Taryn Shepherd: Photo Credit: @poslifee
Taryn Shepherd: Photo Credit: @poslifee
Taryn Shepherd: Photo Credit: @poslifee
Exclusive Artist Interview
Moe: Taryn, it’s so wonderful to have you joining us. You’re such an incredible artist. Tell us a little about yourself and where you are from?
Taryn: I’m so honored for this opportunity. Thank you so much. I’m from Buffalo, NY. It’s a city in upstate NY. It’s funny because when I say I’m from New York people think I’m talking about NYC but I’m like 7 hours away from city.
Moe: I am so impressed by your debut album, Reality. It’s an amazing body of work. What was the inspiration behind this project?
Taryn: Thank you I’m so glad you like it! Honestly there was so much inspiration, from the locations of my writing to how I was just feeling in the moment while listening to beats. I can’t really say one particular thing inspired it.
Moe: Who did you work with this to bring this beautiful LP together?
Taryn: As far as recording, I go to a studio at home called GCR Audio. My engineer is Brad Lauchert. He’s so dope and he’s really been with me for my entire recording process making it come to life. So he deserves a lot of credit. Also, I worked with two features on the Album who are also from Buffalo. Ché Noir is the female rapper on “The Reason” and Billie Essco is the guy rapping on “Latest Obsession” they’re both really dope and I appreciate them both for taking the time to contribute to REALITY.
Moe: I don’t typically ask an artist their age, but because this is such a fierce compilation of songs, I’m just curious to know how old you are?
Taryn: I’m 23 and I’ll be 24 in October. I started writing the album when I was 22 around time last year.
Moe: When I listen to songs like Losing Focus and You, You, You, I can really feel the emotion come through. Is this album a personal reflection of some of your life experiences?
Taryn: It’s funny you ask because people are always asking if my music is about certain people or experiences. Honestly, I have had times where I’ve felt the things I write about in my music but I can’t say they’re a direct reflection. I would say more of a compilation of how me and several others have felt when in relationships and dating. So I really just wanted it to be something that everyone could relate to.
Moe: Do you write your own songs?
Taryn: Absolutely. I really look at songwriting as a gift. I don’t take it for granted at all.
Moe: Who are some of your musical influences?
Taryn: I am a Proud member of the Beyhive. But, I listen to so much music from old school to new school, different genres. I can’t say I have a particular influence. I think I’m my own influence to be honest.
Moe: You are very soulful. I hate to put you in a box because you emit so much radiance in your vocals. I feel like you can fit in any genre of music. Do you classify yourself as R&B?
Taryn: Thank you. It’s crazy because I used to be self conscious of my voice. But then I got comfortable and figured my sound out. I think I would classify myself as Alternative R&B. When I hear “No Resistance” and “Empty Space,” I feel like they’re more pop. And “Best Time” has more hip hop vibes so I think I’m pretty versatile.
Moe: What is that you love about being in front of a mic and performing?
Taryn: Fun fact: I still get stage fright sometimes. I love being on stage performing but sometimes my butterflies won’t let me be great. I’m better now though. I’ve learned to work through it. I guess it’s easier when you know people really like your music. So it’s like now I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I love the feeling and the energy when it’s reciprocated from the audience. It really boosts my confidence levels.
Moe: It’s pretty rare to hear an entire album and connect with every song. But, let me tell you, this is some get me a glass of good wine and do some serious thinking music (laughs). When I heard you dropping bars in The Reason, I said, “It’s a wrap. She’s coming out with a loaded barrel and is not playing with y’all. I played that song back to back three times. Do you consider yourself a Hip Hop lyricist as well?
Taryn: (Laughs) I cant even take credit for that. That was all Ché Noir. She’s so talented. I hit her up and asked if she wanted to collab because there are not really enough female collabs. I sent “The Reason” over to her and she loved it just as much as I did. Shortly after, we got in the studio and finished the track and it came out amazing.
Moe: The music industry is definitely not for the faint of heart. What do you feel are some of the strengths you possess that set you apart from all the hopefuls out there?
Taryn: I’m an artist but not at the expense of my values. I’m grateful to have genuine support around me and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to talk to some people in the industry who have let me know what and what not to accept or tolerate. I’m deeply rooted in who I am so I would never let the industry or fame change who I am. I think that’s my biggest strength.
Moe: What is your goal for this project? Do you feel this is just an introduction to the arsenal of talent you have?
