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Exclusive Interview with Pop/Rap Artist Denae

Pop/rap singer-songwriter Tayler Denae, better known under her stage name Denae has recently released her latest collection of 5 tracks, the EP My Dark Place. We had a chance to chat with her about her new EP, upcoming projects, and more.

How does it link to your own personal story?

It’s a personal story for sure but most mental health stuff is right… I was actually in a moped accident about 5 years ago that caused some pretty horrible brain stuff, I lost my ability to play music or even talk for that matter.. and it caused some serious mental health stuff as well… It’s been a long road to recovery, but these were really the songs that got me through it. Whenever I’d feel like I didn’t want to be here, I’d just write about it.. turn it into something beautiful, and get excited and focused on the beautiful thing I had just created. Writing has always been my escape but now it’s becoming a way to make sense of everything. I’m hoping these songs can help some others too.

What were the challenges you faced while recording My Dark Place during the pandemic?

Honestly, I was really lacking the energy to pull myself out of depression which is ironic that that’s what the album is about. I’ve always struggled with mental health but the pandemic brought it to a new level. I’m a very DIY musician, we do everything ourselves… all my music videos, photos, writing, recording, mixing,  mastering, marketing… you name it lol. The pandemic helped immensely in our productivity after all the songs were written cause we both just kind of put our heads down and finished the thing. And when I say we, I’m talking about my ride-or-die boyfriend Alex, oh and our 21 year old cat Tipsy but she doesn’t really do much.

Please talk us through your creative process when coming up with your new EP, and your vision to merge seemingly far apart genres into your sound?

I’ve always been obsessed with the energy from big EDM drops and the fast-paced lyrics and intricacies of rap and poetry. I grew up writing all genres so combining them to me felt pretty natural.

Would you like to collaborate with other artists? If yes, who would be your top 3?

Hundred percent! I’ve always wanted to write some lyrics with  LewisCapaldi so the top three would be him, Noah Kahan, and FINNEAS (along with every other girl  on the planet lol)

What’s some of the best advice you’ve got regarding your music? Is there anyone you consider a mentor?

The best advice I’ve ever gotten was to stop overthinking my genre… I struggled for 5  years chasing different genres.. and it wasn’t until my therapist said, I was maybe thinking of it too black and white, to just let it be what it’s going to be. The minute I did, the songs started essentially writing themselves. The EP is all about bringing a bit more realism to mental health and it’s funny that the biggest mentor on the EP has been my therapist.

What’s next for Denae?

I’m releasing a Stripped version of the EP at the end of June. I re-imagined all of these songs to be more folk-based acoustic songs.. sort of defying the genres even more – they are almost completely different sounds yet share the same story. After the ‘Stripped’ album comes out, I’ll be planning a West Coast mini-tour to play them all out live and meet some new faces!


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