Cry By Bree Taylor – Interview & New Acoustic Live Off The Floor Single
Canadian country singer-songwriter Bree Taylor has recently released an emotional acoustic live off the floor recording of her single “Cry”. Bree was nominated “Best New Artist” for the Mississauga Music Awards, and with this new release it’s easy to see why. Her most successful single to date, “Cry” explores the human condition of vulnerability and accepting it as a strength rather than a weakness. The lyrics touch an emotional chord that many of us can connect with on a deep-felt level. Although the original version of the song was released just before the pandemic hit in Canada, it seems more relevant ever. Life’s hard right now, for everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, and the message of this songs tells us that it’s ok to show that. Being sad, angry or anxious is a normal part of life and this song aims to make it seem a little less taboo and little more…just that, normal. It’s a beautiful song with an even more beautiful message.
We had the opportunity to interview Bree about the new single, her music, performing at the first ever drive-in country festival, her podcast, philanthropic efforts, what she’s got coming up next and more! Click below to listen to Cry and keep scrolling for our interview with Bree Taylor!
You’ve just released a special edition live acoustic version of your emotional single ‘Cry’. Can you tell us about the lyrics behind the song?
The lyrics are very much about vulnerability and showing your emotions. Society makes people, especially men, feel like these things are “taboo” or shameful and not to be discussed or shown publicly. Crying and breaking down are completely normal for all human beings and feeling stuck, lost, broken, confused, depressed or anxious are very common among women AND men and isn’t something to feel ashamed about. A lot of people, myself included, feel like we need to have it together all the time and keep our composure and keep up appearances for social media which is such a false reality. [“you always try to give me the best of you but what I want right now is the rest of you”] Social media puts so much pressure on everyone to show the good and portray this “perfect” life when in reality we ALL struggle sometimes, we ALL cry, we ALL get angry, sad, emotional and showing those vulnerabilities are NOT a weakness but a STRENGTH.
I really want people to know that it’s okay to cry [“if you wanna cry, go ahead and cry and I’ll be there to hold you and dry your tears”] and it’s okay to not have it together all the time – especially right now with what is going on in the world. World events and their effects on millions of people in such negative ways like suffering with depression and anxiety through lockdowns and social distancing is a very present issue that many are struggling with and I wanted to re-promote this song with this special edition release for that exact reason.
What made you decide the song as the one to put out an acoustic version of?
This song being such an intimate and emotionally driven song, it translates really well acoustically and fans have loved it when I’ve performed it at acoustic songwriter’s rounds so it was a no brainer to record a live off the floor performance cut of the song and release it as a special edition release. I chose to release it around the 1 year anniversary of the original version because “Cry” was released intentionally during a very cold and depressing time of year (at least in Ontario). January has “blue monday” which is statistically known as the most depressing time of the year with suicide rates the highest and we have “Bell Let’s Talk” day in Canada in January which I’ve supported since it first started. Mental health is a cause very close to my heart and that has affected me personally and I just wanted a song that was in alignment with that and could be a positive anthem for people to know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes and that it’s okay to cry.
Alongside the release of “Cry” you wrote “I have never been happier and feel truly blessed and grateful for everything and everyone in my life!” During this pandemic I know it’s been hard for many to keep such a positive attitude, how have you kept that positive energy going and do you have any advice for anybody who’s feeling a little down right now?
It has been a struggle for myself as well. I’ve had some seriously dark times during these world events with restrictions and lockdowns not only because of my career being affected but also the social aspect in my personal life. I am a very social person and I love spending time with my friends and family and it has been extremely hard to not be able to do a lot of the things we used to be able to do or see people in the same way or at all for some. I have always tried to find a silver lining in a negative situation and to be a positive person despite circumstances but it is a conscious effort and a practise that I have to work on daily. I was privileged to connect with some incredible healing coaches during these lockdowns who have helped me do a lot of self-work and I have connected more deeply with my spirituality than I ever have and this is a lot of the reason why I am in such a great place in my life now.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life since childhood so it is a major milestone for me to be in the place that I am now. Some advice that I would give to anyone struggling though is to know that it’s okay to be feeling what you’re feeling but to not be afraid to ask for help. Everyone responds differently to different methods of treatment so it’s best to search for what works and resonates with you. For me – I have found meditation and therapy to be a real lifesaver. Finding the RIGHT therapist who you connect with is ESSENTIAL because I have gone through some bad matches and it can occasionally make things worse so don’t be afraid to say no to someone if you’re not feeling a good connection or feel it is helping you. I have also done a lot of energy work, I sage my apartment on a regular basis, I surround myself with positive and loving people (having a great support system around you is really important in keeping a positive mindset. Self-care is also huge so do things that you love and that make you happy and focus on yourself and staying in a good place. TURN OFF THE NEWS is also my number one piece of advise.
You’ve been writing music since you were a little kid and you’ve said it has been your biggest dream since you can remember. How does it feel to see your music doing as well as it is?
It truly is a dream come true as cliche as that sounds lol I never feel like I’m working because I genuinely love every single aspect of this industry. It really is like they say when you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. I have always had such big dreams and struggled with the confidence to actually do it but the more I hold onto a positive mindset, remove any limiting beliefs from my thoughts and work hard, I see results and the results really do drive me to keep going and do more. I also wouldn’t be where I am without my fans so they mean so much to me and I owe where I am to them and their support.
You performed at the first ever drive-in country music festival “Love Revolution Fest”, how was that experience?
