She is We chats her new album “War”!
2015 was the year of the female in music more then ever. I harbored a girl crush on the whole community! We saw Halsey, Melanie Martinez and PVRIS amongst many others not sing your typical pop song and blow up doing so. We saw female acts talking about feminism, standing up for yourself and stirring the pot. One act that is poised to do the same this year is the ever talented She Is We a.k.a. Rachel Taylor. While this isn’t her first time at the rodeo with her new album, War, that just came out, it is an album that truly lets her voice shine. In the past years, she found great success in a previous act but was put through the wringer and lucky for her, fought her way out of it to be the woman she is today.
We were so grateful to be able to sit down with Rachel to talk about the record finally being out and what it means to her. She broke down the record for us as well as giving advice to girls wanting to take that chance and start telling the world their stories. Read on for our interview with Rachel below and watch for plenty more from this talented lady!
You have a lot going on with this our and your record just coming out only nine days ago.
I don’t even know what today is. Like is it Monday?
Today? Today is a Friday.
Shit (laughs). I suck, alright.
You obviously have a lot going on with the record and this tour. Maybe a soft one, the three things you must have with you?
I have to have with me?
That you have to have with you?
I have to have my Ricola. It’s the Lemon-Mint lozenges then I have to have my cellphone because my dad updates me on all the Spotify, Billboard stuff so without him, see I didn’t even know what day it was? I need him. I definitely need coconut water. It is supposed to hydrate you but it makes you pee like every ten minutes I would say. So those are my three! I’m pretty practical.
And maybe how has this tour been going? Obviously you’ve been writing music for a long time and performing but it has been a moment since you’ve been on tour. How has it been to be back on the road and with this new record?
I cry every night. I’m still processing it. When you are told that you’re not wanted anymore. That you’re kind of old news and that you’ll be forgotten. There’s a line of kids outside and they all want to talk to you and tell you their story. That’s the best part. It’s not just like ‘Oh can I get a picture?’ Like the fact that me opening up my life has allowed them to open up about whatever struggles they’ve gone through. This tour is really sinking in hard and I’m realizing how much bigger this community is then I had anticipated. It’s overwhelming but it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced definitely.
That’s great I’m sure you’ve been meeting a lot of fans and a lot of girls that you inspire. I’m sure it’s been really exciting. Maybe overwhelming.
To be honest, I think the best part is when people come up to me and they say so I haven’t heard of you until tonight and I’ve gone through this, this and that and all they want is a hug. I mean we have our diehard fans but there’s something special about when two strangers connect and suddenly there’s a friendship that’s there. That is exactly what I promised myself at fourteen when I was writing in journals and stuff, that’s what I promised. I still have a journal.
You still keep a journal?
I still keep a journal.
Me too, absolutely.
That’s what I wanted, I wanted to build a community. I always looked up to Martin Luther King Jr and how with his microphone, he didn’t speak in bitterness. He didn’t speak in hatred towards things. Instead, he spoke of light and hope and that one day, we will all get along. At some point we will all realize that regardless of genders, skin color, religion, any background, we could all be a community for the first time. That’s what I want to do. So far, so good.
And these songs, this record is still so, so new. Just from looking back at socials, I know you’ve been actively kind of writing over the past few years when you haven’t been on the road. Were they kind of songs that were from those last few years, were they kind of written fresh for this record?
Over time, yeah. I was blessed with the opportunity to actually pick the way that the songs were listed. So that I could tell the story. “Boomerang” was like here’s who I am right now. This is what happened but I want you to know how I got here. So “Monster” and then “Better Now” and it literally just tells the story of my war and my battle and how by the grace of God I made it.
That’s amazing. I mean I interviewed you years ago but it was kind of I think when it was getting bad. Just seeing you now, you’ve transformed and I’m really glad to see it.
I’m me! Feels really good. It’s so scary. It’s awesome though. The transition from He Is We to She Is We. Being able to finally step up as the leader and tell my story. It’s insane.
I can tell you’re happy. You finally get to step forward and share your story.
Yeah I get to showcase the story and that’s the most beautiful part about this tour. I’m finally able to tell the story. To get on stage and you can see it and you can feel it. It’s nice, very nice.
And then I know this tour is just getting started, I think it’s only a few dates in so far.
Yes, this is a long one. We’re like a third of the way in. Fractions, it’s hard. I’m a musician, fractions are hard.
But maybe kind of what’s the plan, like for 2016? Obviously, this is your first tour as a solo artist. The record just came out but maybe kind of what are your hopes like for this year?
I’m doing it. Touring, radio is huge. I remember, I went up to the CEO of Universal Republic and I wasn’t signed by them at that point and he asked me…what can you do for this label? What do you think you can bring? I told him that my record was done so I asked him, what is it you think you can do with this record? He shook my hand and he was like I don’t know what it is but I like you. I told him I said I want to show you at some point that you’re doing it wrong and that radio’s doing it wrong. So that’s my hope. Is to be able to get on radio and actually bring music back. Bring messages back. Whatever happened. Kurt Cobain, stuff like that. There was sustenance, there were things that were said. Messages that were portrayed that changed people’s lives. I mean, what happened? So that’s why my goal would definitely be, to very suddely fuck shit up on radio. Like I want to shake it around a little bit and I want to piss some people off. The CEO, he told me after I traded labels to Vanguard, “I know you’re going to prove me wrong” and shook my hand and he hugged me. It was awesome. It was a really, really good feeling and we’re doing it. What else can you say?
Vanguard is a big label. They have a lot going on.
They have a lot of like actual songwriters which is why I felt so blessed to be a part of that because they actually have again, story tellers. So I was like, hell yeah I’ll take this. Let’s do it! I’m a part of this roster, like this is the perfect situation. They give me the creative power and they let me just do my thing and they said the same thing about me. They were like we don’t know what it is. We don’t know what you’re doing but it’s working and people are connecting and we don’t know why but just keep doing it. So far, so good! It was working out. I don’t know how, I have no idea how but it’s working.
Maybe to end it off, we’re really experiencing a rush of strong female fronted acts lately like Halsey, PVRIS, Melanie Martinez. Maybe advice to girls just getting started and wanting to try to do music as a career?
Don’t compare yourself to any other women that are coming out and being strong. Find parts of them that you see in yourself and then become the best version of you that you can be. Anyone who tells you that you can’t do something and you’re not strong enough, you’re not shaped the right way, any of that, the best thing that you can do is prove them wrong. Just flex your bicep the entire way and I think it’s our time as women. Honestly, I think it’s our time to realize that sexy isn’t a boob. Sexy isn’t the shade of lipstick that you’re wearing. Sexy is when you get up and you stand up for what you believe in and you make that eye contact where they know that you’re not fucking around. That is sexy and that’s what needs to be portrayed. So those girls are doing it. PVRIS, Halsey, oh yeah.
They’re killing it.
I would group hug them. We need to have like a Powerpuff Girl moment!