
Absolutely! And you nailed it. That’s the word I used the most. I don’t want to resent music because of the industry of it. I don’t want to resent music because of the politics. It’s one of those things back when I first started, I didn’t want to hear the politics. I preferred if someone else just dealt with it—I wouldn’t have to hear about it, I wouldn’t have to put up with it so that I could maintain the organic, just love, but because I didn’t know anything about it, I was taken advantage of! It was a really really hard situation, even now, I’m trying to find that balance of “how much do I need to know?” And make sure that I don’t focus on numbers and contract verbiage. How do I navigate through it and still maintain the knowledge of what I’m doing, and keep that really natural vibe and emotional connection to what I’m doing.

Are you going out on your own now?
Yes. It’s terrifying,, but yeah. Absolutely, that’s something I did when I was 12, 13, 14, 15, and I feel like that universe is setting me up for that and I keep fighting that and I keep looking for that “blankie,” that comfort in a person that can be next to me and the reality is “this is my story” and I need to be the one that shares it. I need to be the one that tells it in detail. Hence, the picture. So I better suck it up.

What do you like to sing the most about? Do you have common themes or just whatever you’re feeling at the moment?When you’re writing your songs, what do you normally tap into?
It’s usually the head space, so I’ll talk about love a lot, and the struggle. A lot of it is balance, so maintaining my self-worth, my identity, but also understanding that my love language is something that could compromise the way I see myself, because I’m trying to give 100% of who I am, but maybe I don’t even have 100% at the moment. So a lot of the writing has to do with relationship, and connections and kind of adapting to different situations and tapping into my emotions, and acknowledging my emotions. It’s always a conversation with myself.

I was actually just talking with another artist last week, and she was saying the same things.
Yeah?

Yeah, it’s really clear that music is very healing and therapeutic.
Absolutely! And I think that’s like—it’s pretty phenomenal that I’m finally doing that, starting yesterday or the day before, I’m finally singing in the shower again, and singing in the kitchen. I think that means, for me at least, I think that means that I’m ready to heal. It feels freaking rad!

Well, now that you’re kind of in the best place to create again , I’m looking forward to seeing what you produce.
I’m so excited! I’m really really excited! I mean, it’s really nerve-racking now. I look at it like I’m having a baby or something. I mean, it’s exciting, but I look at it like I’m bringing a life into this world, and that’s a responsibility. It’s my responsibility to make sure it’s nurtured, and taken care of, and I hope that everyone appreciates it and loves it as much as I do.

So, what’s next for you? Do you have enough songs to start recording?
Yeah, absolutely! I’m in a place where I could release an LP, but we might release an EP just to get my toes wet. But touring, finally a European tour. Thank God! European and then we’re looking at the Philippines. It’s been almost ten years and I haven’t set foot over there to perform, so we’re finally trying to do that, for the love of God. Super stoked! I’m going to be recording and touring. That is 2018, is a crap-ton of that.

You have a big year coming up!

I know! That’s why I need to just fall asleep and go to sleep for a solid week. I’m super excited! I’m just in the head space of “it’s go time!” I’m really excited, really stoked!

How do you describe the music?
I would say “honest.”

I like that.
Honest storyteller.

So you kind of fall into an acoustic genre now that you’re touring by yourself?
Yeah. I would say “acoustic indie-pop” singer/songwriter. Easy listening. Coffee-shop jams.

Yeah, I definitely got that vibe from what I heard.
The way I described it back in the day is “a cup of coffee when it’s raining outside.”

Yeah! I like that! It’s raining right now, so I should turn some on!

Is it? See? The vibe is right!

Is there anything in particular you want to say about what’s coming up or where you’re at right now for our readers?
It’s been a hell of a journey, it’s been a lot of learning and growing and sorting through true colors and revealing of intentions. I just can’t believe that I have had the opportunity—it’s very humbling I just can’t believe that I have the opportunity to do what I love for the rest of my life. I’m definitely dedicated to make sure that this music sees the light of day, and hopefully at least one person will listen to this and make a connection to it and hopefully dance to it at their wedding!

I’ll let you get back to your relaxing! Thank you for taking time, though, and I’m just really glad to hear how good things are going for you and you taking sometime for yourself. I just think that’s really important.
Well, thank you. I appreciate that a lot. I’m like in food coma phase right now, so I’m feeling pretty damn good. I appreciate the time you took to talk to me.

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