• Maia Joy

TAE on Second Single "Moonlight" and Collab with Saint Mesa

How did you first get started creating? What inspired you to start making music?

Honesty for as long as I can remember I’ve been singing and writing songs, it was just always something I did as a kid and how I got my emotions out. I remember watching Fantasia on American Idol. When I saw her perform and heard her voice I was in awe, and that’s the first time I can remember being like “I want to do that one day...”

You’re an LA-based artist, yet your sound is remarkably unique from the common trends coming out of the huge studios in the same city. How did you discover your own sound? Have your LA roots influenced your sound at all?

Wow thank you! That is seriously such a big compliment. Truthfully finding my own sound was very tied to finding who I was, and starting the journey of loving myself. It wasn’t until then that I really started to become confident in the work I was creating and the sound I was exploring for myself. I just did exactly what I wanted to do, and I let no one else interfere in that process—it was liberating and gave me the confidence to start this journey.

Who are your musical influences? Who do you listen to when you’re not creating your own music?

I grew up on New Order, Hall & Oates, UB40, all the classics! I still listen to these all the time and they definitely influence me musically. Mac Miller is one of my favorite artists of all time, he inspires me in so many ways but to really experiment and expand my sound. I also love bLAck pARty, Ama Lou, The Internet— just to name a few. I can honestly listen to anything; I love music and every different emotion it can make me feel. I also love artists who are super into the visual aspects of their project—it feels like you're in their world. It’s definitely something I want to expand on in my musical universe.

You’ve put out a bunch of singles in such a short span of time, all with an impeccable groove and a high production quality— how are you able to turn out great tracks so quickly? What does that process look like?

Thank you! That means a lot. Saint Mesa and I really click as musical partners, so the groove of that just came naturally—it was a very fun process. For the schedule of it all, I really owe that part to Saint Mesa. When we first talked about this project, he suggested that we should make a number of songs and not put anything out until they are completely done. So, we finished the last song of the bunch we were doing then “Alone Time” was released. I am very thankful we did this route because it’s given me freedom to take all of this in and not worry about my next release.

“Moonlight” is a fantastic track— it has a fantastic groove and such a great vocal. What was the process like putting it together?

Thank you! Moonlight is one of my favorites for sure. Saint Mesa had a bit of the track done already then we decided to expand on it. We had a lot of fun making this one, it was the end of summer and we just wanted to make a super fun song with lots of musical and vocal elements. I’m happy that it paid off!

What has the experience been like working with producer Saint Mesa?

So awesome. He’s an old friend of mine and we reconnected when I asked him to produce some songs for me. Like I mentioned, we have great chemistry as musical partners so it makes the process way easier and enjoyable when that’s the case. He’s one of my favorite producers and artists. He is so talented (Check out his music!!) Through this process he’s become one of my best friends, and I'm really thankful.

You’ve made great strides as an artist incredibly quickly. What advice would you give yourself five, ten years ago, or another artist just starting out? What words do you live by?

I would tell myself to spend time learning every instrument. I think it’s so helpful in creative expression to have instruments nearby to accompany it; I think it makes the songwriting process so much better. I still only really know piano so I have a lot to learn but i wish I started years ago!

What’s next for you? What can your audience look forward to this year or beyond?

Lots and lots more music. Definitely more visuals and hopefully live shows!

At only 22, Los Angeles-based artist TAE is the next name to watch in the funk-pop scene. Released on April 4, the singer/songwriter’s newest single, “Moonlight,” joins her growing collection of hits featured on some of Spotify’s most popular playlists. Combining an infectious jazz-funk groove and fun indie-pop lyricism, fans of Jacob Collier and Maggie Rogers will fall in love with TAE’s sweet-yet-sultry vocals. The collaboration with producer Saint Mesa also features masterful production and an infectious beat perfect for bonfires, late-night drives, and everything in between. TAE says of the track, “‘Moonlight’ is all about the fun of falling in love with someone--the infatuation, butterflies--the bliss. Everything seems so easy to just run with in that moment, I wanted this song to really capture that feeling. I love the instruments and synths used throughout this song, and how I played with the melodies between lyrics. It was a super fun and experimental process.”

While “Moonlight” marks TAE’s second single of 2021, it certainly won’t be her last. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more--until then, we’ll be dancing in the moonlight to her newest releases.