Interview with Whitney Tai + “Surrender” Exclusive Limited Stream (Expired)

“Surrender” was available here for an exclusive limited stream on April 8 from 2pm – 10pm and is now expired. “Surrender” was written by Whitney Tai and Tim Janssens. Mastered by Gavin Lurssen (Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, Sheryl Crow) of Lurssen Mastering. Pre-save on Spotify; release date: April 10, 2020.

What can you tell us about the inspirations behind the track “Surrender”?

The concept of “Surrender” actually spawned after many conversations I’d been having over the years with friends and strangers alike. I often found I was coming to the conclusions of learning how to detach from clutching at the things that cause incredible pain. I sat down at my piano one quiet afternoon after concluding another of these conversations. My fingers just kind of let the way, I felt motivated and inspired to write a ballad that turned this universal advice into something more concrete. I love philosophy and theory a lot, it’s something I took a liking to early. The art of letting go and challenging someone or myself to look themselves in the mirror to ask if the same abusive things they’ve been doing is worth the cost of mental health or the well being of those around us.

As to your upcoming album, what has been your favorite part to work on?

For this album, I really enjoyed the writing and recording process. These songs were written amidst intense healing which birthed a process in how I wanted to tell stories. “Surrender” was that bird on my shoulder reminding me to look my demons dead in the eye with an enthusiastic smirk. Showing no fear, or better yet, leaving all fear behind. You get tired of standing in your own way and you realize the clearer the channel is, the more the water runs pure. Easier to say, much harder to put into practice. That’s the beauty of growing up I guess. Ha!

These songs were challenging vocally, my voice has undergone a major change these past two years and I felt my entire vocal tone/quality transform quite a bit. I called my dad one day on the phone last year and he barely recognized my voice. After performing a lot live and learning my sound in my music, I’ve rediscovered and retrained my changing muscles in this matured new armour.

As an artist, what is one of the biggest things that you do to stay inspired?

I would say designing graphics is one of my favorite things to stay inspired. I’m very visual, I live through form, composition, and color. When I can create grids of information that tell a story or express a concept, much of my writing process can spawn from this and open new worlds in my mind to discuss ideas from a different perspective. Art and nature give me the ability to speak and compose from dimensions surpassing the limits of the human body.

What is it about music that best facilitates a way to express yourself?

That every note and its quality can make you feel beautiful things. It can also make you feel the opposite. Music has a power to express the consciousness of being alive and yet equally express the mystery of the unknown corners of your mind you’d dare to venture willingly. I love that music challenges you to exist outside yourself.

What is one piece of advice that you would give someone who is just starting their journey in music?

Don’t be afraid, your journey is your own. Let your heart guide you in being honest and don’t get comfortable. Music, more than ever, needs honesty… blood and guts. Allow yourself to experience the good, the bad and the ugly in life. Also, surround yourself with mentors who challenge you beyond reason. I am forever grateful to the mentors who’ve pushed me through and believed in me.

Let us know what you thought of “Surrender” in the comments below and on our social media pages. And be sure keep up with Whitney Tai on her social media:

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