Taryn: I wrote “REALITY,” from different sides of relationships. The album isn’t just about breakup songs or love songs. It’s a combination. My goal was for each person who listened, to have a song on there they could feel and relate to. And now it’s really making its rounds and it feels like everything is falling into place.
Moe: Is it your goal to be signed to a label, or are you enjoying the freedom of being an independent artist right now?
Taryn: Being independent is dope but my ultimate goal is to eventually be signed to a label.
Moe: If you could open for any artist in the world, just experience the grind of a full scale tour, who would that be and why?
Taryn: I would have to say Drake. I feel like he’s so versatile and my sound would compliment his style.
Moe: I have a tough question (laughs). Which is your favorite song off of this album?
Taryn: Wow. Tthat is tough. Ummm I think my favorite song honestly, is “Losing Focus.” It was one of the last songs I added to the album. I was finished with the album but I was bored one night just listening to beats I saved. I wrote the song in like 15 minutes. It was like the perfect addition.
Moe: I asked another artist about love and relationships and the lack of loyalty in a lot of modern relationships. As a young woman who has obviously embraced the fullness of being in love and enduring the many emotions that come along with that, what do you believe is the challenge in relationships in this modern era?
Taryn: I think people in general don’t really know what they want out of relationships. I think relationships are just “in” right now as if they were some kind of trend. People don’t know how to be by themselves and I feel like if you struggle being alone then you aren’t really ready for a relationship.
Moe Do you believe in love? I mean do you believe it exists in its truest form, unconditional and loyal to the death? I know I am being nosey, but, it’s always awesome to hear different perspectives on this subject.
Taryn: No, it’s fine, I do believe in love. I believe in genuine love for the right reasons.
Moe: In your song, “The One Thing I Regret,” you sing about the biggest regret you have, and that was not telling a person how you felt and not telling them that you love them. Is this just a beautiful song, or is it a part of your life?
Taryn: I have to say both. I wrote “The One Thing I Regret” in 2014. My grandfather passed away the year before that, and I was going through some stuff. I heard the beat and kind of got inspired. So I wrote the song, not necessarily for a significant other, but for anyone who has lost someone, but feels like they didn’t get to say goodbye. At the time I didn’t really know much about studios to seriously get in and record anything. I recorded it in my bedroom with a USB mic that my dad bought me. It wasn’t really a good quality mic,, but even so, people were really feeling the song.
Moe: Now that you have matured in your own time and space, what is your approach to life in general?
Taryn: I’m really focused. I’m a full time student and I work, so it’s like I’m balancing so many things at one time: music, work, and school, all while still trying to have a social life. It’s hard but it’s worth it and I know in the end I’ll be really proud of myself.
Moe: What’s next on the agenda for you?
Taryn: Well summer is finally here so I have some shows and events I’m performing at. I wanna focus on making more connections and I wanna continue building my fan base with my music.
Moe: Where do you see yourself in say, the next five years?
Taryn: I never know how to answer this question because five years ago I didn’t see myself here. I think overall five years from now I want to be happy more than anything. Of course I do want to be touring and releasing great music. But overall, happiness is the goal.
Moe: How can people follow you on social media or inquire about booking you for shows or future interviews?
Taryn: Social media really has helped me a lot with generating fans especially my Twitter which is @MusicTaryn. My Instagram is @TarynMusic and I can also be contacted through my website Tarynmusic.com.
Moe: I know I mentioned earlier that your album, “REALITY,” is out now on all platforms. Please mention some of them so that your music can be supported and purchased.
Taryn: Of course! “REALITY” is on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, iHeartRadio and YouTube. It’s also on Shazam. So, you can hear any of my songs anywhere, including Shazam.
Moe: You are such a beautiful and gifted artist. What words of wisdom would you like to share to anyone who may be reading this article about you?
Taryn: To be patient but dedicated. You can’t rush art. I don’t come from a big city that’s known for its music scene even though there are SO MANY talented Arists here. There’s a light on Buffalo right now and I feel like I found my true inner artist at the perfect time. It’s all about timing, don’t rush the process.
Moe: Any closing remarks?
Taryn: I just really want to thank everyone who has been supporting me and streaming “REALITY.” It really does make me emotional that so many people are tuning in and congratulating me. It’s all genuine love and that’s all I could ever ask for. And thank you so much for interviewing me.
Moe: This has been absolutely amazing. Thank you for your time. Atlanta Cosmopolitan looks forward to following what promises to be a beautiful career for you. Blessings always.
Taryn: You are so welcome! Thank you for the opportunity!