Getting to be back on a stage again when so many of my shows and festivals for the summer of 2020 were cancelled was truly incredible and such a blessing. Suzi Kory pulled that whole festival together in only a few short weeks and it really was a lot of her heart and soul that went into it along with an entire community of fans and industry members support that allowed it to happen. I feel very privileged to have been able to perform at such a momentous event! We all had such a great time and it felt so good to be up there performing with a full band and in front of fans again.
Do you think drive-in concerts will return once the weather starts warming up again?
I think they will for sure take place when the weather gets warmer in Canada and if venues are not able to re-open. As great as they are though, they aren’t the same as real festivals and shows and I know we all miss that and want to get back to normal life as soon as possible. Fans have even expressed concern about the different feel that the restrictions of staying in their cars had and us performers feel it too – we thrive off the energy of a crowd and that was a pivotal piece of the puzzle that was missing. As grateful as I have been to be able to perform at two drive-in shows this past summer it definitely isn’t the same and I definitely miss connecting with fans in person at shows.
I’ve seen certain descriptions of your music calling it pop and others country. Where would you say you fall between these two, and what kind of sounds can fans be expecting from your upcoming releases?
I started my career off with more of a pop driven sound because I was told by a producer that I couldn’t be BOTH pop and country. This is now actually one of my biggest pet peeves – being told what I can or can’t do – haha. I have really found myself in the last few years and that can be seen in my music and through my podcast “Unapologetically Bree”. I didn’t feel I was, nor have I ever been, the “traditional” country girl so I chose pop but I always felt like something wasn’t right – kind of like the time I tried to dye my hair blonde – it wasn’t really ME. Before I released my first pop EP I had already decided to switch to country music because I felt like it was where my heart truly was. I also saw so many talented female artists like Kelsea Ballerini who were incorporating pop sounds into their country music and knew that as long as I was being authentic and true to myself that fans would support me. I feel like country music is truly where I feel at home and it’s amazing that the industry supports such new country sounds that incorporate other genres like pop and rock which is where I feel my music sits now. My upcoming music will 100% always be true to who I am and express my authentic stories and emotions like they have thus far in my career.
Before the world shut down to the state it’s in today, you went on a 12-city Canada wide tour, can you tell us about one of your favourite memories from the tour?
My 2018 Canada wide tour was one of the BEST times in my life and it makes me miss touring and performing SO much! My favourite memory from the tour was 100% getting to sing at the Hard Rock Casino in Vancouver on the biggest stage I have performed on to date on a stage where legends have performed.
I also enjoyed being with other bands and artists and making bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime. The memories we all made and laughs we had made up for the chaos that the tour had along the way.
Who are a few of your favourite Canadian artists?
For country artists – I grew up on Shania Twain so that’s a no brainer. I am currently a huge fan of Madeline Merlo, Jess Moskaluke, Brett Kissel, Tenille Townes and Dallas Smith.
In general, I have always been a fan of Alanis Morisette, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan. I also LOVE Bryan Adams – his guitar playing is truly epic and I grew up loving his music!
How do the people in your life influence your music?
People in my life influence my music in many ways – mostly through their support but of course I pull from my personal life experiences when writing so there are certain people who inspire me in those ways. Significant others and dating experiences have contributed to the bulk of my music but often times I will also pull from world events, how things or people make me feel, an issue or cause that I am passionate about like “Cry” for example or even experiences that my close friends have gone through can inspire me and influence a story behind a song. I am extremely grateful for the incredible support system that I have in my life and feel very blessed.
Can you tell us about your support for To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), and the Canadian Mental Health Association and why those two organizations are so important to you?
As someone who has struggled with my mental health my entire life since childhood, these causes and organizations are very important to me. TWLOHA was a charity that I found back in my MySpace days and connected with as someone who was dealing with self-harm as a way I dealt with my depression and anxiety as a teen. I am so proud of how far they have come and hope to connect with them more in the future. I have come so far in such positive ways over the last several years and am very privileged to have had access to some incredible therapists and individuals who have helped me heal and learn how to overcome my struggles and I hope to be able to help others achieve the same so my supporting any organizations that facilitate hope and help for people struggling with any type of mental illness is very important to me and something that I will continue to support and work towards in my career.
What is “Unapologetically Bree” and how can fans tune in?
“Unapologetically Bree” is my podcast that is going through a bit of a transition phase right now. It is an additional platform for fans and listeners to connect with me, feel a more intimate connection to my life, music and my personal teachings in positive living. I also love having guests who can share their lives and stories and use the platform to speak unapologetically about whatever they want. Typically new episodes are released every week on Wednesday on any podcast listening platform or on my website www.unapologeticallybree.com
What are you working on for 2021?
I have been working on a new single that has been in the works the last couple months and we are aiming to release it early spring. The song will have a music video and we are working on planning that right now actually – I am very excited about it! I am also working on getting a ticketed virtual show together for fans and hopefully can get my debut album finished and depending on world events release it and tour but that plan is very much in the air until things are back to normal and touring can happen again. A lot of plans have had to change for the past year and moving forward and we’re trying to pivot and keep going strong despite restrictions.
Do you have any last words for our readers?
I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who loves and supports my music, follows me on social media and takes the time to connect with me online and with my music. I appreciate you all so much and can’t wait for my upcoming projects.
I am SO excited about my next single due out early spring and I really think that fans and listeners will love it and be able to connect with it. The song is high energy but mid tempo and is very sexy 😉 so I’ll leave them with that to look forward to!