Corrina Taylor: “Do not compare yourself to anyone else”

Do not compare yourself to anyone else. They are loved for what they do, but you are loved for what you do. Everyone has something unique to offer the world. Focus on what you have got. Someone said that to me once when I was comparing myself to another songwriter and it made me feel […]

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Do not compare yourself to anyone else. They are loved for what they do, but you are loved for what you do. Everyone has something unique to offer the world. Focus on what you have got. Someone said that to me once when I was comparing myself to another songwriter and it made me feel so much better. She actually said ‘You love her for what she does, and we love you for what you do, so just keep doing that’.

As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Corrina Taylor.

Singer/ songwriter/ eternal optimist/ hopeful romantic — all the things rising UK pop star Corrina Taylor embodies and more. Her songs vary from the light-hearted and playful, to the emotional and deep; as she freely admits, “I write pop songs that are jigsaw puzzles of my own life and emotions”. Her lyrics are always honest and real in the hope that people will be able to relate and better understand their own hearts. Her latest single is the honest but good humoured “Blue Card” — a song inspired by Russell’s Brand’s book ‘Recovery’ which is about mainstream addiction- in this case, being a ‘shopaholic’ to mask the anxieties in life. The single is out now.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I spent the first 4 years of my life in Loughborough, in the UK, then I grew up in Cambridge, which became my hometown. I was always singing and performing at every school I went to. I grew up surrounded by a musical family, especially my Dad, who also loves writing pop music! I played every instrument you can think of at school, until I finally settled with the piano and the guitar.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I feel like song-writing is something that I was just always destined to find. I can’t explain it, but it feels like it’s in my blood and just part of who I am. I started putting music to the poetry I was writing when I was about 12. I was very influenced by Avril Lavigne at the time. I very quickly became a pop head and obsessed with WHY the songs I liked were good. I wanted to understand how to write good pop songs from a very young age. I didn’t realise at the time, but I was studying song structure and rhyme schemes very early on. It just grew and grew and my songs got better and better.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

When I was 14, a song I wrote for a national competition won and I performed it on Sky Sports, and in front of many, many people at the awards ceremony! The song was called ‘Live For The Dream’ and was about inspiring young people to focus on their goals, in this case, in sport. Then the song was signed to Disney! But it was later dropped because the girl they wanted to sing it changed her image and they didn’t want to work with her anymore! So harsh! But it was my first glimpse at success in the industry!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I remember when I did my first solo performing at school. I was so nervous and there were hundreds of people in the audience. When it came to my part, I completely forgot all of the words to the song and did a mixture of laughing and singing ‘la la la la’ to the melody of the song! I was SO embarrassed, especially because my ex-boyfriend’s parents were in the audience!! I didn’t think it was funny at the time, but it’s funny looking back it’s funny how much of a drama I made of it! Everyone around me was so supportive and taught me that not every performance goes well and that’s ok.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am working on my second E.P. at the moment, called ‘Lightbulb Moments’. It’s exciting because the songs are the best songs I’ve ever written and I can’t wait for everyone to hear them. They’re pop songs full of meaning and tell the story of me feeling powerless over my need for external validation to feeling confident, inspired and transformed. I am sure many people will be able to relate. There is something for everyone and I’m planning on making the visuals amazing too.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I think diversity is so important in the entertainment industry. Music is a medium that allows us to experience different cultures and backgrounds in a meaningful way. We can learn so much about different cultures and backgrounds through the art forms, which brings us closer together. The arts have an incredible way of getting points across in way that speaking cannot. I think ensuring diversity in the entertainment industry is vital for global connection and unity, so that we can understand each other better and live in a more peaceful world.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. They are loved for what they do, but you are loved for what you do. Everyone has something unique to offer the world. Focus on what you have got. Someone said that to me once when I was comparing myself to another songwriter and it made me feel so much better. She actually said ‘You love her for what she does, and we love you for what you do, so just keep doing that’
  2. Don’t base your worth on digital numbers. Just focus on doing what you love. The numbers are nothing compared to feeling proud and happy with yourself and what you’re doing.
  3. READ CONTRACTS and listen to gut feelings about working with people. Ask yourself if it feels right or not. I once signed a publishing deal even though my gut feeling was telling me not to. The guy I signed it with wanted to control everything and was a total nightmare to work with. I wish I had understood the contract I was signing when I was so young. So make sure you fully understand what you are signing and get help with that. Luckily, I am not in that contract anymore, but I had to wait 3 years before I was free of it.
  4. Always ask the producer for the STEMS for your songs! You never know when you will need them again. I once worked with a producer on a song I was so proud of. But he had other priorities and didn’t have time to finish it! But he had the stems and it took SO LONG to get the stems from him! It was such a stressful time. I got them in the end, but just save yourself that trouble and get the producer to send you the stems straight away!
  5. As much as you can, work with people who really respect your work as much as you respect them! It is amazing when you can work with someone who absolutely loves what you do. The process is so much more enjoyable and you get a better result.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Listen to your body. Stop comparing yourself to others. Run your own race. When you look at what other people are doing it can feel very exhausting. It feels like you’ll never get to where you want to be. But you have to just focus on your own baby steps and your own wins.

I don’t like the ‘work hard to be successful’ culture. If it’s hard and an uphill battle, then something isn’t right. I think I work hard but it doesn’t feel hard. I do it because I want to and it feels good. If it stops feeling good, take a break.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I want to inspire people to know their own worth and their value and to stop seeking outside of themselves for validation. It’s something I feel very passionate about and something I work on myself all of the time. For example, we often seek feeling loved from a relationship, or from social media but these things don’t define our worth. I want to inspire people to learn to feel everything they want to feel on the inside first. I believe that once you do this, the world and the people around you reflect back to you what you feel within.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am so grateful for my parents and their constant encouragement and support even when my dreams have seemed impossible. My Dad absolutely never stops dreaming big with me. He is something that will believe in my biggest ambitions and never tells me something is impossible. I am so grateful for that. I lived with my Mum while I was studying my Masters in Song-writing and she listened to every song, and every song idea and I really could not have focussed so much on my music without her support.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. I like this because I think it goes back to the idea that the world reflects to you what you feel and know to be true on the inside. I try to do this all the time and I think my world is a happier place because of how I choose to experience it.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Taylor Swift! She is my absolute idol and I would just love to be her friend and write a song with her. She’s an incredible person and songwriter and has inspired me so much as a writer and as a person! I know so many songwriters say this, and it’s no surprise. I truly think she is the most incredible and influential songwriter of our time.

How can our readers follow you online?

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Many thanks!

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