All eyes and ears on California, please! Or more precisely, on Singer/Songwriter Tara Beier! The LA based songstress (originally from Canada) just released her second studio album titled “Super Bloom”. 10 songs ranging from folk, indie pop to psychedelic rock elements take you on a journey to self-love and respect.
Tara recorded this album in Nashville/Tennessee. Producer Ken Coomer chose 10 tracks from a collection of 15 songs, Tara had written over the period of 9 months.
We sat down to talk to Tara about the songwriting and production process, an inner battle to self-love and the hurdles of today´s music industry.
Tara, congrats on your new album release for “Super Bloom”. Tell us a bit about the title song and why you chose the name for the album!
Thank you for having me! I chose the title “Super Bloom” for my album as a metaphor to inner growth, a blossoming into one’s true self or beauty, which drives the creation of all of my songs. . We should all be “Super Blooming” overcoming negativity in our lives and evolving! Furthermore, the album was released during the springtime of 2020 and inspired by the Super Bloom that occurred the year before in different parts of California.
Super Bloom being an ode to self-development, self-respect and self-love, tell us a bit about your own inner journey. Have you always been confident as a female indie artist in the still male-dominated music industry?
I have always been a feminist. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, which encompassed feminist studies, sociology, criminology, psychology, political science and law. This had a tremendous impact on my life. Fighting for truth and equality is what drives me. Breaking the veil of oppression and the denial that holds it is my passion.
When I entered into the music industry which yes, is male dominated, I guess I just weaved my way through, having to ignore sometimes the back hand comments or perceptions of women musicians as being more incapable then men, especially when it comes to instrumentalists or the music, studio language. I just focused on what I knew I was good at, which was songwriting and creating the final end product to be great, ignoring the attitudes.
I believe there is a power in the creation of art beyond race or gender. The key is to one hundred percent focus on the job and craft above all else.
Couldn´t agree more! I created the Song Brewery to give female artist more of a voice! While I am not exluding anyone, this blog is targeted more towards female readers. Trying to counter-balance the current situation in the market. And hats off to you for moving forward with that attitude despite the hurdles that this industry brings! Tara, you wrote all songs on the album yourself. When did your songwriting journey start and what makes songwriting so important to you?
I started songwriting after I did a film where I played a 1960s folk singer and activist, Buffy Sainte- Marie. I had to learn her songs for the film “COVERED” and encompass her spirit. After the film, it was when I realized – hey? I could do that too! It was a completely natural transition for me. I always had a confidence in music because I played classical piano for many years as a kid. Combining that with my love for poetry and writing, it just clicked. Putting a message on a tune was the way for me to help heal the world. The process of writing can take you to new levels with tune and lyric, to new vibrations! It’s pretty magical.
So you DIS-COVERED another talent of yours by starring in COVERED. That´s kinda cool! Super Bloom was recorded in Nashville and produced by Ken Coomer. What was one thing you learned from working with….and how did the city influence your recording process?
I learned so much from Ken and really admired his spontaneous yet ordered style of producing, his way of keeping it natural and real when recording. The Nashville style of recording process is top –notch. It’s a city of true music lovers. Music is life there.
It sure is! I´m a big fan of your song “I´m sorry”. What inspired the song?
Thank you so much! The song was inspired by a break up, when things were left unsaid. About people’s emotions and how sometimes, life pushes people into situations they did not plan on feeling. Sometimes people run away because they feel something.
Another favorite of mine is the song “Hopeless Romantic” that you just shot! Tell us a bit about the theme of the song and what it means to you!
Yes the video should be out by the time this article comes out! The song is about gratitude to memories of love in the past. Remembering certain people that have touched your life along the way. It explores space and time. Special moments that are timeless and forever.
Let´s take a look at the video!
Love thsi! You have a very unique style and are combining elements of rock, pop and folk music, thus creating a very original sound. What influences you as a songwriter? Who are your songwriting idols?
Thank you! I am influenced by any good song regardless of genre. But my folk, rock and pop influences have been The Doors, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Cash, Queen, Madonna, Kate Bush and Annie Lennox.
So, when writing a song, how do you usually get started?
Answer: I always start by finding the tune first. Then I start jamming vocals, mainly chorus while playing the melody. The writing with paper and pen is mainly sorting out verses and digging deep into what I’d like to say.
What are three ingredients of a good song?
Definitely the melody and composition should be catchy and strong. And the lyrics should have a clarity to them, so that people can connect to the words. The third would be teaming up with a good producer to take it to that next level. Regardless, simplicity and clarity is most important. When a song has too much going on or when it gets complicated, you need to stop.
What are your secrets to finding inspirations? Any daily routines? How important is downtime to you as an artist?
I get inspired when I go to a different place. I like to escape to my house in Joshua Tree, in the Mojave desert. It clears my mind and centers me back down to earth. I also live in the city, Los Angeles, which is high pace and intense information/content thrown at you all the time! The balance of small town and big city, works well for different perspectives.
World events like the Me Too movement, Black Lives Matter and the challenges of Covid-19, have definitely inspired my writing. I am mainly driven about overcoming obstacles in whatever life throws at you. I also like to tie in elements of nature and imagery into my songs.
You´ve been in the industry for a couple of years now. What is the biggest challenge in today´s music market in your opinion?
I entered the music industry upon the release of my debut album “Hero and the Sage” in 2016. It was produced by Brett Higgins of the Great Lake Swimmers in Toronto. Then in Hollywood I self-produced a 6 track EP “California 1970” with my band at The Village, recording studios, famous for tracking legends like Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, B. B. King and Bob Dylan. “California 1970” EP was additionally recorded at Guns N’ Roses Drummer, Matt Sorum’s private studio in Melrose in 2017. Following this, I released two singles, “Forgiveness” in 2017 by Grammy winning producer Doug Boehm and then “Doctor Brown” in 2018 as a personal gift to my brother. I toured with all this music with my band, playing shows and music festivals in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Berlin.
In 2019, I recomposed myself, spent months writing and recording my second studio album, “Super Bloom” produced by Ken Coomer (founding drummer of Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) in Nashville. It was then released on Los Angeles label, Manimal Records on May 22, 2020.
The biggest challenge in the music industry, in my opinion is that it lacks diversity. In my opinion, we need to highlight voices of color in certain genres that are predominately labeled “white”. Luckily Pitchfork and some well-known music publications have brought this issue up, calling out the indie folk rock scene to be “unbearably white” failing to include artists of color. With the Black Lives Movement impacting the world, I am so happy these issues are finally coming to the forefront.
That is so true, Tara! We need more diversity in the industry and equal chances in pursing that dream, regardless of skincolour! I´m glad you brough this up!
Music wise, what is one big dream you still have?
I would love to win a Grammy.
That´s a great goal! Go for it!! Last not least, if you had to describe your music in one word, what would that be?
Thanks so much for the interview, Tara and best of success to you!
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